“A great hike which includes two of the seven summits in the Phoenix Summit Challenge.
— Tony Mackey
This route follows well-maintained singletrack trails featuring fairly easy climbs up to Apache Vista and Ridgeback Overlook with 360-degree views of the "Valley of the Sun!"
Need to Know
You don't need a map, although one is posted at the trailhead. These trails are well-marked and if you have a smart phone with a code reader app, you can scan the code and pull up the trail info including maps and GPS coordinates or just use the Hiking Project mobile app
! The codes are placed on the trail markers located throughout the preserve.
Start at the at the Apache Wash trailhead. There is plenty of parking and restrooms, but no potable water so bring plenty.
Take the Sidewinder Trail
north counterclockwise and up Apache Vista
to the summit.
The climb up to Apache Vista
is steady and fairly easy and treats you to spectacular views. The trail is in good shape, so you won't have to worry about stubbing toes or twisting ankles on the way. You'll climb up to 1,982 feet, and be sure to take a breather at the top to take in the scenery.
After taking in the great views, hike down to the Sidewinder Trail
and go north to Ridgeback Trail
and up to Ridgeback Overlook. It is now 3.77 miles total, and you'll have climbed to 2,159 feet. You'll have excellent views and can clearly see the parking lot at the trailhead. Take the Ridgeback Trail
down the south side to the Ocotillo Trail
and back to trailhead for a hike of ~5.5 miles total.
Flora & Fauna
Flora and fauna are too diverse to mention, but you will appreciate the beautiful and majestic saguaro cacti. You will also see lots of barrel cactus, brittle brush, ocotillo, palo verde, etc. . . .