Quartz Ridge

One-way Distance: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 1367 - 1803 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: 32nd Street
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic trail

The Quartz Ridge trail, also known as Trail 8A, is located in the Piestewa Peak area of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona. The trail begins at the 32nd Street trailhead where it travels north up the drainage to Quartz Ridge at which point it descends the drainage on the other side of the ridge and continues until it meets up with the Y. V. Yates trail in a scenic wash and comes to an end. Enroute it is connected to by the Mojave Connector and Ruth Hamilton trails.

The 32nd Street trailhead is at 6511 E. Sierra Vista Drive.

Trail markers labeled with an 8A mark the route every quarter mile or so of the Quartz Ridge trail.

The trail starts out up a wide hard packed path that has a gradual uphill slope.

Rocky outcrops and stretches with medium to large loose rocks add to the difficulties for mountain bikers.

Right around the quarter mile point the Mojave Connector comes up on the left.

After passing the Mojave Connector the Quartz Ridge trail gradually becomes steeper as it progresses up the drainage.

Patches of white quartz standout in contrast to the otherwise dark colored schists of granite. This large boulder gave up its home that was much higher up the mountain and now offers hikers a nice closeup view.

The Quartz Ridge trail seems to get more scenic the higher up it gets.

Parts of the trail look like they must have been dynamited out of the mountain.

As the trail reaches the saddle of the ridge it is crossed by the Ruth Hamilton trail.

The trail going down the north side of the ridge is quite a bit different but is still very scenic.

As the trail goes down the drainage on the north side of the ridge there are a couple of spots that mountain bikers will find that are more challenging. We have both hiked the Quartz Ridge trail and mountain biked it. Hiking it was by far easier although not everyone is looking for the easy option. Besides doing the Quartz Ridge trail as an out and back there are several good loops that you can create with some of the other trails. We've probably done them all at least once and they all have their own unique virtues. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.