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Skyline Circumference Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice hike that leads you around the perimeter of the park.


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Map Key

9.1

Miles

14.6

KM

Loop

2,084' 635 m

High

1,348' 411 m

Low

1,513' 461 m

Up

1,516' 462 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The park is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Entrance to the park is free.

Overview

This route will take you around the outside perimeter of the park. You'll hike portions of nearly every trail and get a glimpse of the wide variety of terrain the park has to offer.

Need to Know

There is no drinkable water at the park so you'll need to bring your own.

Description

This trail is within the Skyline Regional Park and begins at the parking area near the camp sites. The parking lots can fill up quickly on weekends when the weather is nice so you may want to arrive early to get a spot. The parking area also has some shelters, picnic tables and restrooms; however, drinking water is not available in the park so plan accordingly.

Finding your way around the circumference will be easy to navigate if you simply turn left at every trail intersection until you get to Quartz Mine. Begin the hike by crossing the bridge and turning left at Mountain Wash Trail. Continue left at Granite Falls and on to Chuckwalla. This portion is fairly remote and relatively flat, with a few ups and downs in and out of creek beds. The trail is well-maintained with few obstacles.

Reconnecting with Granite Falls and then on to Turnbuckle (keep to the left at both intersections) takes you up a steady incline that ascends 400 feet in half a mile. At the crest, you can either continue down the switchbacks on the other side or turn right at Valley Vista Trail for some outstanding views from the summit and return to Turnbuckle to resume the loop.

Turnbuckle intersects with Mountain Wash (keep to the left) and descends the mountain to the bottom of the valley where it meets Lost Creek (again, left). This trail ascends 300 feet where it passes Skyline Crest and makes its way down to Quartz Mine. At this intersection you'll want to turn right onto Quartz Mine (lest you exit the park to Verado’s Lost Creek) and follow this trail all the way back to the parking area. Quartz Mine is a fairly level trail that weaves its way around the mountain. Several areas along the way contain some interesting deposits of quartzite, clearly the reason for the name of the trail.

Overall, circling the entire park is a fun and interesting way to explore the south side of the White Tank Mountains and take in some beautiful desert scenery.

Flora & Fauna

A variety of desert plants and cacti are plentiful. Watch for mule deer, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and rattle snakes.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Parker

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#3477

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#134

in Arizona

#3,477

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19 Views Last Month
537 Since Mar 11, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Quartz Mine Looking south
Mar 18, 2018 near Buckeye, AZ
Along the crest looking southeast
Mar 23, 2018 near Buckeye, AZ
Turnbuckle Trail facing east
Mar 18, 2018 near Buckeye, AZ
Chuckwalla Trail looking northeast
Mar 18, 2018 near Buckeye, AZ
Chuckwalla Trail facing northwest
Mar 18, 2018 near Buckeye, AZ
A large deposit of quartzite on Quartz Mine Trail.
Mar 18, 2018 near Buckeye, AZ

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Sep 13, 2020
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