Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
723.00 ft (220.37 m)
Trail type
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Shaw Butte is part of the Phoenix Mountains, the centrally located mountain range within the city of Phoenix. The Summit can be reached from a variety of trails with North Mountain Park.  This hike leaves from the North Mountain Visitors Center off 7th Street. This trailhead has water and restrooms for hikers to use and while there is more parking than most trailheads in the Phoenix Area, it can fill up in the winter months on busy days. 

This 4.2-mile trail leaves from the visitor’s center and right after leaving the trail signage hikers will make a right and follow this trail for 0.8 miles. This park has quite a few trails so hikers should be vigilant on what trail they are on as it is easy to take a wrong turn.  This first portion of the trail is flat and winds through the valley of the Phoenix Mountains. After 0.8 miles hikers will turn left and begin the ascent of Shaw Butte. Hikers will climb roughly 700 feet over 1.2 miles.  Hikers will be on an old road that was once used to maintain the radio towers at the summit.  While the trail becomes mostly paved there are areas where the trail is degraded and turns to gravel. Hikers can enjoy the vistas of North Mountain when views open up to the south and can also see views of northern Phoenix to the north. 

Once hikers get to the summit they can explore around the towers that are at the summit. While it means that hikers have to hike around the summit, they still can observe some incredible views of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  Once hikers have enjoyed their time at the summit they can return the way they came back to the trailhead. There are many different variations of this trail that hikers can  use to explore the Northern Portions of the Phoenix Mountains.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Great Views of Phoenix.



Trailhead Elevation

1,420.00 ft (432.82 m)

Highest point

2,090.00 ft (637.03 m)


Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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