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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra Estrella
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mini location map2022-03-20
8 by photographer avatarKingLeonidas
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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
 Hiking5.88 Miles 2,572 AEG
 Hiking5.88 Miles   4 Hrs   3 Mns   1.69 mph
2,572 ft AEG      34 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Hiked Quartz Peak with Victoria and Juan (Alyssa didn't make it on account of studying).

It was our first time hiking this trail.

As noted in the guide there is a bit of dirt road driving to get to the trailhead. You go past a landfill, an airfield, and quite a few cows on the way in. The dirt road dive does go a significant distance. The driving wasn't bad though there were very few rocky sections to worry about and the terrain was mostly sand. The Colorado had not trouble with it although next time I will remove the air dam before going as it did scrape the sand in a few places. Did not need 4x4 at all, we did cross many washes though so it might not be the best spot after a big rain.

The trail itself was easier than expected. The stats make it appear to be as difficult as Siphon Draw but unlike Siphon Draw the considerable elevation gain is spread out and fairly consistent throughout. This makes it a challenging hike but not the parabolic experience of Flatiron.

The terrain resembles Piestewa with large rocks and dirt steps upwards. The trail is easy to see and follow until the last ~1/2 mile. At this point to the summit there is no maintained trail and it is a scramble to the finish. Navigation isn't really difficult though, at this point you can clearly see the peak with white quartz on it and the path of least resistance generally takes you along the top of the ridge you have been following the whole way up, so you won't get lost.

The summit is a real treat. There is quite a quantity of a highly reflective mineral (possibly Pyrite) in large quantities around the summit. One such specimen has a flat face the size of a hand mirror and when the sun is right you can see it flashing from quite a distance! Also at and around the summit are quantities of white quartz, which stand in stark contrast to the darker colored stone of the range. It remains cool or even cold to the touch even when sitting in the direct sunlight.

The views from the summit are excellent, you can see all the way to Phoenix if the weather is clear and have a nearly 360 degree view of the surrounding desert and farms.

There is also an ammo can at the summit with a log book inside. Some people left other "interesting" items in the ammo can lol.

This trail was very secluded we met only 4 other groups the entire day. The drive and the need for a high clearance vehicle likely deter a lot of prospective hikers. That said, this was an excellent Sunday hike the summit was well worth the trip and we will definitely do this one again.
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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