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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra Estrella
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mini location map2015-02-28
7 by photographer avatarDennisWilliams
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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 28 2015
DennisWilliams
Hiking5.20 Miles 2,550 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   3 Hrs   34 Mns   1.63 mph
2,550 ft AEG      23 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally got back to the Estrellas. Three years since my last hike there. It is a long drive from my house in NE Mesa and my tranquility was disturbed to find a road closure barricade near the end of the ride on Riggs Road about 3.5 miles in from Rainbow Valley Road. Upon inspection I could find no cause, and yielding due respect to what seemed to be either an honest concern for my safety or a petty fit of authoritarian pique by someone at DOT, I proceeded around it. There were also road closures at Bullard Avenue and at the dirt road heading east immediately thereafter but again, no obvious cause, so again yielding due respect I treated these in like manner. I was shocked to find that there were scofflaws in the area! Vehicles and hikers were coming and going. Man! The rough characters you meet out in the bush!

This feels longer than the 5.2 miles indicated. The trail is good and I was moving pretty well but the overall pace came out slow. It is possible that the many short switch-backs and steep ascent make it difficult for GPS to provide an accurate distance. Or maybe I am just slow. No matter, for this is a really nice hike in a beautiful area. To me the Sierra Estrella appear dark and forbidding but also enticing. Dry, rough, rugged, and challenging. I am more used to the lush green desert of the Superstitions and Mazatzals. For me this was a delightful change of pace. The trail gains a spur ridge and plays peek-a-boo with both sides as you go up. You have to love a ridge-line. So much more scenic than a valley bottom or side-hill approach. Summit views are extraordinary. Great hike. Put it on the list. Hopefully AZDOT will get the roads figured out. A caution: I was happy to have 4-wheel drive in the miles of sand at the end of the road. Bring a shovel.
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