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New hiking trails at Buckeye’s Skyline Regional Park

Quartz Mine, Skyline Crest, and Lost Creek trails combine for a challenging hike with magnificent views.

Attention hikers: Be on the lookout for new trails in the coming weeks. The West Valley’s newest hiking destination is rolling out fresh dirt just in time for fall hiking season.

As of the end of September, Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye will have added five new trails for a total of 17 miles of non-motorized routes. Since it opened in January, the 8,700-acre mountain preserve just north of Interstate 10 has become a busy hub for hiking, riding, camping and picnics. The park also hosts stargazing events and educational programs that focus on native vegetation and animals.

The trail system offers something for everybody, from flat, easy strolls to quad-busting climbs to dizzying high points. Already on the map are the Quartz Mine, Skyline Crest, and Lost Creek trails. Tie these three routes together and you’ve got one magnificent loop hike with a short climb up Crest Summit for sweet views of the surrounding desert.

The Skyline Crest Trail is a new personal favorite because it traces a knife-edge ridgeline that offers some mild exposure, a good climb and a perpetual feast of changing scenery. With cooler weather just around the corner, these new routes are welcome additions to the growing repertoire of West Valley hiking attractions. Check the park website for news of other trail openings.

Hike directions: Begin on Quartz Mine Trail at the picnic ramada on the south side of the trailhead parking lot. Follow the Quartz Mine signs 2.6 miles to Lost Creek Trail. Turn left and hike 0.4 miles to Skyline Crest, turn left and go 1 mile to the optional 0.17-mile slog up to the summit. Then hike 0.3 miles back to Quartz Mine Trail and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

The Quartz Mine Trail at Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye has magnificent views. (Photo: Mare Czinar)

 6.14 miles.
Rating: Moderate to difficult.
Elevation: 1,400-2100 feet.
Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily.
Admission: Free.
Where: 2600 N. Watson Road, Buckeye. From Interstate 10 in Buckeye, take Watson Road (Exit 117) and go 2 miles north to the gatehouse. Turn left at the stop sign and follow the signs to the trailhead. Roads are paved and sedan-friendly dirt.

Fall programs: skylineregionalpark.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Skyline-Fall-Programs.pdf.

Details: skylineregionalpark.com/about/

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