8:30am is the start time from the trailhead; 8:00am is the carpool time
The goal for this hike is Sunrise Peak at an elevation of 3,069 feet. We will approach it from the west, starting at Lost Dog Trailhead. There is an approach from the east from another trailhead, but that trail is shorter and steeper. We will save that for another time.
This hike has more elevation change than our first hike from Lost Dog Trailhead on October 6. Not everyone will go to the peak. If you are not a peak-bagger, that is, if you are not training to ascend tall mountains, there is the perfect alternative. We can hang out at our old friend from many summer hikes, the Hitching Post. It is a real hitching post. By the time you get to it, you will have done most of the distance, but you can hang out and watch the peak-baggers go on up to the peak.
Of course, if you are a peak bagger, and we know who you are, we will cheer you on as you scamper the last ¼-mile or so to the top, from which on a clear day, the views are pretty spectacular.
This hike is rated as Moderate to Difficult. Most hikers can do the trail to the Hitching Post. It is an uphill climb, but it can be done with occasional rest breaks as needed. The last little section to the peak is steep and the trail can be slippery. It is this last section that earns the Difficult rating.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve website is located here. (http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve/)
Rating: Moderate to Difficult.
Trail type: Out and back.
Estimated distance: ~5.2 miles round-trip to hitching post; ~6.0 miles to the peak and back.
Estimated hiking time: ~3.0 – 4.0 hours including the drive.
Lowest elevation: ~1,749 feet.
Highest elevation: ~2,849 feet at hitching post; ~3,069 feet at the peak.
Change in elevation: ~1,200 feet to the hitching post; ~200 feet more for the peak.
What to bring: plenty of water and/or sports drinks, snacks, a hat and clothing suitable for hiking in the desert. Sturdy shoes or boots are recommended as part of the trail is rocky.
Carpool location: We will meet on the patio at Fry’s on the southeast corner of Thompson Peak Parkway and Hayden Road in Scottsdale. Please arrive in time to leave at 8:00am to carpool to the trailhead. If you ride with someone, please be prepared to contribute a minimum of $2 to the driver to help cover their expenses.
Directions to the Trailhead: Lost Dog Wash Trailhead is located at 12601 N. 124th St in Scottsdale. From the intersection of Via Linda and N 124th Street, proceed north on 124th Street straight into the parking area for the trailhead.