Shaw Butte and Charles M Christiansen Loop Trail

MODERATE 358 reviews
#3 of 66 trails in

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.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 918 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no shade

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Central parking lot small. 7th St /north mountain visitor center— best option for parking. Adds a little distance but lots of parking and bathroom. Up the mountain is a decent hike/workout but overall I would not do this hike again. I usually take pictures on hikes but I barely cared to on this one. Good views, open trail and fairly trafficked w ppl.

2 months ago

Enjoyed this trail very much!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike! My wife and I are fortunate enough to live across the street from North Mountain and Shaw Butte!

Good hike for in town. Flowers are crazy right now

hiking
3 months ago

Very steep in some places. Though it was very scenic in some places and I took some very pretty photos. Also, try to go on a shady day rather than a hot day because there is little to no shade. A few parts are a bit rocky so watch your footing. I would hike this trail again.

4 months ago

One of my faves. Probably because I grew up being able to see that mountain from my front door. Very steep in places but so worth the view up at the top. Still haven't gotten to the Cloud 9 yet, but I want to.

hiking
4 months ago

One of my favorite trails, moderate, pretty views!

hiking
4 months ago

Weird paved trail on the way up and lots of people when it is cool but not a bad hike

5 months ago

Great hike. Awesome sunsets!

hiking
5 months ago

This is a perfect hike to spike the heart. The views are great...

6 months ago

Good hike. cool views. good trail

6 months ago

The hike was just OK. Trail was poorly marked and we had to refer to our GPS often to figure out where to go. It wasn’t very scenic and I didn’t feel like I had a workout. Some areas had a bit of an incline but the majority was fairly flat. I wouldn’t do this again. There are so many prettier trails to tackle.

6 months ago

Good Hike!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Did this a few days ago. Infernal rocks tried to trip me a few times but it was still a great hike. Perfect around dawn or dusk mid or late autumn otherwise you’ll face horrid temperature.

7 months ago

Good hike. Backside terrain is a little rougher and less popular.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike. Lots of people heading up to the top if you take trail 306 but if you take 100 to 306 to go up on the backside there isn’t a whole lot of people and a little more rugged terrain.

7 months ago

This is steep in initial ascent! Great views, walked with people the entire time. The trail split itself several times and was nearly impossible to follow without referencing the map. Luckily I had an older gentleman in front of me who saw me nearly veer off and helped me back to trail 100 when I was on the way out.

8 months ago

Awesome night hike!

8 months ago

Nice day hike

9 months ago

Great Trail for dogs. Always enjoyed crowd and views

hiking
9 months ago

did this trail this morning kiks my butt every time!but its a great hike!

hiking
10 months ago

The only drawback to the peaks of North Mountain Park are the towers and clusters of communication apparatus. Lots and lots of people on these trails.

11 months ago

Was a little skeptical at first because of the footing, but you get used to it. Great workout and view of the city is nice also

Friday, May 11, 2018

great workout!

hiking
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Compared to some of the other hikes in the Valley, the signage and trail markings were a bit more difficult to follow. I was very glad to be using AllTrails for additional direction. The view at the top was fine, but surrounded by cellphone towers and power lines. A definite stopping point would be the old restaurant that burned down - great views of the city and surrounding areas and neat to see the old structure. We went clockwise and it seemed counterclockwise would have been easier for the incline, but a good workout overall!

hiking
Saturday, April 21, 2018

Great hike

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

very nice this morning. nice cool

Sunday, April 08, 2018

I like this trail. great incline first 2 miles and then descending last 2 miles. Get out there early. it starts to get crowded.

hiking
Sunday, March 25, 2018

Great local hike right in Phoenix. Not the prettiest, but great views of the surrounding areas. Went clockwise as others had mentioned, definitely a calorie burn going up. Going down was then more relaxing. A solid moderate level hike. Well populated trail, but didn’t feel over crowded. Lots of dogs. Took me 2 hrs to do the full loop and I’m not in the best of shape, that also included a 15 min rest at one point on the way up to catch my breath. A hike worth doing if your in the area and need to just get away from city noise for a bit.

hiking
Monday, March 19, 2018

I did this hike clockwise and felt as though it was okay but I wish I hadn't brought my dogs. I went on a weekend and it was really crowded throughout the entirety of the hike. There were a people without leashes on their dogs that ran up to mine along with a few other owners that walked directly toward my pups even though I was clearly moving away to the side. My dogs aren't aggressive but one of them gets very nervous with other dogs so I like to keep them separated. I almost never have any issues like this and its possible that this was a one off situation but it really distracted me from enjoying the hike. The trail starts with an incline that gets the blood pumping and then the last half is a nice descend with some steep parts. The views were quite average in comparison to other nearby trails. The entire hike took me less than 2 hours going at a leisurely pace. The trailhead was easy to get to and had a large parking lot.

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