Second & Fourth Tuesdays

Join members and friends hike our beautiful area. All second and fourth Tuesday hikes begin at 8:30 a.m. at trailheads located within Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Hikers should wear appropriate shoes and bring plenty of water.  



January 10: Whiskey Bottle/Turpentine/Black Hills Trails
Fraesfield Trailhead (13400 E. Rio Verde Drive)
Hike along the northeastern edge of Fraesfield Mountain; then wind through the washes and basins south of Granite Mountain. The trail offers 180-degree panoramic views of the Tom’s Thumb ridgeline, Four Peaks, and the Mazatzals. Easy loop; 4.8 miles; minimal elevation gain. There is no water at this trailhead.

January 24: Brown’s Mountain Summit Trail
Brown’s Ranch Trailhead (30301 N. Alma School Road)
The Brown’s Mountain summit trail climbs along switchbacks to a scenic overlook. A short, steeper section leads to the summit at 3,253 feet offering expansive views of the North Valley. The Upper Ranch Road Trail leads back to the trailhead.  Moderate loop; 4.5 miles; 528 ft. elev. gain.

February 14: Maverick/Corral Trails
Brown’s Ranch Trailhead (30301 N. Alma School Road)
The Maverick and Corral trails venture into an area frequented by Harris’s hawks and includes a short detour to Cathedral Rock and the ruins of farm buildings and equipment. Easy loop; 5.6 miles; no significant elevation gain.

February 28: Tom’s Thumb Trail
Tom’s Thumb Trailhead
(23015 N. 128th Street)
Climb to the top of Tom’s Thumb for stunning 360-degree views of the Valley. Difficult out and back; 4.2 miles; 1000 ft. elev. gain. There is no water at this trailhead.

March 7: Gateway Loop Trail
Gateway Trailhead
(18333 N. Thompson Peak Parkway)
This signature hike within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve features beautiful wild flowers and expansive views of the South Valley. Moderate loop; 4.5 miles; 737 ft. elev. gain.

March 21: Granite Mountain Loop Trail
Granite Mountain Trailhead (31402 N. 136th Street)
Hike through dense vegetation of Palo Verde trees, Teddy Bear and Buckthorn Chollas, and a Saguaro forest with views of Four Peaks, Mt. Ord and the Mazatzal Mountains. Easy loop; 4.2 miles; 320 ft. elev. gain. There is no water at this trailhead.

April 11: Inspiration Viewpoint Trail
Gateway Trailhead (18333 N. Thompson Peak Parkway)
Climb to Inspiration Viewpoint and enjoy views of Tom’s Thumb as you relax (seating provided). Moderately difficult out and back (climb to top is strenuous); 6 miles; 1300-ft. elev. gain.

For maps of trails and trailhead locations in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve

 

Third Saturday Hikes

All third Saturday hikes begin at trailheads located within the Maricopa County Park System. Carpool from Pinnacle Chapel parking lot (RSVP to hikers@pinnaclepres.org required) or meet us at the trailhead. Please note that these are longer, more difficult hikes.  All hikers should wear appropriate shoes, bring plenty of water and pack a trail-appropriate lunch or snack.  

January 21: Elephant Mountain Trail
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
44000 N. Spur Cross Road, Cave Creek
Please note there is a $6 vehicle entry and $3 per person hiking fee payable in cash at the trailhead.  

Hike through washes to the saddle of Elephant Mountain which overlooks Indian ruins.  This 6.5-mile loop is lightly traveled with more deer than people. The hike will follow Spur Cross Trail to its intersection with Elephant Mountain Trail and return via Tortuga Trail. Please note that Elephant Mountain Trail is rated extremely difficult with an 1154-foot elevation gain. Spur Cross and Tortuga trail are both rated moderate.  
Carpool:  Departs Chapel parking lot at 8 a.m.
Spur Cross Trailhead:  Hike begins at 8:45 a.m.

Spur Cross Trail Map:  http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/assets/1/6/spur-cross-8x115.pdf

February 18: Malpais Trail
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek
Please note there is a $6 vehicle entry and $2 per person hiking fee payable in cash at the Visitor’s Center.

The Malpais Trail in the San Tan Mountains follows a wash; then climbs to a saddle with views of Picacho Peak and Goldmine Mountain. This moderately strenuous 7.8-mile hike features ragged cliffs, rocky hills, and sandy washes dotted with cacti and other desert plants.

Carpool: Departs Chapel parking lot at 7:30 a.m.
Rock Peak Wash Trailhead:  Hike begins at 8:45 a.m.

San Tan Trail Map: http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/assets/1/6/san-tan-8x112.pdf

March 18: Go John Loop Trail
Cave Creek Recreation Area
37900 E. Cave Creek Parkway, Cave Creek
Please note there is a $6 vehicle entry and $2 per person hiking fee payable in cash at trailhead.

The Go John Loop Trail begins as an easy hike through the desert; then climbs to a pass and follows a ridgeline crossing in and out of washes. There is another short climb before the trail dips into a wash that leads to the trailhead. Go John Loop Trail is a moderate 5.9-mile loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers.
Carpool: Departs Chapel parking lot at 8:00 a.m.
Go John Trailhead:  Hike begins at 8:45 a.m.

Cave Creek Trail Map: http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/assets/1/6/cave-creek-8x111.pdf

For more detailed descriptions and reviews of these hikes: http://hikearizona.com/

For more information
Please contact Christine Schild at hikers@pinnaclepres.org.