Usery Mountain Park is one in the fine group of Maricopa County parks that surround the Phoenix metro area. There are some very spectacular hikes in this park that require a high level of endurance, such as the Wind Cave Trail and the Pass Mountain Loop. For those who want to explore the fine desert scenery of Usery Mountain Park on a short hike without a lot of climbing, the Cat Peaks Loop is a great choice. Like most of the trails at this park, the Cat Peaks Loop is actually located in the adjoining Tonto National Forest.
This hike starts at the large parking lot of the trailhead staging area. Taking the trailhead for Pass Mountain, head due east on this trail for 0.6 miles, passing the National Forest boundary, to the Cat Peaks Trail junction is on the right. The larger Cat Peak is directly ahead, and the trail splits to either side of it. This trail system is a figure eight, with the main loop being a large oval around both peaks. Crossing between the peaks is the short Cats Pass cutoff over the saddle between the hills.
The landscape of this hike is a beautiful example of the Colorado desert with saguaro, cholla and hedgehog cactus. The view from the saddle is panoramic, with the Superstition Mountains dominating the eastern horizon.