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blueBlack Shaw Butte Trail #306


3.7 mile 6.0 kilometer loop


Ascent: 748' 228 m
Descent: -748' -228 m
High: 2,041' 622 m
Low: 1,368' 417 m


Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 32% (18°)


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Trail shared by Guy Granger

A trail with great views over the entire Phoenix Valley.

Guy Granger

Features Birding · Views


This trail is located in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve in north Phoenix.

This trail can be taken in either direction, and there are several access points. The most convenient parking area is the Central Avenue Parking lot at North Central Ave and East Aster Dr., at the north end of the loop, but on warm days, that lot fills up by 6 a.m. Alternative parking is located at the North Mountain Visitor Center, 12950 North 7th St, and then accessing Trail #306 from Trail #100.

The counter-clockwise direction is described here.

From the parking lot, follow the rough dirt road, for 1.3 miles, to the junction with the spur road to the summit of Shaw Butte. The climb from the parking lot is steady, but reasonable. From here, you can look out in all directions. The summit has several fenced off areas for transmission towers, making access to the best views difficult.

Returning down the spur road to the trail, you can continue the loop, turning left at the junction. In 0.2 miles, another spur trail goes off to another small peak. The views there are better, actually, than from the higher summit.

The trail now drops steadily, sometime steeply, and in many places, you'll be hiking on singletrack, to the valley floor. Use caution and have patience for people coming the other way. At the bottom, the trail follows along with Trail 100 - Charles M. Christiansen Memorial Trail, for about 0.2 miles, then diverges again as it continues north to the parking lot.

On this trail, you'll see lots of hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and occasional horseback riders.

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Apr 21, 2019
Randy Amos
Mar 23, 2019
Jim Pollock
Dec 28, 2018
d.r. weston
Sep 14, 2018
Jill Culiver
Jan 5, 2018
Tim Fullerton
Nov 18, 2017
Nicole L
Did if right one on Summit challenge
Nov 8, 2017
Jennifer Aragon
Oct 7, 2017
Guy Granger
A good loop. The south side of Shaw Butte is a little tricky, but the rest is good two track.

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 5 votes


  3.8 from 5 votes
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in Arizona


30 Views Last Month
1,347 Since Oct 7, 2017
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