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Shaw Butte and Charles M Christiansen Loop Trail

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Phoenix Mountain Preserve

Shaw Butte and Charles M Christiansen Loop Trail is a 4.9 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.

Length 4.9 mi Elevation gain 918 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Hiking Mountain biking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Views Wild flowers Wildlife No shade
Description
Waypoints (2)
Contact

When you say "North Mountain," 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. 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.

Weather
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Reviews (604)
Photos (832)
Recordings (677)
Completed (1728)
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David Milhoan
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Hiking
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Eduardo Montemayor
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Hiking

Its ok. No shade and lots of gravel. Yet good exercise and nice view of the city.

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Jaclyn Lee
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HikingRockyScramble
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LeeAnn Hadsell
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Hiking
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Karen Schwarz
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Hiking

First hike of the 2020 COVID season 9/12/20. Still a little warm. Car says 104 at end. Yikes cuz Floyd came along.

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Craig Sullivan
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Hiking
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Ben Barnes
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Hiking

Great dog leg off to a scenic overlook

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Cathy Romy
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Hiking

Always good

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Douglas Towne
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Hiking
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Elizabeth Plata
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Hiking

This area’s trails are always rocky. Beautiful sunset and not too crowded.

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Douglas Towne
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Hiking
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Nae Spears
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HikingRocky
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Lindsey Sayers
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Hiking

Great trail-we started at the southeast part of the trail. It started very flat and then a step incline with loose rocks made some difficulty. The next section was a paved to go to the top, but still step. Fantastic hike to see an absolutely beautiful sunset. Loved it!

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Nae Spears
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HikingRocky
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Jamie Pereira
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HikingNo shade
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Peter Kim
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HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

Nice easy trail that starts flat with multiple lanes towards the Butte. The hike up the Butte is a bit steep with parts of it not paved and very rocky, however is fairly easy with multiple spots to take a quick break and enjoy the 360 view. The summit of the Butte is pretty cool with a couple of radio towers, an abandoned building, and piles of rocks with American flags. Make sure you remember the trail signage in terms of which trails you took to the Butte (there are three) as depending on where you start the trail, you may end up at a different point.

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Nae Spears
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HikingRocky
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Westen W
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Hiking

Fairly heavily trafficked trail with plenty of uphill to get that heart rate up. The parts that aren’t up or down are the equivalent to a casual stroll through the desert. It’s a nice contrast. In the springtime, it’s especially pretty, but great any time of the year for great views of the city and surrounding mountains. In the summer, hit it either around sunrise or sunset!

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Nae Spears
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Hiking

Awesome hike with awesome friends!

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Jill Naas Blackburn
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Very heavily travelled. The first hilly section was very steep but paved. The second hilly section was part paved and part rocky. The last hilly section was very rocky. There were very few flowers or wildlife. It was a nice challenge. Lots of great views of downtown Phoenix and all the mountain ranges around the city.

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Adam Branovits
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Mountain bikingNo shadeRocky

Incline too steep for mountain biking, will try to hike it next time.

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Jesse Anderson
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Hiking

Fun and not too long

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Jared Delapiedra
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Hiking

I would recommend this Trail to anyone who is looking for a decent hike with some easy parts and then some harder parts. this Trail has all great views you can take up to the mountain trail or you can just take a look around the bottom of the ravines. Dog friendly and has lots to offer for every skill level.

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Nick L
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HikingNo shade
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Nae Spears
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HikingRockyScrambleWashed out

3/7/20- Great hike at Shaw Butte today! I completed the full loop in 1:49:00. Everything was in bloom throughout the trail, and I was graced with a cool breeze. There was no need for a thermal anymore and the trail was surprisingly not crowded like it normally can be this time of year. Rocky, broken pavement, and washed out in some areas towards the end, but not enough to get lost. Overall, I enjoyed this hike and will do it again. :)

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