Deem Hills Trail Descriptions



Parks and Recreation Services Update44Parks and Recreation Services Update<div class="ExternalClassF4C339E2F6614BDCBBABE70657A06CB7"><p>City of Phoenix recreation facilities are <strong>open</strong>​​. That includes all community and recreation centers, parks, trails, sports complexes, golf courses and <a href="/pgm">Pueblo Grande Museum</a>.<br></p><p>Indoor facilities are operating at limited capacity and indoor sports leagues are paused.<br></p><p>Additionally, the City of Phoenix is following CDC guidelines and are requiring a mask or face covering when inside city facilities, regardless of vaccination status.​ <span style="color:#efefef;">#homepage #allpks​</span>​</p><p><span style="color:#efefef;"><a href="/newsroom/parks-and-recreation/1068" target="_blank" style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Learn more about Parks and Recreation impacted services</a>​</span></p></div>9/1/2021 7:00:00 AM12/31/2021 7:00:00 AM



"Take a Hike. Do it Right." Hiking Safety Message3"Take a Hike. Do it Right." Hiking Safety Message<div class="ExternalClass0B12337F359B4FDC8525C8706510E9B5"><p><span style="font-size:19px;font-weight:700;box-sizing:border-box;color:#ff0000;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Effective July 16 to September 30, 2021:</span> Use of trails on Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak will be restricted when the National Weather Service issues an Excessive Heat Watch or Warning. <a href="/newsroom/parks-and-recreation/1987">(Learn more about this pilot program.)</a>​​</span><span style="font-family:hind, "open sans", sans-serif;font-size:19px;font-weight:700;background-color:#ffffff;color:#ff0000;"> </span><br></p><p>City of Phoenix Park Rangers educate trail users to follow important <a href="/parkssite/Documents/PKS_NRD/Take%20a%20Hike%20-%20Do%20it%20Right.pdf" target="_blank">"Take a Hike. Do it Right."</a> safety guidelines.​ Regardless of the weather or time of year, always hydrate before, during and after a hike.​ </p><p>During Arizona's warm weather months, Phoenix Park Rangers and the Phoenix Fire Department recommend hiking during the early morning or evening hours when it is cooler and there is more shade.<br></p><p>Trail users are encouraged to take advantage of extended summer hours at <a href="/parks/trails/locations/north-mountain">North Mountain Park</a> and <a href="/parks/trails/locations/piestewa-peak">Piestewa Peak Trailhead</a> in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, and <a href="/parks/trails/locations/south-mountain">Pima Canyon Trailhead​</a> in South Mountain Park/Preserve. Parking lot entrances are open until 9 p.m. at those locations from June 1 to September 30, 2021. <a href="/newsroom/parks-and-recreation/1929">Read more about extended summer hours at city trailheads​</a>.​</p><p>Monitor the <a href="" target="_blank">local forecast</a> and understand that all<a href="/parkssite/Documents/PKS_NRD/Trail%20Rating%20Guide.pdf" target="_blank"> trail difficulty ratings</a> are raised one level when the temperature is 100 degrees or warmer. <span style="color:#f2f2f2;">#hikeright​</span></p><p>Dogs are prohibited on all City of Phoenix hiking trails when the temperature is 100 degrees or warmer. <a href="" target="_blank">Learn how to keep pets safe during warm weather months</a>.</p><p>​The <a href="/newsroom/parks-and-recreation/1858" target="_blank">annual ban of open fires in Phoenix's desert parks and mountain preserves​</a> went into effect May 1, 2021.​</p></div>4/18/2020 7:00:00 AM1/1/2022 7:00:00 AM




​Trail Descriptions


Deem Hills Park (West Trailhead)

26606 N. Deem Hills Pkwy.
Parking & Entrance Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Trail Hours: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Deem Hills Circumference Trail -Moderate

Difficulty:  Moderate

Access:  Start from the Deem Hills Park to proceed to Deem Hills Circumference Trail.

Description:  The Deem Hills Circumference trail traverses the entire recreation area and commands excellent views of the Phoenix area, the Hedgepeth Hills to the south, and the Hieroglyphic and Bradshaw Mountains to the north.

Taking the Circumference trail will take you around the entire Deem Hills system, but not in the normal way. For instance, on the north side, the Circumference trail cuts into the mountain instead of going around it, taking you into a small valley. For 5.7 miles, you will go through flat sections to steep and rocky sections. You will have fantastic views of the CAP canal to the north and the surrounding mountains. To the south and west, you will see Phoenix surrounding the lower flanks of the hills. And to the east, you will see the McDowell Mountain range.

