For a limited time only, save 30% on a year of AllTrails Pro!
Get Started
Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Shaw Butte and Charles M Christiansen Loop Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(635)
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
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (635)
Photos (753)
Recordings (658)
Completed (1683)
Nae Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingRocky
View Nae's Recording
Lindsey Sayers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
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!

Nae Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingRocky
View Nae's Recording
Jamie Pereira
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingNo shade
View Jamie's Recording
Nae Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingRocky
View Nae's Recording
Westen W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 16, 2020
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!

Nae Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
Hiking

Awesome hike with awesome friends!

View Nae's Recording
Jill Naas Blackburn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 4, 2020
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.

Adam Branovits
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 22, 2020
Mountain bikingNo shadeRocky

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

View Adam's Recording
Jesse Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 11, 2020
Hiking

Fun and not too long

View Jesse's Recording
Jared Delapiedra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 10, 2020
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.

View Jared's Recording
Nick L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2020
HikingNo shade
View Nick's Recording
Nae Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 7, 2020
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. :)

View Nae's Recording
Karen Schwarz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 29, 2020
Hiking

Flowers are starting to bloom on this leap day hike with Floyd

View Karen's Recording
Laura Wildes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 10, 2020
Hiking

Good workout to the top. I took the "easier" route and went counter-clockwise. The incline to the top was harder than I expected. But once there, the views were great. I enjoyed the south part of the trail much more. It's got more of a true hiking feel as opposed to trekking up the service road on the north side. The Cloud 9 ruins were interesting since I'd never been, but not interesting enough to bring me back. All in all, it was a nice hike but not one I'd add to my rotation unless I lived closer.

Cathy Romy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 3, 2020
HikingRocky

My go-to trail. I love it! Best done clockwise

View Cathy's Recording
Nae Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 25, 2020
HikingRocky

My phone died during this recording, but my friend and I still completed the full loop! :D

View Nae's Recording
Karen Schwarz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 18, 2020
Hiking

Quick early evening hike with Floyd before Kathy arrives. Perfect weather

View Karen's Recording
Rachael Bush Middleton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 17, 2020
HikingRockyScramble
View Rachael's Recording
Karen Schwarz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 15, 2020
Hiking

Quiet hike during a Wednesday work lunch after MI visit

View Karen's Recording
Rebecca Cheatham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 11, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

never again

View Rebecca's Recording
Jason cano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2020
HikingRocky
View Jason's Recording
sue markovitch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2020
HikingRocky

Easier to follow the trail than I thought. amazing views at sunset.

Greg Mormol
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 1, 2020
Hiking

Very steep incline up to the cell towers. Lots of Little Rocks in the way down if you go counter clockwise. 93 FitBit flights of stairs. 5.3 miles. 12.3k steps. Good workout for sure.

View Greg's Recording
Showing results 1 - 24 of 635