The Mountains of Arizona •
Quartz Ridge • Peak 2141 • Phoenix Mountains
• Phoenix Mountains Preserve
• City of Phoenix

View of Peak 2141 as we descend off of Piestewa

Now hiking up to that pass

View of Piestewa Peak

Northeast view looking at Dixie Peak, among other hilltops. The Four Peaks are neatly framed in back

Southwest view with Phoenix and the Sierra Estrellas in back, and Woolsey Peak way in back

View of the summit cacti

As we hike out

All images

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Date: February 12, 2017 • Elevation: 2,141 feet • Prominence: 371 feet • Distance: 4.2 miles • Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes • Gain: 720 feet • Conditions: Breezy and cloudy • Teammates: Daniel Fleischmann


I teamed up today with Daniel Fleischmann, a new arrival to the Phoenix area and a long-time contributor to Summitpost whom I have "known" for over a dozen years in that forum. We chose to hike Piestewa Peak --- for him, his first ascent, and for me, my first in over a year. I also suggested we look at a secondary peak that lies immediately east of Piestewa Peak. It does not have a name, going by just its elevation.

I picked up Daniel in Scottsdale and drove us to the parking area for Piestewa Peak, luckily finding a spot immediately and not having to wait 10 minutes for a spot to open. It was crowded as usual. The day was cool with a steady breeze, and cloud cover that would range from light to heavy, with a couple gentle sprinkles thrown in. We chose to hike Piestewa Peak first.

That hike went well, taking a little over an hour. It was like I always remember it: crowded. We were good highpointers and tagged the actual summit, whereas most everyone else ascended the lower western bump and called it good. It was a good hike and a good workout. So we walked back to the picnic table and ramada near my vehicle to rest a few minutes before tackling Peak 2141.

For Peak 2141, we walked to the end of the road to where it opens into a big cul-de-sac parking lot, finding a trail at the far end. I hiked this trail once, way back when I first moved here more than twenty years ago. For some reason, I was a creature of habit when it came to Piestewa Peak. I never varied my routine, and as a result, knew little else of the surrounding trails, trailheads and other attractions tucked in these hills.

We followed this trail up a few yards behind a small hill to where it met with Trail 8B, called the Ruth hamilton Trail, which comes in from the northeast. This trail gains steeply up to a saddle north of Peak 2141, gaining about 400 feet in a half mile. There were two other people on it, far less crowded than the conga-line on Piestewa Peak trail.

From the saddle, a rougher trail leads steeply to the top, and soon, we were on the top. The one-way hike had taken a little over a half-hour, and by now, after hiking Piestewa Peak already, I was feeling a little beat. We spent a few minutes up here to snap photos and look around. The lighting was not good for photos, though, and it was breezy, so we started down not too long afterwards.

The hike down went well, but I had to be extra careful on the steep parts where the trail seemed a little gravelly. We were back to my vehicle soon, a round trip of a little over an hour and about the same mileage as what we did on Piestewa. The gain on this peak was a little over 700 feet, and the two together added to just over 1,900 vertical feet, my best effort so far in 2017.

The two hikes together had eaten up about two and a half hours of our time. I drove us back to Scottsdale so Daniel could get his car. I had an enjoyable afternoon, and I hope Daniel now appreciates our rocky desert peaks. Thanks to Daniel for emailing me and for being a strong partner on the trails.

I still feel a little foolish for being so unaware of other trailheads and trails in this park, so I have to return more often to pick off the little summits and hike the trails. They're not nearly as crowded as the main Piestewa Peak trail, which is a bonus.

I think, but am not sure, that the ridge west of the main Piestewa Peak ridge is called Quartz Ridge. If so, then Peak 2141 is contained within it. The Quartz Ridge Trail starts at 32nd Street and runs in the valley southeast of this ridge, rising up to meet the Ruth Hamilton Trail at the saddle north of Peak 2141. We were never formally on the Quartz Ridge Trail, and the little spur to the top is not an officially-maintained trail as far as the park elders are concerned.

(c) 2017 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience. World Hockey Association