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McDowell Mountain Rim to Rim is a 13.8 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Fountain Hills, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

Length 13.8 mi Elevation gain 3,346 ft Route type Point to Point
Backpacking Hiking Running Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble No shade No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Please note: users have reported that the road to the trailhead is closed. You have to walk about .8 miles to the trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (20)
Photos (1664)
Recordings (18)
Completed (57)
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kyle spenik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 4, 2020
HikingNo shade

Fun hike, took 6 hours, took some detours to the peak of sunrise and toms thumb. Trail condition is good total mileage was about 15+, hardly saw anyone

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Anthony Dominguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 12, 2019
Hiking

10-12-19 Saturday completed in 4:21 not to bad at all. Oh and the road is open I drove in the parking lot so did not have to walk that .8 to the trailhead.

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gabrielle F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 8, 2019
HikingClosedNo shade

Also, the road to the trailhead is closed. You have to walk about .8 miles to the trailhead We only hiked Promenade due to the Jumping Cacti. I got one in my foot and let me tell you that is not a great feeling when they get pulled out. If you are going to hike Western Trail bring hiking boots. The trail is very narrow and have plenty of Jumping Cacti.

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Abby Pfeiffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 18, 2019
Hiking

This was a great hike! Started on the south end at Sunrise Trailhead and finished at the Tom's Thumb trail on the north end. One thing I noticed was the map for this doesn't end the trail at the Tom's Thumb trailhead but on a side trail right before the trailhead. I clocked this at 15.1 miles and a gain of 3402 feet, and took us six hours to complete it. When you hit the East End trail (between 11-12 miles) you have a pretty steep climb until you descend on the Tom's Thumb trail. We were treated to beautiful wildflowers the entire way!

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S Gunther
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 30, 2018

Started the hike at 6am. @ the south end - Sunrise Trailhead. Took us a little more than 6 hours. Once we hit the EastEnd we were spent. Defiantly toughest part of the trail. Sunrise, Sonoran & Dixie Mine are beautiful trails and are not difficult. But at the about the 11th mile it became very challenging. We saw lots of blooming cactus and a desert tortoise. Great hike for experienced hikers or those wanting a challenge. We logged it at 14.2 miles.

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Ryan Scow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2018

Trail would be a lot better if it wasn't littered with loud, scarcely clothed people. Scottsdale residents.

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Matt B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 17, 2018
Hiking

Completed 02/17/18 using the following route as there are multiple ways one can do this hike. 136th St Spur to Sunrise to Andrews Kinsey to Western Loop to Upper Sonoran Trail to Dixie Mine to Coachwhip to Windmill to East End to Tombs Thumb. Total was 15.2 miles 3850 feet of gain. Fantastic hike to see the changes in the desert and terrain along the way. Going up East End at the very end is a pretty taxing climb that late into the hike.

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Shep Pryor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2017
Running
First to Review

One day I decided to just make this one up. I've run every inch of the McDowell preserve so for me this was just something I sort of had to do. This is an entire Rim to Rim from the South Sunrise trail head all the way to the North Tom's Thumb parking lot. It claims 14.3 on here but my trail watch put it more like 16.7. You're almost on the Fountain Hills side of the preserve the entire way. You breach a peak at Scottsdale only on Sunrise peak and then again on Tom's Thumb. There's also a way to do it on the Scottsdale side which I've been meaning to do ran out of cooler weather this year so that will be another review. Essentially the trail is Sunrise trail head to sunrise peak....come down the north side of the peak and you'll get to the horse tie off at the junction between the Andrews Kinsey and the Sunrise trail down to Lost Dog. Take Andrews Kinsey until it meets the Sonoran trail.....the Sonoran trail to Dixie Mine which then eventually catches the road up Thompson peak. A little jaunt up the road leads you to Prospector Trail which ascends to meet Bell's pass just south of the pass. Keep going north to the junction of where you can choose to go up East End (the backside of Tom's Thumb) or up Windgate. Go up East End and it's like a different planet. Word to the wise: If Mountain Lions live in the McDowell's East End is definitely their home. Then once you summit East End you're at Tom's Thumb and you can run down to the trail head....and hopefully your ride back is waiting :)

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Kelsey McAtee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2020
Hiking
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Gladys Soriano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 25, 2020
Hiking
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Abby Pfeiffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2020
Running
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Jeff Thoren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 18, 2019
Hiking
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Jeff Thoren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 18, 2019
Hiking
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Jeff Thoren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 5, 2019
Hiking
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Jeff Thoren
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 5, 2019
Hiking
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Barry Adam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 17, 2019
Hiking
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Jeff Emmons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2019
Hiking
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heather shankowsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2019
Hiking
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Rhonda Bompensa-Zimmerman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 9, 2019
Hiking
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Rhonda Bompensa-Zimmerman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 9, 2019
Hiking
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