Shadow Mountain (Circumference Trail and Summit Trail)

Shadow mountain trails
Shadow mountain trails
Shadow mountain trails
Shadow mountain trails
map: Shadow mountain trails
Elevation plot: Shadow mountain trails


How to Get There
This hike is located Phoenix, AZ.

In the Phoenix area, take state HWY-51 North to the Greenway Road exit. Turn left after taking the exit and head West. Where Greenway Parkway splits from Greenway Road, turn left onto Greenway road. Then make a quick left turn onto 27th Street. Take this street until you reach East Acoma drive and make a right. The trailhead signed for Phoenix Mountains Preserve is on the left within a neighborhood. Please be respectful to the homeowners here so we can continue to enjoy access to this area from this trailhead. There is a water fountain about 100 yards up the trail.
Phoenix Area and Central Arizona

Hike details

2.50 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
We hiked a total of 2.5 miles, including both the summit and the lollypop loop around the circumference of the area.
1.00 [Hours]
All told, we hiked this in just under an hour.
Elevation Change
600 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
For the Summit you'll hike about 400 ft up. The rest of the trail is up and down but you'll average an additional 200 ft of climbing.
Hike Trail Type
Lollypop Loop


Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • November
  • December
Worst Season
  • July
  • August
Date Hike completed
February 19, 2012


Solitude Details
Pretty good. We only had to share the trail with three other hikers (with their furry dog friends).


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
This is a pretty easy hike conveniently located in the heart of the Phoenix area.


Be Aware of
A lot of route finding

Hiking up Shadow Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona.

Shadow Mountain is part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. This area in particular has trails, both official and unofficial, crisscrossing the area. The nice thing about this is that your options can be as creative as you like. Short hike or longer hike, you can pick whichever you prefer. On this day, we wanted to climb to the top of the highest point of Shadow Mountain. But this didn't take very long, so we decided to follow this up with a hike around the circumference of the area.

From the small residential parking area, follow the clear trail towards Shadow Mountain. After about 100 yards, you'll reach a water fountain and a small water trough. There are many trails that start to criss cross the area, so there will be a good bit of route finding here. We headed generally towards the knobby mountain peak in front of us. The clearer trail headed right, so we followed it. As spur trails forked off towards the top of the peak, we would follow those until we reached (by some scrambling at times) the peak of Shadow Mountain. There are good views here of Lookout mountain nearby to the West and Piestewa peak to the South. We still had plenty of energy, so we followed other spur trails downwards (steeply at times) until we reached the clear trail that circles the Shadow Mountain area. Sometimes the trail is very strong and sometimes it is more faint, but there was always a trail to follow. We circled back to the parking area after about an hour of hiking.



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