Phoenix Mountains Nature Trail

Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 1505 - 1773 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Apache
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic desert

The Nature Trail is located in the Piestewa Peak area of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona. The trail begins in the shadows of Piestewa Peak and makes a loop around one of the smaller mountains in the area. The Phoenix Mountains Preserve has several areas that are miles apart with numerous interconnecting trails. Most of the trails tend to be well marked but for those that are unfamiliar with the layout they may want to print out a map to take along.

The hike begins at the Apache trailhead located at the end of Squaw Peak Drive. Since people tend to park wherever they can find a spot the length of the hike might need to be adjusted depending on which parking area you begin from.

For this post we hiked the trail in the counterclockwise direction.

Each of the trails has a name and a number. Many of the trail markers display only the number which for this trail is 304.

The first 4 tenths of a mile of the rocky trail is a fairly steep climb.

After the short climb the trail reaches a saddle where it becomes mostly downhill for the rest of the loop.

About a quarter mile from the saddle bear left onto the 1A or Pearl Charles Memorial trail.

From here the route is shared with the 1A trail for about another quarter mile before it turns left once again.

The last leg of the trail heading back to the trailhead is shared with the 302 Circumference trail.

The Sonoran Desert is especially colorful in the springtime when most of the plants are in bloom.

We also wanted to point out that there are restrooms at several of the trailheads that have running water and flush toilets. Water bottles can be filled from several spigots and drinking fountains.

The Nature trail can be a good alternative for anyone looking for a quick workout or outing. It also serves well as a connecting route to several of the other trails. There are enough different trails in the area that it is easy to tailor a hike of just the length and cardio workout you have a need for. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.