Lousley Hill Trail is a 1.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Scottsdale, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Full hike video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKumc_QttQw
This trail is accessible whenever the McDowell Mountains Regional Park is open. Park entry is $6 for day use. From the map, the trail is fairly nondescript. However it has some character surprises. As it's a loop you can go clockwise or counter-clockwise.
From the trailhead, follow the trail to the base of the hill. You will find yourself in a wide wash. Turn left at the junction. 50' away you'll see a sign post with left/right arrows. Go left a the fork. The trail runs along the wash and is marked by rows of rocks. You'll eventually cross the wash and head up the hill. Three very short bursts of incline precede a shallow final ascent. At the top I found a curious pile of rocks. Too big and mis-shapen to be a cairn, and too small to be an adult grave. It struck me as possibly being a grave for someone's dog. The pile is perfectly placed for a year-round panoramic vista which suggests it wasn't randomly placed there. Continuing across the small summit, I started to descend. Looking left you'll find a bit of rock art. The trip down the hill is easier than the initial ascent but takes a little longer as it has wider switchbacks and also covers distance above the wash below. Once at the base of the hill, you'll find yourself right back at the fork where you began to walk along the wash. Look to the 10:00 heading as you stand perpendicular to the wash and that's the way to the short return to the trailhead.
Overall this is a short, fairly easy hike that won't take much time even if taken at a leisurely pace. There are three benches along the ascent route to sit and rest or take in the views. The final bench before the summit has a railing in front of it and is nicely shaded from the noon-afternoon sun by a tree and has an excellent view to the northeast. The summit affords 360 degree views of the surround McDowell mountains. The trail itself, like many of the trails in this park, is susceptible to erosion from rain. Be prepared for some loose rock and partially washed out chunks.
Great hike with beautiful views from the top especially following a rainy year. Hiked it with my 5 year old son and he loved it. Definitely a great hike for a family. We went towards the end of spring and as we were crossing a little wash near the parking area stumbled upon a snake so be sure to keep your eyes open.