The Penny Howe Trail is visible on the North Mountain trail guide as Trail 40 at the trailhead location on 7th Street north of Cave Creek Road.
While the summit trail has put this area on the map, the preserve areas around the peak offer great family hiking options free of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on the summit. The trails in the vicinity of Piestewa Peak offer gradual elevation, restrooms, and drinking water nearby.
Trail 304, Nature Trail - This 1.52 mile trail has a gradual elevation change of 180 feet during the course of the hike. Paved parking, restrooms and drinking water are nearby. A special feature, most noticeable if you are walking the trail clockwise, is a large meteor-looking rock to the right of the trail, at the very north end of the trail loop. This trail also has several interpretive signs for vegetation along its length. The trailhead is located at the Apache picnic area at the end of the entrance road in Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area. Paved parking, drinking water and restrooms are available.
You can find the Nature Trail near the Phoenix Mountains Park trailhead on the Piestewa Peak-area trail guide. The Park is located on Squaw Peak Drive.
With relatively flat terrain and smooth trails, Papago Park is a perfect place for family hikes. Details on hikes and parking are available on the Papago Park Trail Guide.
Trails on the west side of Galvin Parkway The parking lot located on the western end of Papago Park Drive has a drinking fountain, bike rack and picnic ramada with a few tables (not reservable). There are no restroom facilities on the west side of the park.
West Park Accessible Trail
Length: about 1.2 miles
Elevation gain: minimal
Difficulty: easy. Located on what used to be West Park Drive, the second half of the trail becomes more difficult for wheelchair users with a few slopes that exceed 5 percent grade. The trailhead is located on the Papago Park Road – head west on the road from Galvin Parkway just north of Van Buren Street. (Heading east on Papago Park Road off of Galvin Parkway leads to the main park entrance). This is an asphalt surface that follows accessible guidelines for the first .6 of a mile. There are three benches along the way and this first part of the trail goes near Eliot ramada. The second part of this trail has the same surface but has a few slopes that exceed 5%.
West Park Loop Trail
Length: 4 miles
Elevation gain: minimal, about 50 feet
Difficulty: Easy This trail begins from the parking lot on the west side of Galvin Parkway. To the east of the parking lot is a single track, dirt trail that heads north towards the big buttes. It continues counterclockwise around the big butte and heads south around the smaller butte. It continues west around the golf course eventually leading back to the parking lot. This is an easy trail for hikers and mountain bikers.
Trails on the east side of Galvin Parkway (Papago Park)
This is the main part of the park. There are restrooms, drinking fountains, picnic ramadas, and fishing ponds.
Papago Park Nature Trail
Length: ¼ of a mile
Elevation gain: none
This trail begins at the ranger office (follow the signs from the park entrance. This easy trail features interpretive signs that describe Sonoran Desert plants and animals.
Length: Very short, about 1/10 of a mile.
Elevation gain: about 200 feet
This very short trail leads to a very popular landmark with some very good views. Even though this trail is very short it gains all of its elevation in a very short distance.