In the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, at the 40th Street trailhead, is where you will find the L.V. Yates trail. This 3 mile hike that ends along the Two Bit Peak, is a surprisingly good little hiking adventure, with a little bit of scrambling and a great view.
It begins simple enough, as a straight path laid out before you, heading right towards the base of the Phoenix Mountains. Within a few minutes, you will pass across the #100 Charles M. Christiansen Memorial Trail, and continue straight ahead. (There are no trail markers along this section but as long as you continue straight, you’ll be on the right trail.)
As the route gradually inclines up, the dirt path transforms under your hiking shoes to ashy grey rocks. These trampled, worn out rocks, are loosely sprinkled along the trail creating an unbalanced sensation on your feet. At times, while you pull your leg forward an unloose rock may come forward with your foot as well. For this reason, I would suggest wearing a good set of hiking shoes.
These rocks lead towards a steeper path, while curving around the mountain like a snake winding up it. Every new turn, feels refreshing and exciting as the temperature becomes cooler and the wind breezes through your hair.
At times, the trail will become narrow, just allowing one hiker at a time and other times will be wider.
Before approaching the saddle area of this trail, there will be a section of the trail where light scrambling is required. It is not a far distance, just a piece of the jagged mountain stone, slanting up towards the peak. While grooves are cut into this rock for hand/foot placements, it may require just a few moments, of figuring out where to place your feet as you get up this slanted rock portion.
Once at the saddle area, you will see the peak not far above you on the left. As you make the final approach to the peak, get ready for a great 360 degree view of the Phoenix neighborhoods, and the outstretch vastness of the Phoenix Mountains.
Upon the top, it feels like straddling the invisible line between city and desert wilderness.
While heading towards this peak may be a bit difficult, it’s well worth the solitude and open space found upon the top.