Calderwood Butte Trail in Peoria.

Calderwood Butte Trail- A Hidden Gem In Peoria

The Calderwood Butte Trail is a short hike with surprisingly good views that require little effort. The trail creates a loop through the Calderwood Butte Preserve and sits smackdab in the middle of Peoria neighborhoods. It is the perfect trail for families, dogs, and beginner hikers or Arizona visitors.

You can hop on the trail from three different points but most visitors who don’t live in the surrounding homes will park and embark from the small parking lot off 99th Ave. Calderwood Butte is frequented by locals but the parking lot is small which means you probably won’t see more than a handful of other parties during your outing.

If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and maybe some mountain views, Calderwood Butte should not be overlooked!

Please don’t forget to Leave No Trace and be respectful of the people that live in the area. These are their private homes. Respect closure hours and pick up after yourself and your dog. Happy adventuring!

Calderwood Butte Trail Stats

Hiking Distance | 1.4 miles RT
Difficulty | Easy
Elevation Gain | 278 feet
Open Hours | Sunrise to sunset.
Permits | None
Parking | 27180 N 99th Ave, Peoria, AZ
Dog Friendly | Yes, leashed.

Calderwood Butte map.
Calderwood Butte Trail map.

Hiking Calderwood Butte Trail

At the parking lot there is an official sign which marks the beginning of Calderwood Butte Trail. Pass the sign and you’ll immediately hike up a little elevation through a series of small switchbacks. The trail is your typical desert rocky trail, so if you need hiking poles for balance or to relieve joint pains I suggest taking them with on this one. Also if your dog is new to hiking on loose and sharp rocks I suggest bringing dog boots to prevent paw injuries!

The initial elevation isn’t enough to tire you out but may get your heart rate up a bit. To your left you’ll be able to see the sprawling neighborhoods, distant Phoenix Mountain ranges, and maybe even someone’s backyard. One you climb a little higher you’ll be accompanied by Saguaros towering above you, and from here the scenic views begin.

Calderwood Butte Trailhead.
Sign marking the beginning of the trail.
Hiking along Calderwood Butte Trail.
The butte you will hike up, over, and around.

With loop hikes the big question is always which way to hike the trail. By nature I typically hike clockwise but it was so easy to miss the fork in the trail on this one so I ended up hiking counter-clockwise. I actually think I prefer it this way especially if you are hiking for sunset.

Heading counter-clockwise you’ll descend a little elevation and find yourself on north-east side of the preserve. There are some new neighborhoods going up in this area which means- yay more yards to look down into!

Once you skirt around to the north-west side, though, the views get even better, especially at sunset. You can see all the way out to the White Tank Mountains and watch as the sun disappears behind them (pictured below).

Looking west towards the White Tanks.
Sunset along Calderwood Butte Trail.
My favorite view along this trail.

As you complete the loop and merge back to the out and back stretch of the trail, you get a great view of your route ahead. This was probably my favorite view of the entire trail (pictured above)! Pretty impressive for a little 1.4 mile hike if I say so.

If you really pay attention you can probably figure out how to stay on the correct trail, but there are other intersecting trails that can make it confusing. I was really glad that I had my GPS app with me just for peace of mind.

It is always a good idea to have a GPS system with you, no matter the length or difficulty of trail. I use Gaia GPS on my phone and utilize their different map layers depending on my needs. I like to track myself along every hike that I do for safety reasons but also so I can share with you!

You can download any of my tracked hikes from my GPX files library and import them into your own device, including Calderwood Butte Trail!

Final Thoughts On Calderwood Butte Trail

It was early evening one Saturday and I was just itching to get out of the house. I worked most of the day because I had work to catch up on but craved sunshine and mountains the entire time. A quick search and I found Calderwood Butte not too far away, so I packed Monty and I up to jaunt on over and try it out for sunset.

To my surprise this little trail was scenic and a little bit of fun. While it is short in length it has some changes in elevation that keep it interesting. The views weren’t bad either!

Monty and I took our time hiking around Calderwood Butte Preserve, catching the colors in the sky as the sun went down over the White Tank Mountains in the west. We made it back to the car just before darkness hit, respecting the preserve’s hours.

Overall it was exactly what I needed and I have a feeling we just may end up frequenting this area when a quick escape from reality is needed.

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I’d love to hear from you!

Do you live nearby and plan on hiking Calderwood Butte Trail, or have you hiked it before? Share in the comments below.

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