Shaw Butte

Page Type
Arizona, United States, North America
Hiking, Mountaineering
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
2149 ft / 655 m
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Page By:
Shaw Butte
Created On: Mar 9, 2007
Last Edited On: Mar 9, 2007


Difficulty: Easy Class 1 Walk-up
Distance: 2.6 or 4 miles round-trip depending on route taken
Elevation Gain: 670 feet

Shaw Butte is a member of the Phoenix Mountain Preserves and lies directly North of North Mountain. Of all of the mountains in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve that I have climbed so far, I think I enjoyed this one the most. The views surrounding Shaw Butte are not covered with houses in every direction and the trail is not overly crowded, in addition there are great views of North Mountain, Piestewa Peak and Lookout Mountain as well as good views of downtown Phoenix.
The trail varies from an old access road that is worn down in many spots to a mildly steep, rocky trail on the backside of the peak.
Most of this climb will be exposing you to the sun, so be sure to take the proper precautions.
An interesting note to add: On your way down the backside of the mountain you can take a short detour and visit the remains of a restaurant that burnt down in the 1960's. It was called the cloud nine. The trail going down the backside can be confusing, so please use the informative pictures as well as trail description on the route page that I will be adding.

Looking towards South Mountain PreserveGreat view of South Mountain Preserve

Getting There

From Interstate 17

Take the Thunderbird Road exit (#210). Follow Thunderbird Rd. East for about 3 miles until you reach Central Avenue. Once you reach Central Ave. turn right (South) and follow it for about a quarter of a mile until you reach the trailhead parking lot.

Red Tape

Dogs must be on a leash
No Glass containers
Trail closes at sunset
Do not remove anything from the trail
Permit needed for alcohol, firearms or amplified music
No camping
I had to laugh at this one - No shopping carts

When to climb

October through April is probably the best time of year to climb, due to Summer temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. Beware if hiking in the summer of the monsoons and lightning storms.

What to bring

I would bring at least a liter of water
Good hiking shoes

Weather Conditions

Click the Satellite picture for a video loop of current weather