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Cone Mountain & Hackamore Trail


This hike is rated EASY.

Hike Starts at 6:00 a.m.

This hike will depart half an hour after the gate opens.  Gate opens 0532 on September 14th.  Sunrise is at 0610 so let's get rolling promptly at 0600!

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 Phoenix (2-Hour) Beginner Hikers.  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 can feel the BURN!

    September 14, 2013

    • Maureen

      thanks Jim for all that you do for the group

      1 · September 15, 2013

  • Jim K.

    From start-to-finish, this was a fine Group of people and a cool hike. I was glad to hear some positive comments about the hike from a few of you. Thanks! Welcome to new hikers Ian, Jill, and Michael.

    Can you believe that we experienced a beneficial breeze throughout most of the hike? What a bonus! The Women sure can laugh! Theresa was dressed so formally that I felt I should put a tie around my neck and “tape” the end to my t-shirt.

    You know you see some things differently on each repeat of a hike, so it never is the same ol’ thang is it? Even if our buddy the big deformed saguaro doesn’t move - - he can look different too. (He lost his top, for the benefit of the new hikers. But regarding him, I think he lost his top decades before I lost my top.) Of course on this hike we have another saguaro who has a top, but not much else…

    Thanks to Theresa for sweeping! Also thanks to Ian for helping out in the back.

    Big THUMBS UP.

    September 14, 2013

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