Arizona Hiking Gallery
Quartz Peak Hike
Sierra Estrella Wilderness, AZ
January 31, 2009
Gallery contains 29 photos
Gallery last updated: 2/19/2009
I had forgotten how hard this hike in the Sierra Estrella Wilderness is. The Quartz Peak Trail starts at about 1550 feet and climbs up to Quartz Peak at 4052 feet in 3 miles. The climb is on a trail that is steep and rocky, and near the top can be hard to follow. From the peak the views are wonderful especially on a clear day as on the day of this hike.
The starts off in the desert flats but will quickly head up onto a ridge.
A view of the Quartz Peak Trail as it makes its way through the rocky, saguaro-studded desert hills.
A view over the spiny desert.
Saguaro and cholla dot the hillside.
Looking back along the rocky Quartz Peak Trail as it starts to rise above the desert flats.
As we march up a hill on the Quartz Peak Trail the Teddy Bear Chollas do the same.
This is a huge mound of cholla segments piled and tucked beneath a palo verde tree. Pack rats surround their dens and burrows with the spines for protection.
Rock formation along side the trail.
Looking back down the Quartz Peak Trail to the desert valley below.
The trail pretty much follows this ridge up and up. You can just make out the trailhead behind the second peak.
The trail continues its climb up the sharp ridge.
Another view looking back down the Quartz Peak Trail.
Interesting swirling patterns in the rock.
The Quartz Peak Trail heading steeply up to a saddle.
Finally a view of Quartz Peak. There's still a lot of climbing left.
The Quartz Peak Trail climbing along the rocky ridge toward it's namesake peak.
A wonderful old Palo Verde tree clinging to the rocks alongside the trail.
Our destination, Quartz Peak, is getting closer. The steep rocky trail can be hard to follow from here, but the destination is clearly in view.
A southerly view looking back down the ridge that we have climbed with Sevenmile Mountain rising from the desert floor below.
Just below the top of Quartz Peak.
Saguaro atop Quartz Peak.
A view to the northwest along the length of the Sierra Estrella Mountains from Quartz Peak.
A view to the northeast across the Gila River Indian Reservation toward South Mountain and the City of Phoenix beyond from Quartz Peak.
Wild rock formation atop Quartz Peak.
Looking down across the desert floor to Sevenmile Mountain.
Careful, don't get too close!
A nice group of cholla glistening in the sun and overlooking the valley toward Sevenmile Mountain.
A Saguaro stands tall towering above the cholla.
All images Copyright ©2009 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.