Located only minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Florence Boulevard, the Casa Grande Mountain trails offer local residents several hiking options complemented with picturesque and spectacular views of the surrounding Arizona skyline.
With some 17 miles of established and marked trails of varying degrees of ease and difficulty, the Casa Grande Mountain trails system has a hike to suit all levels of fitness.
Over the years the trails have been carved out by the work of dedicated volunteers, city staff and AmeriCorps participants who have all helped and contributed to making the trails a wonderful experience for those who traverse its winding paths.
Casa Grande Mountain features a distinctive “CG” logo that can be seen for miles around. The actual peak of the mountain comes in at 2,538 feet.
The hiking trails have three tiers of ranking: easy, moderate and difficult.
City of Casa Grande Community Services Director Steve Hardesty shared a bit of history of the Casa Grande Mountain trails system with Pinal Ways.
“The trails were built over a number of years and they are called single track trails," he said. "A sidewalk has room to carry more than one person. With single trails they typically measure roughly twenty-four by thirty-six inches wide. The trails therefore are meant for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian riding, which are the three permitted uses up on the mountain."
The surrounding flora and fauna are another alluring feature of the mountain, with plenty of saguaro cactuses, palo verde trees and cholla cactuses lining the landscape around the trails. A diverse range of wildlife also reside in and around the mountain including prairie dogs, Gila monsters, rattlesnakes, coyotes, jackrabbits, roadrunners, javelina and horned toads.
The mountain’s distinctive white CG logo is situated on one of the slopes. According to Hardesty the most recent paint upgrade for the iconic symbols was undertaken several years ago by a group of Boy Scouts.
“The logo is on federal government land and the painting of it is done by volunteers as the city does not maintain that area. The last time it was painted was by a Boy Scout group. It was pretty interesting as they hauled up a bunch of paint with mules, which was probably around ten years ago,” he said.
To gain access to the trailheads, visitors have two options to choose from.
The Peart Trailhead is located at 1086 S. Peart Road. Only minutes away from downtown Casa Grande, the trailhead is relatively easy to locate and access. Simply following Peart Road to its end after crossing Jimmie Kerr Boulevard and taking a slight left turn onto the first unpaved road leads you to a convenient parking lot. There is ample room to park a horse trailer, Jeep or pickup truck.
An information kiosk at the site provides detailed maps and mountain information. There are also park benches for those seeking to relax and simply enjoy a picnic.
The Arica Trailhead, located at 2090 E. Arica Road, can be accessed from Interstate 10 in Casa Grande by taking Sunland Gin Road off exit 200. Continuing on to Arica Road, just past the Love's truck stop and making a right leads to the trailhead after a little over a mile. The road is unpaved near the beginning of the trailhead but is accessible by passenger vehicles.
But one thing for potential hikers to keep in mind is that there are no water facilities at the trailheads. Hikers are encouraged to carry ample water, particularly during the hottest times of the day.
Hardesty urges all hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders to exercise caution, be alert for the rare rattlesnake spotting and to stay on the appointed trails to ensure everybody has a safe and enjoyable experience.
“Typically rattlesnakes will not get on the trail because the trail is a prepared surface. It is very firm and free of rocks and debris. The snakes are typically off trail. We always encourage people to stay on the trail and keep their eyes in front of them. Usually people do not encounter any troubles.”
Use of the trailheads is free and they are open 365 days a year, from dawn to dusk. Users are asked to be mindful and respectful of private property and federal land areas.
For further information or to access trail maps visit: https://casagrandeaz.gov/parks/.