Little Butte Loop

Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 1264 - 1312 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: West Buttes
Fee: none
Attractions: Short loop

The Little Butte Loop is located in the West Buttes area of Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona. As its name implies the trail makes a loop around the smaller of the prominent hills in the West Buttes section of the park. From its elevated vantage point the trail offers distant views of the surrounding urban area and its desert landscape.

To get to the West Buttes trailhead find your way to 626 North Galvin Parkway, across from the Phoenix Zoo, and follow the signs to the parking area. At present there is drinking water available at the trailhead but no restroom facilities.

There are multiple places where the Little Butte Loop can be accessed from. For this post we began just west of the Elliot Ramada.

The trail goes a short distance before crossing the Double Butte Loop trail and continuing toward Little Butte.

From there the trail does a little climbing to get up to where the loop begins.

For this post we travelled around the loop in the counterclockwise direction which gave us some nice views of the downtown Phoenix area.

As the trail travels around the butte it has a lot of ups and downs as the elevation continually changes with the contours of the ground.

The Papago Golf Course looks like a desert oasis from Little Butte.

As the trail continues around the loop it is braided with a lot spurs. Some of them head down to other trails and others are places where hikers have been scrambling higher up the butte.

There are a couple of good places to climb up the east side of the butte to spots where you can lounge around and take in the views.

The actual loop part of the trail is just over a half mile but the total distance was almost twice that after adding in what it took to get to and from the Elliot Ramada.

Besides being a good place to find some shade there is also a drinking fountain at the Elliot Ramada. The Little Butte Loop was getting quite a bit of use on the warm July day that we were there. So much so that we did all the other trails in the West Buttes area before doing Little Butte. The people that we encountered all had smiles on their faces and appeared to be having an enjoyable time. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.