This route will take you around the outside perimeter of the park. You'll run portions of nearly every trail and get a glimpse of the wide variety of terrain the park has to offer.
There is no drinkable water at the park so you'll need to bring your own.
Be careful of your footing as the terrain can be uneven, rocky and full of loose gravel in some spots.
This trail is within the Skyline Regional Park and begins at the parking area near the camp sites. The parking lots can fill up quickly on weekends when the weather is nice so you may want to arrive early to get a spot. The parking area also has some shelters, picnic tables and restrooms; however, drinking water is not available in the park so plan accordingly.
Finding your way around the circumference will be easy to navigate if you simply turn left at every trail intersection until you get to Quartz Mine
. Begin the run by crossing the bridge and turning left at Mountain Wash
Trail. Continue left at Granite Falls
and on to Chuckwalla
. This portion is fairly remote and relatively flat, with a few ups and downs in and out of creek beds. The trail is well-maintained with few obstacles.
Reconnecting with Granite Falls
and then on to Turnbuckle
(keep to the left at both intersections) takes you up a steady incline that ascends 400 feet in half a mile. At the crest, you can either continue down the switchbacks on the other side or turn right at Valley Vista Trail
for some outstanding views from the summit and return to Turnbuckle
to resume the loop.
intersects with Mountain Wash
(keep to the left) and descends the mountain to the bottom of the valley where it meets Lost Creek
(again, left). This trail ascends 300 feet where it passes Skyline Crest
and makes its way down to Quartz Mine
. At this intersection you'll want to turn right onto Quartz Mine
(lest you exit the park to Verado’s Lost Creek
) and follow this trail all the way back to the parking area. Quartz Mine
is a fairly level trail that weaves its way around the mountain. Several areas along the way contain some interesting deposits of quartzite, clearly the reason for the name of the trail.
Overall, circling the entire park is a fun and interesting way to explore the south side of the White Tank Mountains and take in some beautiful desert scenery.
A variety of desert plants and cacti are plentiful. Watch for mule deer, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and rattle snakes.