Intermediate Hike on Gateway Loop in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The trailhead is on the east side of Thompson Peak Parkway, about ¼ mile north of Bell Road in Scottsdale. For Google Maps purposes, use 18333 Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale.

We'll meet near the restrooms at the Gateway entrance to Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

The hiking pace will be at a moderate rate, not a fast fitness pace. All the trails and intersections in McDowell Sonoran Preserve are well-marked. This trail would be described as a ‘lolipop’, and can be hiked in either direction. The climb is about 800 feet to the saddle, then back down again at moderate inclines. The trail can be rocky in places.

Trail Length: Gateway Loop 4.4 miles
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 800 feet total
Difficulty: Moderate
Facilities: Restrooms, water

Rattlesnakes (in hotter weather), and other critters are prevalent in this area and are capable of defending themselves. Please pay careful attention to the ground in front of you and to where you place your feet and hands.

You will be responsible for your own safety and equipment.

Equipment: at least 2 liters water, sturdy hiking shoes, boots or trail runners (loose gravel, do not wear tennis shoes) first aid kit. In hotter weather bring a bandanna or neck wrap, ice pack, hat and sunscreen.

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