Explore Phoenix Area - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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beautiful views. Can be tough in parts as it is pretty steep.

this trail is difficult if you have not been to many tough ones before there are some places where you have to use both hands and full body strength to climb if you want to get to the top. but view from the top will not disappoint.

Awesome, wear good shoes, bring water!!

hiking
3 days ago

I hiked this trail for the first time on Wednesday around 4:00pm and it was not at all busy we only saw about 10 other hikers. This is a tough trail in the beginning, lots of steep switchbacks. But, once you get past that part it’s a lot easier and oh so worth it for the views. It’s a gorgeous trail and it was very clean. It can be hard on the knees coming down but we took our time and I would do this trail more often if I lived closer.
My step counter was 11993, 4.4miles, and 111floors.

Really enjoyed this trail! Moderate elevation changes and great view from the top!

Busier than expected. Parking was a little tough, too. Only made it halfway--taking to many notes for a geology assignment.

Lots of people. Beautiful view!!

So much fun...the sign at the bottom rates this hike as extremely difficult and I would agree with that as you are bouldering for most of it. Challenging but totally worth it...our GPS indicated 10km round trip.

Used to be my favorite trail—beautiful and solid workout. Nowadays it suffers from far too many visitors on it’s narrow trail and too many off-leash dogs and owners who don’t pick up their dog’s poop.

Nice hike and summit view close to Atlanta.

Definitely a good workout climbing boulders and straight up in spots. Worth it once you are at the top. Parking at trailhead is a challenge

Good trail. Nothing difficult in regards to terrain changes. Nice view at the top. Excellent fall colors for mid November.

Beautiful view, but no dogs allowed!!

Meh. It's OK but there's nothing that would bring me back out to do it again. If I had more time, some of the other trails that branched off of this loop had promise.

hiking
9 days ago

No hiking staff needed! You'll need both hands to help negotiate many areas, though you're not really "boulder scrambling"... it's more like climbing steep stairs for most of the hike. There are hand rails where you need them. I was glad I wore low cut, light weight hiking tennis shoes as it allowed me to flex and extend my feet for longer strides from rock to rock (ankle supporting, leather boots would have slowed me down on this hike, though that's what I usually wear for hikes). A Camelback (go figure) style hydration backpack is the way to go... keep your hands free!

Great hike with incredible views. It’s a challenge but definitely not as hard as the signs suggest. Most of the steep areas have hand rails. Parking is difficult, do it on a weekday if possible.

best trail in Phoenix

If the McDowell mountains were a nice jewelry store and you were looking for an engagement ring, this hike would qualify for the bargain basement ... that value corner option that will have to do when funds are limited. Continuously rocky throughout, I felt like I was “driving” down a poorly managed road/drainage wash full of potholes in desperate need of resurfacing. The second star comes from the views of the East Valley/South Scottsdale at the top of the range.

P.S. I will cop to bias in that I have been spoiled hiking all through the north side of the McDowells (Tom’s thumb, Brown’s ranch mountain, Granite mountain, Fraesfield, McDowell mountain park) for some time which are far superior in everything desert hikers want versus this trail. It’s like comparing the South rim of the Grand Canyon with the North rim.

Gorgeous. Didn’t find it as hard as the trail head signage suggests. Lots of climbing, rock scaling, bouldering type hike versus just a walk.

Love to take guests on this trail!!

Loved this trail! it is a bit challenging and technical but great one. Lots of people with dogs only I worry a bit for small ones but they seem happy. moderate crowded.

Fun moderate hike. The first mile is typical AZ hiking on dirt and rocks. At the top, be sure to follow the hidden valley trail (it's a loop so either direction is ok). That trail makes it interesting. You will see lots of people, including young children and dogs. Not a lot of parking in the lot but street parking available a block or 2 away.

This was a super fun hike! We clocked a little over 5 miles. Getting to Fat Man’s Pass was a little confusing and the trail to get there wasn’t clear. But after roaming around for a bit, we found it. Went w a friend who used to liver here and she said it was her fav hike she’s ever been on here! Def would go again. A little bit of climbing

Great hike, the top looks amazing, bring water.

Nov 3, 2018
HIKED to the TOP.. Awesome and challenging. Not for those who like inner city hikes.

Tips:
Wear leather hiking boots with good ankle support. Avoid wearing sneakers there is Cholla cactus on trail.

HIKING POLES for balance especially when getting through the big rocks.

3 Liters of water minimum.

Good Snacks to keep up you energy.

4 wheel drive vehicle to get you to the trail head.

This trail is not for the faint of heart. Marker 27 after the Helipad was all I could do today. A good tip is to not attempt after leg day at the gym. Will be back!!!

Best urban hike I have ever done. Pretty close to the airport and difficulty level will not disappoint you. It's a trail testing your endurance. Short but strenuous. Beautiful views from the top. Do not expect to see any wildlife, unless you're too lucky.

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