The main part of the trail that leads to the top is paved, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and city below.
Park in the small lot on the west side of 7th street, just south of the Pointe Hilton, for direct access to the paved trail, or continue south and turn right on Peoria into the larger parking lot. A steep rocky, trail from this lot joins the paved trail that runs from the smaller lot to the north.
We parked in the south lot and climbed the rocky trail to the main, paved trail. The hike up and back took about 30 minutes; we stopped several times for photos. The elevation at the top was 2,088 ft.; the parking lot elevation below was 1,460 ft.
Although the north parking lot is conveniently located just off 7th Street and has direct access to the paved trail, there was not much parking available. Therefore, we parked in the south lot. The problem with that that parking area is that you must hike up the steep rocky area shown below to join the paved trail that leads to the top of the mountain.
Once the paved trail is reached, the trail is very nice. Note, however, that there are no guard rails and the cliffs are steep. Watch little ones. There is also quite a steep incline, so people in wheelchairs might need assistance.
The day was cool, and the hills were unusually green. The views of downtown Phoenix, to the south (photo above), were beautiful.
Visit North Mountain Visitor's Center for more information.