Cone Mountain & Hackamore Trail

This hike is rated EASY.


Hike Starts at 5:30 a.m.

This hike will depart half an hour after the gate opens.  Gate opens 0459 on July 20th.  We will be trekking right at sunrise!

Here is a hike for the Beginners! This loop 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, living and dead, are abundant due to the higher elevation!  This is a chance for you to notice unusual desert plants and possibly more wildlife. Maybe we will see a desert tortoise!

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 start out by going northwest between Brown’s Mountain and Cone Mountain. You can gaze up at Brown’s Mountain Summit and imagine yourself up there ~ when you are ready for an intermediate hike. Cone Mountain has a unique shape indeed, and we will go around part of its circumference. On future hikes we may go around the entire circumference, but on this hike we will transfer to the Hackamore Trail for 1.7 miles along the current western edge of the Preserve. We’ll end up at Sunset Vista, a scenic point, and from there we’re just a short distance from the parking lot.

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 and energy snacks.

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:  4.0 miles roundtrip

ELEVATION GAIN:  < 200 feet

TRAIL STYLE:  Loop, with one scenic point

DURATION:  2.0 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.

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  • Jim K.

    I am wondering why less than 30% of the original P2BH RVSP's – AS OF FRIDAY P.M. – actually showed up for the hike this morning. This is a problem, because you are grabbing away an opportunity for someone else that might REALLY WANT to hike. You are certainly under no obligation whatsoever to hike, but please -- if this is not something you really want to do then please pass on the hike!

    We will have attendance limits going forward in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. These limits were imposed by the City of Scottsdale when so many Meetup members RSVP’d frivolously for the Cone Mountain & Hackamore Trail. Therefore, I will have to start scrutinizing the RSVP's. The only other option is to not schedule hikes there, and wouldn’t that be a shame.

    2 · July 20, 2013

  • Jim K.

    WHAT A GREAT SCENIC HIKE this morning, everybody! Thank you for joining me! The scenery in this part of the Preserve is absolutely stunning. It was especially intriguing to traverse the area after some heavy rain… so much of the terrain looked different to me compared to last weekend! If not for impending heat and sun blast, we would be stopping for pictures at every turn on the trails. We were fortunate… in the 70’s to start and still in the 70’s when the hike concluded. Of course the humidity and dew point were very high so self-soaking was a given. It was a glorious morning! Didn’t that shade feel wonderful in both spots? (Glad I was right about that!)

    I was pleased to meet all the new hikers this morning and it was nice to see a strong attendance from Trail Mix. I’ll address the lack of participation from P2BH in a separate post.

    Thank you Beverly for sweeping! You really keep a hike all together!

    4 · July 20, 2013

  • Sabrina

    Great hike! Thanks Jim for making it fun. See you next week!

    2 · July 20, 2013

  • Steve M.

    I enjoyed the hike, and the occasional desert life that we ran across. The first creature we ran across was referred to as a horny toad, and a desert toad. The first is slang, and the second is just misleading. The little guy is actually one of many "Horned Lizards." To google this might provide more information that some desire. Even so, in todays would we already toss to much twist and spin into the mix for sake of what some see a political correctness. Well...enough on the desert life. The hike was great, and I look forward to the next. Thanks Jim!

    1 · July 20, 2013

  • Mike

    Thank you Jim and Beverly (AKA Wing Man/Wing Gal/ Sweeper). It was a great first experience. Your passion for your hiking and other people is contagious and much appreciated by this first time hiker. Hope to see you soon!

    3 · July 20, 2013

  • Ram

    Thank you for the great hike, Jim. Good seeing the usual hiking friends and meeting new ones.

    3 · July 20, 2013

  • Pam

    So sorry to cancel, but apparently my alarm is adverse to 4 am on Saturday mornings and didn't go off. Afraid I won't be able to make it in time. Looking forward to the next hiking opportunity. Sorry for the late notice.

    July 20, 2013

  • Karen A.

    Sorry,can not make it.

    July 20, 2013

  • Barak

    Due to last minute illness, I will have to cancel my participation. my apologies. Have a great hike!

    July 19, 2013

  • Jean

    Sorry Jim, I so want to do this hike but don't think I can get up at 4 to get there on time. It is so far from me! Hope to see you soon on another hike.

    July 19, 2013

  • Stacey O.

    Sorry I'm not going to be able to make it in the morning. I will see you on Sunday morning.

    July 19, 2013

  • Char

    Sorry I will not be able to go.

    July 19, 2013

  • Mary B.

    Sorry, but I will have to cancel for tomorrow. Have fun!

    July 19, 2013

  • Karen

    Foot issue. :(

    July 19, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Sorry about that, Karen. Hope to see you again soon!

      1 · July 19, 2013

  • Cindy Smith E.

    Family member is ill.

    July 19, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Cindy does this mean you want to attend, or not?

      July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very few things would get me up at 4 in the morning. This one definitely qualifies! See you all tomorrow, so excited!

    2 · July 19, 2013

  • Bryan L.

    Hey Jim, I'm new to AZ and looking at 30301 N Alma School in Scottsdale and it doesn't look right. Is this the correct address? Thanks, Bryan.

    July 19, 2013

    • Jim K.

      As you head east from Dynamite and Pima Road, there will not be another traffic signal until Alma School Parkway. It will take a few minutes to get there since you have to drive through the Troon North Golf Club. As you approach the Alma School intersection you'll notice a large gas station on your right, the south side of the road. Turn left on Alma School Parkway to head north. It will appear that you are heading into a neighborhood. Disregard the "No Outlet" and "Dead End" signs.

