This hike is rated INTERMEDIATE.
Hike Starts at 5:15 a.m.
This hike will depart 30 minutes after the gate opens during the summer months! Plan to meet at the trailhead by 0500!
This breathtaking hike is in the new Brown’s Ranch Area of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. You will be amazed at the spectacular desert views. Saguaros are abundant due to the higher elevation! This is a chance for you to see unusual desert plants and possibly more wildlife.
The trails are new, well-groomed, and fairly soft. There are some areas of deep sand & dirt that will make you feel like you are trudging at a beach.
We will be heading up Brown’s Mountain, so there will be some quick elevation gain. Breathing might be a little harder for some who have only hiked in central Phoenix, at lower elevations. When we reach BT4, some Group members may choose to ascend Brown’s Summit Spur while less experienced hikers can remain at a wonderful scenic overlook.
Caution: The Summit Spur is steep, narrow, and slippery in spots so there will be some struggling. At the top, you will be rewarded with stunning new views of the North Valley, but you can also see Squaw Peak and part of Camelback Mountain and beyond between two buttes.
But that is only part of the journey! We will still have 2.5 miles to loop around Brown’s Mountain with many, many ups + downs before we get back to the TH. Can you say, “breakfast now!”
Please consider your physical condition and hiking abilities very seriously before submitting your RSVP for this hike. While I very much enjoy introducing new hikes for the Phoenix 2-Hour Beginner Hikers, this is probably not a good option for your “first-time” hike.
This hike will be cross-posted with Trail Mix. We will keep a beginner’s pace, though moderate, and we will take rest breaks for water frequently.
We need to leave ON TIME because of the heat and sun blast.
Bring plenty of water and PLEASE wear a hat or head-covering. We tend to lose the wind this time of year, especially during the mornings so sweat will be abundant. Also consider bringing a bandana, a towel, or other wrap-around cooling cloths.
The City of Scottsdale already has the new maps stocked at the TH, but feel free to print them out in advance from the link below.
DISTANCE: 4.2 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN: Almost 550 feet
TRAIL STYLE: Loop, with one spur and scenic lookout area
DURATION: 2.5 to 3.0 hours
DOGS: Yes, if leashed
FACILITIES: Restrooms and water at the TH; dog fountain also
WEBSITE: Trail Map
DIRECTIONS: The trailhead address is: 30301 North Alma School Parkway, Scottsdale, Arizona. To get there, take Scottsdale Road or Pima Road north to Dynamite Blvd. Head east on Dynamite. At Alma School Road turn left, and head north. The Google map link will show you where to head north.
(Dynamite changes to Rio Verde Drive at this intersection, so don't get confused.)
Another option is going east on E. Happy Valley Road to N. Alma School Road and then head north.
If you are coming from Fountain Hills, just take Rio Verde Drive.
** The TH is approximately one mile north of Dynamite Blvd. **
You will observe signs that say “No Outlet” and “Dead End”… just keep going! Parking for passenger vehicles is on the left.
Contact me via Meetup if you have questions.