Shaw Butte and Charles M Christiansen Loop Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
When you say "North Mountain," I think most Arizonans know where it is or can find it. When you say "Shaw Butte," it seems like you get a lot more questioning glances and "huh?". Shaw Butte is the other side of the preserve and what a trail it is. There are 3 interesting landmarks on this trail, 2 radio towers and an old burned down restaurant, all of which are fun to check out. Despite not a ton of people knowing the name, this is a very popular trail and a good place to get a nice challenge in. Take the access road up and down a few times and you'll get your workout in for the day! Additional parking is off of Central and Thunderbird. The Trail 306 starts uphill and stays that way pretty much till the towers, with just a few flat spots to give you a break. You can walk around the towers for some nice views of the city. Once you pass the towers and continue around the loop you come to an old restaurant that has been burned down for 40 years. Take some time to look up the old Cloud 9 Restaurant and relive some history. Continuing down the switchbacks the backside of the mountain is nice and flat and easy going. You will probably pass a mountain biker or two at some point down here. You also get on part of the Trail 100 that runs through several of the mountains in the area. Also, dog friendly.
Pretty rocky and rough, but a great workout. There is a whole network of trails. Gets pretty popular during peak hiking hours. Lots of dogs. People don't always clean up after them which can be frustrating
great hike for close to home workout
Nice loop with elevation changes.
Very difficult if you are not used to hiking. We went clockwise and hit a lot of hills. If we went counterclockwise, there would be one really steep hill (over 1 mile) and then all downhill - our mistake. It was a great workout and the trail is definitely longer than 4.7 miles.
The hike around is probably longer that 4.9. I went most of the way to the top of the butte and turned around because the sun was setting and that was 2.9 out. The second half is a kind of strenuous hike but it was a great hike with a nice view of the city!
Start from visitors center on 7th and take 100/306 clockwise. Nice mile or so warm up to a fairly steep climb to old road, past foundation on right and onward up to towers. Have not taken the boondoggle up to the west towers. Fairly easy walk down from the towers to visitors center. Just have to follow the tags on the posts that point to visitors center. I logged about 4.6 miles and 650 feet of vertical. Frankly this is a good hike for a 63 year old slightly heavy dude. Nice warm up, good cardio and easy on the knees return. Done this one several times!
This trail is quite a grind not going to lie, but it's super fun and great workout. Shale rock makes it a challenging climb.