Beginning at the end of 36th St, where there is street parking, the Ruth Hamilton Trail is easy-going and gentle at first. The climb is on a packed dirt track, and the desert foliage on both sides provides a fresh, green contrast to the desert browns and golds. Many seguaras lie along this trail, and in the spring, the wildflowers are furtastic!
As you get closer to the ridge, the climbing becomes more strenuous, and rocky outcroppings provide a challenging terrain to walk over or around. This is the heart-pumping portion of the trail. The view of the surrounding area begins to appear as you near the top to find an intersection with the Quartz Ridge Trail, and features a stone bench outlook. Your views include the downtown Phoenix corridor and the Sonoran Mountains to the southwest. This is a grreat place to take a rest and a snack with your fur-baby before continuing on the trail.
From here, the trail descends quickly, with rocky outcrops on the downhill side of the ridge. Footing is treacherous as you continue downhill and until you reach the lower elevations. The rest of the trail is easier as you descend to the Piestewa Peak Trail System's parking area, where there is a restroom. Be sure to carry doggy waste bags and discard them in the waste receptacles at the trail's end. Having water on hand for you both is also a must.
The Ruth Hamilton Trail is a pawrfect way to get out in the fresh air without driving for miles with this trailhead right in the city! So grab your pupster and leash and head on over to 36th Street to start your adventure!