Ruth Hamilton

One-way Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 1543 - 1894 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: 36th Street 8-B
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic hills

The Ruth Hamilton trail, aka Trail 8B, is located in the Piestewa Peak area of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona. Beginning at the 36th Street trailhead it climbs up to the saddle of a ridge where it is crossed by the Quartz Ridge trail. From there it continues to climb until it crosses another ridge where it descends into the valley on the east side of Piestewa Peak until it meets up with the Nature Trail and comes to an end.

There really isn't any parking at the 36th Street trailhead. We arrived at this spot by following an unmarked route over from the Y. V. Yates trail. Even without any parking there is a trailhead kiosk about 50 feet from the pavement that includes a map of the area.

The trail starts out with a moderate climb that takes it by a memorial bench where visitors can rest and enjoy the views of the valley below.

This part of the trail never does get real steep but it levels off even more as it reaches the first saddle.

At the first saddle the Ruth Hamilton trail is crossed by the Quartz Ridge trail which stretches between the 32nd Street trailhead and the Y. V. Yates trail.

From the saddle the Ruth Hamilton trail begins climbing a steeper section of trail that leads up to the next ridge.

A rocky outcrop makes the trail a little rough as it nears the top.

It is all downhill once the trail reaches the second saddle.

On the downhill side of the mountain there are a few more places where the trail gets pretty rough.

Just past the 3/4 mile point the Ruth Hamilton trail reaches Trail 304, aka the Nature Trail, and comes to an end. From here you can go to the left to get to the Piestewa Peak trailheads where there is the option to loop back to the Quartz Ridge trail via the Mojave Connector or you can loop back by going to the right and pick up the Y.V. Yates trail. Back up at the 2nd saddle there is also an unmarked trail that leads up to a summit where there are some great panoramic views of the area. The Ruth Hamilton trail and its neighbors provide quite a few options for creating a variety of hikes. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.