This hike is rated EASY.
For those of us that return to work on Monday mornings, this is a fun, engaging early Sunday aerobic hike to keep us moving during the weekend. You can participate to supplement your more challenging weekend hikes ~ or, merely attend to “cool-down”. (Is that possible this time of year? Let’s find out!)
We will enjoy different trails, and change it up depending on the group. The hike is targeted for Phoenix (2-Hour) Beginner Hikers, so we will take rest stops if necessary.
We’ll meet near the restrooms at Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Keep in mind that the parking lots fill quickly and EARLY on weekends this time of year. I will move the start time up if necessary in subsequent weekends.
After quick introductions, we’ll head to the Equestrian Bypass Trail and then go south on the 104th Street Trail to the Levee Trail. We will eventually traverse the Paradise Trail and while we’re on that you will marvel at the gorgeous mountain scenery from low in the basin. We’ll also pass some majestic, towering saguaros. From there we will join part of the Gateway Loop. Depending on the fitness level of the group and the temperature, we can head back to the facility building on the Saguaro Trail or extend the hike onto the very pleasant Horseshoe Trail and return via the Desert Park Trail.
PLEASE NOTE: The Levee Trail is very rocky. It’s a mile long and has a gradual and steady incline going east, so sturdy hiking footwear is recommended.
Bring plenty of water! You might wish to grab a map at the TH so you can witness how all these trails connect together.
DISTANCE: 3.1 to 4.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: = or < 300 feet
DURATION: 1.5 to 2.0 hours
DOGS: Yes, if leashed.
FACILITIES: Bathroom and water fountain
WEBSITE: Trail Map (http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/Public+Website/preserve/Gateway+Trails.pdf)
DIRECTIONS: The address is 18333 N. Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale and is located on the east side of the street just north of the Bell Road intersection. The entry street to the trailhead is labeled Carla Way.