Best East Valley Hike - 2009
Pass Mountain Trail
Like some of the exceptional backcountry hikes at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve that are eclipsed by the gravitational pull of Piestewa Peak, this phenomenal hike is often lost in the glare of Usery's popular Wind Cave Trail. But you don't always have to go up to get to the top; sometimes, as with Pass Mountain, you can go around.
The 7.4-mile loop offers a circumnavigation of its namesake peak — the one with the distinctive scar that's visible from almost anywhere in the Valley — as well as lush Sonoran flora, dazzling views of Four Peaks and the Superstitions, and a saddle link-up with the Goldfield Mountains. If you're up to it, you can freelance into the Goldfields before closing the loop on Pass Mountain.