      July 19, 2013

    • Bryan L.

      Perfect. Thanks Jim!

      July 19, 2013

  • Jim K.

    Hello, Fellow Hikers!

    I hope that you are all well and feeling fine. I’m looking forward to hiking with you Saturday morning around Cone Mountain at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead! Let’s go over a few points so that we can have a great time together.

    The gate opens Saturday @ 0459. We should have enough time to prepare, meet, greet, and hit the trail by 0530. Timing is critical, especially if there is going to be sun blast. So… don’t be late. Sunrise is at 0532, so we’ll have just a little ‘dark’ time. If you need to use the restroom before the hike, bring a small flashlight or your headlamp because the restrooms are lighted only by overhead natural daylight. The facilities are excellent. There is a dog fountain at the facility building; however on this hike we will conclude near the parking lot so keep that in mind.

    Plan your route to get to the trailhead (TH) BEFORE Saturday morning. The directions are simple and the TH is easy to find, and yet some have become very confused.

    July 18, 2013

  • Jim K.

    We might have low 80's for the morning "low"; however the dew point will be going up for the weekend so expect plenty of sweat. Let’s all wish for nice, strong breezes to keep us comfortable for the hike!

    Wondering what to bring? Follow the guidelines from the hike description. If you are running late and miss the Group departure, grab a map at the TH and head to UR1, UR2, UR3 to catch up with us. We will not be climbing much on this hike, so the Group will *not* be visible from afar.

    If there is any significant amount of rain combined with lightning Saturday morning right before hike time, I will cancel it. Or, if we arrive at the TH and see any thunderstorm activity in the area I’ll cancel the hike at the TH. Of course I am anticipating that the weather cooperates and we have a GREAT hike to remember.

    If you have any questions, contact me via Meetup.

    I’ll see you Saturday morning! Just show up relaxed and ready to trek through the desert!

    July 18, 2013

  • BevW

    So excited to see that Jean is joining us! What a rare treat for us, her fans!

    1 · July 17, 2013

  • Jim K.

    Hello Fellow Hikers!

    Yesterday Kaveh updated the “Code of Conduct” Page in P2BH and Trail Mix. Although I have not witnessed any violations on my hikes, I do expect all of my hikers to take a few minutes and read through the revised guidelines. If you are a new member to P2BH or Trail Mix, it might be a good idea to absorb all of the PAGES since there is a wealth of information and many of your initial questions about hiking will be answered. Kaveh has provided a great resource library here for all of us, so please take advantage of it.

    To get there, simply click on “Pages” on the selection bar of this Meetup Group, and then scroll down to the Table of Contents. Enjoy reading, and I’ll see you on the trails soon! There might be a quiz, so be sharp! Thank you.

    1 · July 16, 2013

  • Steve M.

    Okay, I'll try this. First time out in years, so any recommendations on what I should wear/bring other than a bottle of water?

    July 15, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Hello Steve -- welcome to the Group! Most of what you will need is written in the hike description above. Make sure that is a big bottle of water! In addition, I recommend sturdy hiking boots for all hikes; however if your ankles are strong you could probably do this hike in new athletic shoes with good tread. Shorts and a t-shirt works for most.

      July 15, 2013

  • John J

    Sorry for backing out but I am gonna head north on Saturday to beat the heat.

    July 14, 2013

    • Jim K.

      Please do not send us weather updates! We will not read them!

      1 · July 14, 2013

    • BevW

      John J, you'll be missed. Hurry back to our next hike!

      July 15, 2013

  • Jim K.

    Hi Everybody! After reviewing the photos from this past weekend, it looks like we will be in the wonderful shade of Brown’s Mountain for the first part of our hike on Saturday. Awesome! We may even have some remaining shade on the west side of Cone Mountain, depending on how soon we get over there. I am not looking to break speed records in this July weather, so the Group will move normal and steady. We will take plenty of water breaks, so you will get rest when you need it.

    Once we hit the Hackamore Trail we will be in full sun blast if there are no clouds. Please make sure to wear sunscreen if you need it. Have a hat or head covering also, and make sure to bring a towel and whatever other cooling devices you utilize. Let’s all hope for some wind!

    July 15, 2013

  • Jenni S

    sorry last minute change of plans, I hope someone can use my spot thanks

    July 15, 2013

    • Jim K.

      See you next time!

      July 15, 2013

  • Jim K.

    Don’t you just love the sound of the “Hackamore Trail”? I sure do. Yes, I know that equestrians will appreciate this more than others… there are some great trail names out there in this part of the Preserve. I’d like to hike them all just because of their names! Check ‘em out!

    Please note that this is NOT the summit hike. This hike is an easier one scheduled to help get the Beginner Hikers moving and acclimated to hiking in the desert. While rated EASY you are still going to work up a good sweat.

    1 · July 7, 2013

    • BevW

      Need a unique photo theme to match "Hackamore..."­

      2 · July 8, 2013

    • Jim K.

      We'll see about that!

      1 · July 9, 2013

  • Cindy Smith E.

    Looking forward to the beautiful scenery and meeting new people.

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • Jenni S

    Excited for my first meet up with the group

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • Karen A.

    Thanks for adding this hike,I will be there.

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • Pam

    I think this is the beginning hike I've been looking to do. I'm excited!

    1 · July 7, 2013

  • Tasheel D.

    + 1 dog

    1 · July 7, 2013

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