Hike Quartz Ridge
Arizona › Quartz Ridge Trailhead at 32nd St & Lincoln Dr
Added by Nick Tort
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.
- Trail snacks, H20 and the pack
- Leash for the furry friends
- Headlamp if you're out for the sunset
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