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Gateway, Bell Pass, and Windgate Loop Trail

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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Gateway, Bell Pass, and Windgate Loop Trail is a 9.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,991 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail - it gives you a nice opportunity to get away and is a pretty good workout. Great views

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
24 days ago

Nice challenging loop if you take Bell loop first. Easy to follow, will definitely do this trail again

hiking
1 month ago

Not sure what’s up Julian’s butt, this is a great hike. I’m a slightly overweight 60 year old, reasonably good shape. My wife and I did this loop in just over 4 hours, including a short snack break. The landscape on the East side of the loop is dryer and not as picturesque, but nice and quiet. The final climb up Bell pass is steep and rocky, but well worth the effort.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was horrible. Views were ok, nothing spectacular. I’ve done around 30 other hikes recently. It’s very rocky on the trail, loose rocks that you will constantly slip on and maybe fall, be careful. Never coming back here. Also, I turned around (I don’t know how) and walked back for 3 miles. I pay for premium and the stupid premium doesn’t alert when you go back and walk on what you previously walked on. So dumb.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite loops to do in AZ. This time of year is especially amazing. I recorded the hike in 4k - posted on my channel for reference: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFCcB03vM-nepESoPJ4KvA

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of rattlesnakes right now.

A tough but very gratifying hike. We went CCW which is what I’d recommend. The portion between Bell Pass and Windgate Pass on the backside was awesome. Would definitely recommend. Took us 3:30.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a great day for a hike. Clear skies, not very busy beyond the gateway loop.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

2/29/20- Perfect weather for an extended hike! AllTrails clocked 9.4 miles (takes roughly 4 hours). If you haven't hiked Bell Pass or Windgate, you're missing out on gorgeous views. I will definitely hike these trails again. :)

hiking
2 months ago

I love this loop.

Trail is beautiful. Wear good shoes as it is very rocky and steep in some parts

hiking
3 months ago

Me and my dogs love this loop. Suggest starting at daybreak or a little before. I prefer counterclockwise as the downhills are less steep in this direction. The section from the furthest point up to Windgate Pass can get very hot, as it is the most exposed part of the trail in the morning. Spring has tons of wildflowers, and vegetation on east side is very different than the west side.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Great loop for training

hiking
3 months ago

Lots of diverse terrain, a bit rocky in some parts, amazing views, super solid workout.

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

Steep in some parts but totally manageable. No route founding or rock scrambling. Great hike and workout. Beautiful desert landscape. Not much shade so great for this time of year but would wanted to do it 10 degrees hotter

hiking
4 months ago

The section from Bell Pass to Windgate Pass is probably one of the nicest trails in the Sonoran preserves. Quiet, low traffic, and great views.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike!! The weather was cool and partly cloudy-perfect! The trail was challenging, even for experienced hikers.

hiking
4 months ago

fabulous views. we did the whole loop as described. this is definitely not 9 miles. this is a 12 mile hike. definitely worth it though

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Lots of people on Gateway trail but once you get to Bell Pass Trail they disappear. I did the loop counterclockwise to get most of the uphill out of the way. Bell Peak is a doozy! Once you get to the other side it’s pretty easy though. Heaps of saguaros and a great view of four peaks. Took me 3:40 to do the whole loop. A new favorite.

hiking
5 months ago

Went CCW. Trail is steeper, but shorter uphill to Bell Pass. Perfect cloudy, drizzly day on Thanksgiving.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 months ago

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