Penny Howe Trail

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 1395 - 1424 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: 10600 N. 7th St.
Fee: none
Attractions: Wheelchair accessible interpretive trail

The Penny Howe trail is located in the North Mountain District of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona. The barrier free trail loops through the North Mountain Park Picnic Area nestled at the base of North Mountain. The Penny Howe trail is an easy, family friendly, hike situated in a desert environment. The parks hours of operation are from 5am to 7pm.

The trailhead is located on North 7th Street near Promontory Point. This post begins following the trail at the northwest corner of the Havasupai area of the parking lot.

The paved trail has several loops that travel around various desert exhibits that depict the typical flora that is found in the area.

Interpretive signs provide a wealth of information on the various plants and the animals that are often found in association with them.

For hikers looking for something a little more challenging, after learning all you can about the desert flora on the Penny Howe trail, try out the National trail that climbs the ridge in this photo to the summit of North Mountain.

From the late 1920's to 1940 the North Mountain area was used as an Indian Campground for the students and families of the Phoenix Indian School. Indian schools were a product of the 'Manifest Destiny' philosophy of the 19th century that operated on the premise that Native Americans didn't deserve the land they lived on because they didn't develop and exploit all of its resources and it was America's God given right and duty to expand throughout the west and have it for themselves. Native American children were physically taken from their families and put into the schools where they were forbidden to practice their own beliefs but to dress, live, and pray as the white man did. The plight of the Native Americans and the injustices perpetrated on them are why people such as Stephen Hawking make statements like heaven help us if we are ever visited by a superior civilization.

The trail is 'named in honor of Penny H. Howe, a dedicated volunteer, who committed much time and effort to the preservation of open space within the City of Phoenix'.

Several of the ramadas, with tables and grills, can be reserved in advance. More information, and a map of the picnic areas, visit the cities website.

The Penny Howe trail is a great place to learn about the many varieties of plants found in the area and how to identify them. The location is easily accessible to local residents and visitors. Families can enjoy the picnic areas and children's playground with an easy trail that is friendly to both wheelchairs and baby strollers. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.