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.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 1
The starts off in the desert flats but will quickly head up onto a ridge.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 2
A view of the Quartz Peak Trail as it makes its way through the rocky, saguaro-studded desert hills.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 3
A view over the spiny desert.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 4
Saguaro and cholla dot the hillside.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 5
Looking back along the rocky Quartz Peak Trail as it starts to rise above the desert flats.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 6


Quartz Peak Hike: Image 7
As we march up a hill on the Quartz Peak Trail the Teddy Bear Chollas do the same.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 8
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.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 9
Rock formation along side the trail.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 10
Looking back down the Quartz Peak Trail to the desert valley below.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 11
The trail pretty much follows this ridge up and up. You can just make out the trailhead behind the second peak.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 12
The trail continues its climb up the sharp ridge.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 13
Another view looking back down the Quartz Peak Trail.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 14
Interesting swirling patterns in the rock.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 15
The Quartz Peak Trail heading steeply up to a saddle.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 16
Finally a view of Quartz Peak. There's still a lot of climbing left.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 17
The Quartz Peak Trail climbing along the rocky ridge toward it's namesake peak.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 18
A wonderful old Palo Verde tree clinging to the rocks alongside the trail.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 19
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.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 20
A southerly view looking back down the ridge that we have climbed with Sevenmile Mountain rising from the desert floor below.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 21
Just below the top of Quartz Peak.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 22
Saguaro atop Quartz Peak.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 23
A view to the northwest along the length of the Sierra Estrella Mountains from Quartz Peak.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 24
A view to the northeast across the Gila River Indian Reservation toward South Mountain and the City of Phoenix beyond from Quartz Peak.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 25
Wild rock formation atop Quartz Peak.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 26
Looking down across the desert floor to Sevenmile Mountain.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 27
Careful, don't get too close!

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 28
A nice group of cholla glistening in the sun and overlooking the valley toward Sevenmile Mountain.

Quartz Peak Hike: Image 29
A Saguaro stands tall towering above the cholla.

All images Copyright ©2009 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.