Quartz Ridge

Total Miles


1,082.11 ft


2 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

A 5-mile, in-and-out trail with outcrops of quartz, nice scenery, and a saguaro with 4 crests.Even when saguaro cacti grow in their normal form, they rarely grow symmetrically. Saguaros sometimes grow in odd or misshapen forms. The growing tip occasionally produces a fan-like form which is referred to as crested or cristate. Biologists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of a lightning strike or freeze damage. At this point, we simply do not know what causes this rare, crested form. The Crested Saguaro Society has documented about 3,000 and is still counting. One estimate says there is one for every 200,000 saguaros, and another says one in 75,000. They are quite rare in either case. This trail starts at Sycamore Creek and then turns up Indian Springs Canyon. The first section gains elevation as it climbs up the west slope of the canyon to a saddle with views in both directions. The trail is named Quartz Ridge because of the numerous quartz outcrops in the area. Drive up the wash in Indian Springs Canyon about a half mile to the end of the trail. There is a wide spot to take a break or eat lunch. Several areas have very thick stands of saguaro. Return the way you came.


Stay in the high, scenic country until coming to the saguaro shown in the opening photo, then drop back down into the upper reaches of Indian Springs Canyon. There are several rutted hills along the way.

Technical Rating


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