Distance:  5.7 miles

Elevation Change:  306 feet

Deem Hills Ridgeline Trail  - Difficult

Difficulty:  Difficult

Access:  Start from the Deem Hills Park to connect to Deem Hills Circumference Trail. From Deem Hills Circumference Trail, proceed to Deem Hills Ridgeline Trail. 

Description:  As it's name suggests, the Ridgeline Trail will take you to the highest parts of Deem Hills in between the .50 and .79 trail posts at 2,050 ft. From the trail you will have incredible views all around. 

The Ridgeline trail is the most challenging trail in the park with an elevation gain of 353 ft and several steep switchbacks.  It has excellent views all around including a great view of Ludden Mountain to the west. The highest point is 2,050 ft.  This is where to go for some great panoramic pictures and a workout.  You can connect with the Circumference Trail at both the beginning and the end of Ridgeline.

Distance:  1.5 miles

Elevation Change:  353 feet

East Trailhead

27428 N. 39th Ave.
Parking & Entrance Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Trail Hours: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Basalt Trail - moderate

Difficulty: Moderate

Access:  Start from East Trailhead to connect to Deem Hills Circumference Trail going north. Turn left off of Deem Hills Circumference Trail onto Watertower Road. Turn left off of Watertower Road to connect to Palisade Trail. From Palisade Trail, proceed to Basalt Trail. 

Description:  Basalt trail is an important connector in the Deem Hills interior section. You can use it to connect with both east and west sides of the Circumference trail, Ridgeline trail and Palisade.  It is short and very rocky at the beginning.  Basalt trail also shares .1 mile of the same trail tread as Palisade. 

The Basalt trail was named for the amount of Basalt Rock that is visible from the trail.  At any point along the trail, one can turn and look to see huge boulders of basalt rock that formed millions of years ago.

Distance:  0.6 miles

Elevation Change:  158 feet

CAP Road Trail - easy

Difficulty:  Easy

Access:  Start from East Trailhead to connect to Deem Hills Circumference Trail. From Deem Hills Circumference Trail, proceed to  CAP Road Trail.

Description:  The CAP Road trail is named after it's proximity to the CAP canal just to it's north. The canal is 336 miles long but the trail runs parallel to it for 1.6 miles of it. 

CAP road trail is unmarked and follows the service road on the east side.  On the west side, it veers right and follows the chain link fence heading west.  It is the closest trail to the canal.

Distance:  1.6 miles

Elevation Change:  104 feet

Palisade Trail  -  moderate 

Difficulty:  Moderate

Access:  Start from East Trailhead to connect to Deem Hills Circumference Trail going north. Turn left off of Deem Hills Circumference Trail onto Watertower Road. Turn left off of Watertower Road to proceed to Palisade Trail.

Description:  Palisade Trail can be one of the quietest trails at Deem Hills as it takes some work to get to.  But once there, you often have 360 panoramic views of the city and the mountains to the east, north and west. 

Palisade Trail can be accessed from the Water Tank Road to the east and the Circumference Tail in two areas, both north and east. It is a good trail for  running, as you can start out at the Water Tower Trail, connect to Palisade and come back the same way. Often you will forget you are in Phoenix on this trail as it can feel remote.  The Palisade also has two additional connectors to the Circumference Trail on the east side to make additional loops. The Palisade trail also shares .1 mile of the same trail tread as Basalt between the .45 and .55 section which is extremely rocky.

Distance:  1.5 miles

Elevation Change:  395 feet

Experience the Trail: 

Video Fly Over of Palisade Trail   360° Panoramic View of the Palisade Trail Summit

Water Tank Road  -  moderate

Difficulty:  Moderate

Access:  Start from East Trailhead to connect to Deem Hills Circumference Trail going north. Turn left off of Deem Hills Circumference Trail to proceed to WaterTower Road. 

Description: The Water Tank Road is the shortest trail and is the asphalt road that bisects Circumference Trail on the northeast side and provides access to Palisade Trail at the .2 mark.  It is popular with runners and people bringing their pets. There are great views of the Bradshaw Mountains to the north as well.  Just remember to yield to vehicles as this is a service road that is used often. 

The Water Tank Road is an active road, so always be cautious when using. During it's 0.4 miles you will have fantastic views to the north and northeast as you use it as an out and back trail or connect to Palisade Trail.

Distance:  0.4 miles

Elevation Change:  200 feet


Take a hike, do it right logo

Review "Take a Hike. Do it Right." guidelines before visiting the trail.  The symbol to the right of each trail name represents the difficulty rating.

Trail rating guide

*Add an additional level of difficulty when the temperature is in the triple digits.