I walked over to Piestewa Peak Park today. (I still think of it as Squaw Peak) Car trouble put me out on foot, so I walked over. 2 1/2 miles each way, so just the walk qualified as a hike all by itself. Alas, I got there and then realized I had forgotten to bring water, so I wasn't prepared to tackle the trails. I sat for a while and watched hikers on the summit trail. Then I walked over and took the Alternate Summit trail, which is a lot of fun and very interesting. It begins near the entrance to the park and continues up to merge with the summit trail. That trail is rough, and appears almost unused. I have been on it a couple times and have expected to see a rattlesnake or two, but haven't so far. Just a rugged trail. It does join the summit trail, but it's not that far up so not too bad. It's hard to find anything remote in this park, but that trail fits the bill.
I did this hike on a Friday morning in March around 9:30am, took me a little over 2 hours but I stopped often to take photos. I had meant to do the Mystery Loop but didn't make the turn. This hike was very quiet. There are 3 benches along the trail, one by the trailhead, one near the middle, and one at the end. The last bench is considered then end but it is connected to many more trails which were busy.
Positives-amazing wild flowers/cactus blossoms this time of year, quiet hike, very relaxing, beautiful scenery
Keep in mind - not a crazy workout, I had to run it to get my my heart pumping, if you prefer summit trails this might not be for you (no exciting "wow" factor at the end), lots of bees this time of year, some trail marks were difficult to find
Dominic R. on Quartz Ridge Trail (#8A)
Easy to hike and beautiful trail