Solitude on Shaw Butte Trail
Shaw Butte Trail on Northern Mountain trail is one of the less popular hiking trails in North Phoenix. At nearly 5 miles (4.6 miles), it’s a long trail with moderate to difficult inclines. You’ll want to make sure you wear proper hiking footwear for this trail because of the rocky terrain and be sure to bring plenty of water, as it is a moderately challenging hike.
The best way to get to the trailhead is near the parking lot south of Thunderbird Rd, on Central Avenue. The first part of the trail is paved, but once you come to a fork in the trail, both forks become more rocky and natural. The trail to the right is the more scenic view, like Papago and Kiwanis trail at South Mountain Park.
As you get near the top of this elevated hike (North Mountain sits at 2,104 feet, and Shaw Butte at 2,149 feet), you will get a chance to explore around two radio towers as well as see a more expansive view of Phoenix. A great aspect of this trail is that it loops back around to the trailhead entrance near Central Ave, so you don’t have to double back through the same terrain. If you’re an experienced mountain biker, then you will enjoy biking on this trail, the path is very wide and more than accommodating for hikers and bikers.
Shaw Butte Trail is a beautiful, and challenging hike that another great way to experience the Sonoran Desert. Until next week, Happy Hiking!