Ranger Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenix, AZ and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and horses and is accessible from October until April. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Fun and a decent workout. Great scenic overlook if Phoenix.
I found this to be pretty challenging since it was a steep climb almost the whole way to the top. You are rewarded with sweeping 360 views of the entire region, truly beautiful. Getting here is easy, and there are several picnic tables with shelters at the base of the trail. A great workout!
My sister-in-law and I hiked this trail twice now. We're on our weight-loss journey and this trail kicked our butts. The first time, we made it halfway and had to stop. It get's quite steep and narrow in a few places. I discovered vertigo in a whole new way. The second time we hiked it, we were determined to make it, and we did! When we got to the top we laid down on some cold rocks and rested. The journey to the car felt like FOREVER; we have never been so happy to see our vehicle parked and waiting, cold AC waiting!
All in all the trail took us 3 hours. Plenty of rest stops! Very worth it though, when you reach the top you know you've accomplished something!
Maybe it's just me, but I have found the Ranger to be reasonably challenging, at least going up. It climbs directly up the side of the mountain, which I believe is the southernmost range in the park. At the top it joins the National trail. It is not hard to manage, and it might be the quickest and easiest way to get to National. I used to live at 15th Avenue and Dobbins, and for the longest time I studied that southern range. It's a ways from 15th Avenue and Dobbins, being about 4 miles due south. Finally getting to it one day, I traveled up and landed on National. Later on, Ranger was near the end of what I call my Death March, from June 29th, 2014. I had mapped out a route starting at my home, and then continuing up Holbert, across National, and down Ranger to back home. The route was there as I identified it, but it was far, far longer than I knew. I struck out with two little bottles of water, and in the Summer heat, quickly ran out. To make a long story short, by the end of the hike I was truly near death, and I collapsed on Ranger. I made it home anyway, and learned my lesson. Anyway, that is what I remember best of Ranger. It's a good trail which serves a good connecting purpose and I respect it.
To me, Ranger never seems like it's that busy. For an easier trail, I'd expect to see more activity. It's popular with mountain bikers for this reason so you may have to step aside. I like that Ranger dumps into 5 Tables Picnic area which is a somewhat larger parking spot. Add Los Lomitas, Kiwanis, and National to this trail for a decent loop.
Easy trail for a quick conversational walkabout
Ranger Trail is a short trail that takes you up to the National Trail in the South Mountain Preserve. It's not the most interesting trail in the South Mountain Preserve, but it'll get you up to the ridge-line in a hurry.