Quartz Peak Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Maricopa County, Arizona. It is within Sierra Estrella Wilderness Area. It is 2.8 miles long and begins at 1,562 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,694 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms and parking. The trail ends near Quartz Peak (elevation 4,052 feet).
Quartz Peak Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The pristine wilderness, a classic ridge walk, and expansive views from atop Quartz Peak provide plenty of rewards to those who tackle this challenging hike. This trail’s remote location also ensures an absence of crowds.
Trail is one of the finest desert hikes in the Phoenix area. This hike captures the rugged beauty of the 14,400-acre Sierra Estrella Wilderness and offers stunning views from high mountain ridges. Quartz Peak (4,052') provides even grander panoramas of the sprawling Phoenix metropolis.
Dogs are permitted on leash but may not have the stamina to make it to the summit."
--Charles Liu, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles-Phoenix - 3rd Edition (Menasha Ridge Press).
"This unique trail climbs to a summit along the crest of the Sierra Estrella. Reaching over 4,500 feet, the Sierra Estrella forms the skyline from the southwest portions of the Valley of the Sun. On this hike, you’ll climb a scenic desert ridge to a sharp summit that provides views of much of southwestern Arizona, including the Eagletail Mountains to the west, the White Tank Mountains to the north, South Mountain to the east, and countless Sonoran Desert ranges to the south. The trail lies in the Sierra Estrella Wilderness. Although distinguished for its close proximity to metropolitan Phoenix, the Sierra Estrella Wilderness is inaccessible without a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Primitive dirt roads near the wilderness boundary are extremely sandy or silty, and wash crossings are rugged and deep."
--Bruce Grubbs, Best Hikes Near Phoenix (Falcon Guides).
"A rugged hike in the seldom-visited Sierra Estrella Wilderness. Quartz Peak Trail, in the 14,400-acre Sierra Estrella Wilderness, leads visitors from the floor of Rainbow Valley (elevation 1,550 feet) to the summit ridge of the Sierra Estrella at Quartz Peak (elevation 4,052 feet) in just 3 miles. The trail is extremely steep and difficult to follow in places. This is a hike for experienced and well-conditioned hikers only! From the Quartz Peak Trailhead, follow a closed four-wheel-drive track approximately 0.25 mile. Look to the left as you walk up the old road to find a narrow trail ascending the ridge to the north. The trail is poorly marked in places and does not extend to the summit; the final 0.25 mile to Quartz Peak is a scramble over boulder and talus slopes that requires careful footing. Quartz Peak is a point on the spine of the Sierra Estrella capped by an outcrop of white quartz."
--Stewart Aitchison & Bruce Grubbs, Hiking Arizona (Falcon Guides).
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