Trail itself is a decent fitness run, but I always take the bolt trail up (it comes off the left side of the road after the first wash). Follow the spine of the mountain all the way to the flag. Definitely not easy, but not the most difficult either. It's local for me, so I try to do this one at least once a week.
mallory g. on Casa Grande Mountain Radio Tower Tr...
I do this hike a lot. it's too easy for me now
A decent hike. You go up a jeep trail to a radio tower, where everyone else we saw turned back. It would have been boring if we had not chosen, once we got to the tower, to hike along the ridge, passing through a veritable forest of teddy bear cholla, to the true peak, which we espied from a distance with a flag on top of it flying in the wind from a flagpole. There we found the most tattered American flag we had ever seen and a cache (possibly a geocache) of tins containing guest books signed in Spanish and English. Glad we decided to go all the way to the peak. (Someone should replace that flag.)
This is a relatively easy hike, though the climb to the radio towers is very steep. It's also paved for a little over half of the ascent. If you go past the complex of radio and cell towers at the top of the paved section you can hit the ridge trail and it's a little less than half a mile south along the ridges to the highest point. Short and sweet, but you get pretty good views of Casa Grande, surrounding area, and mountains all around.
The trail seems longer than 7 miles RT. One of my mapping apps said it was 9 while another said 7.5 When we finished. Not sure why the difference but we did this hike New Year's Eve day in 2015 and the nearly 3000 feet of elevation gain was a lot--most of it at the end. It takes a long time to drive to the trailhead--Google Maps is not lying! No bikes or dogs allowed. This is wilderness. Best views are on the slopes on the way up. The views on top are not nearly so good.
Firstly, getting out to the trailhead was much rather difficult. Depending on the recent weather you will need a 4x4 and even a vehicle with a lift. Off the interstate it's another hours worth of driving and hoping you're not missing your trail. Once we got to the trailhead, we were pleasantly surprised with the scenery. The hike is surrounded with desert landscaping, similar to a botanic garden. Hike is moderately difficult. Round trip took us six hours, but we're not experienced hikers(cardio is not my forte). I would say give yourself 4-8 hours depending on your speed and breaks. Not particularly recommended in the summer, we hiked it the end of July and started at 8am. If you're going to hike in the summer, I would suggest starting at sunrise, being at the trailhead at sunrise, so you won't get stuck hiking down at prime time with the sun beating down. BRING PLENTY OF WATER. There is not much traffic in this area whatsoever. Luckily we had no troubles with smugglers or even border patrol. Please still continue to be cautious. Probably first and last time hiking Table Top but it was a surprisingly decent time!
We were glad that it wasn't any hotter than it was (mid 80's). We marked the trail as moderate, although carrying our 30lb toddler made it more demanding for us. This is our first hike of the year and were doing our share of huffing and puffing. There is hardly any shade and we recommend taking a good amount of water. Our dog ran off the trail and had to have cactus needles pulled out of his feet. :( It appeared that a lot of people use the hill climb as part of their fitness regime in the evening.
BEWARE!! Cautionary signs posted re smuggling & illegal immigration. We got a bad "feeling" so we turned around. My husband spoke with a Border Patrol Officer who stated it was the best thing to not hike in that area. Advise others to stay in the State parks for adventure. Unless you can legally carry a weapon for protection. It's just worth the risk we thought.