The Quartz Ridge Trail is a great alternative starting point to access the spiderweb-like trail system of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. It can be done as a sole act or combined with many intersecting trails to customize your adventure.

Quartz Ridge in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve (also known as Trail 8A) is a great escape getaway trail that can be done as a single track or combined with many intersecting trails. It is a very popular trail for hikers, trail runners, pet walkers, sky gawkers and more!

The trailhead sits in a small cul-de-sac where 32nd St dead ends at the intersection of Lincoln Drive. It is a very small parking lot, so plan ahead and arrive early - especially for sunrise and sunset jaunts. Be careful parking across the street in the shopping center, as there are signs everywhere warning against hiker parking (pick up a water or snack before the hike and now you're an official customer!).

The classic Quartz Ridge hike is a straight forward out-and-back 2.2 mile hike, that meanders it's way through the beautiful Sonoran desert, littered with quartz all around you and giant granite boulders. Around each corner, you will constantly be rewarded with ever-changing views of the city and surrounding mountains (Camelback, South Mountain, Papago Park). You will be gaining 415 ft, so it's enough to get the heart pumping, definitely doable as a run for the more fit, and easy enough to bring along the out-of-towners!

The trail itself glides gently into the hike along the west side of a wash. At .2 miles you reach a junction with Trail 200 (Mojave Trail) which veers to the left. Around .7 miles, the trail narrows and you begin your climb. There are a few switchbacks and a moderate climb to a saddle at 1.1 miles. This is the official saddle of Quartz Ridge and the turnaround point for the out-and-back. From here, you may also connect to a few trails and make the adventure your own.

It's a beautiful scene at the saddle, tucked away from the bustling city that surrounds you and a bench to soak it all in.

Pack List

  • Trail snacks, H20 and the pack
  • Leash for the furry friends
  • Headlamp if you're out for the sunset
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RT Distance 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 415 Feet
Activities Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Autumn, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Scenic and Fun

Fun hike with great views; a great option when Piestewa Peak is too crowded. There are lots of species of cacti and the change in terrain is fun. You can even get in a little bouldering near the start of the trail.

about 1 year ago

Tremendous Fun For The Whole Family

Beautiful, well groomed, and interesting hike with easy access/parking.

almost 2 years ago

Great For Families, Running, Pets, Etc.

A nice easy / medium hike. There are many trails that stem off from the main path which are fun to explore!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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