This hike is rated EASY to INTERMEDIATE.
We’ll start at 0830 so that hikers can enjoy the comfortable warm rays of the sun.
This hike is suitable for anyone and is especially nice for beginner hikers, although it will be a longer hike at over six miles. We will traverse the entire Granite Mountain Loop and stop to enjoy Balanced Rock.
The hike will begin in the new Northern Region of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, on the eastern side near Granite Mountain. You will be amazed at the spectacular desert views. We will hike on gentle, curving trails that are smooth with gradual ups + downs. We’ll see gorgeous mountain vistas and some neat boulders. This is a chance for you to notice unusual desert plants and possibly more wildlife. Maybe we will see a desert tortoise! We have already witnessed several strange things during our Cone Mountain Hikes!
This hike will be cross-posted on Phoenix (2-Hour) Beginner Hikers and Trail Mix. We travel at a beginner’s pace. There is a 34-hiker limit in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Bring plenty of water and wear a hat or head-covering. Also consider bringing energy snacks. We will have plenty of rest and water stops during the hike, and we’ll take a break at the scenic view. Bring whatever comforts you need with you since there are no restrooms and no water at the trailhead.
DISTANCE: 6.9 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN: About 230 feet
TRAIL STYLE: Loop, with one scenic view spur
DURATION: 3.0 hours +
DOGS: Yes, if leashed
WEBSITE: Trail Map
DIRECTIONS: The trailhead address is: 31402 N. 136th Street, Scottsdale, Arizona. To get there, take Scottsdale Road or Pima Road north to Dynamite Blvd. Head east on Dynamite. Continue past Alma School Road for approximately three more miles. Turn left on 136th Street and head north for two miles. The entrance to the trailhead parking lot will be on your left and is easy to see.
Note: Dynamite Blvd. changes into Rio Verde Drive at Alma School Pkwy.
If you are coming from Fountain Hills, just take Rio Verde Drive.
Contact me via Meetup if you have questions.