Explore the most popular trails near McDowell Mountain Ranch with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

McDowell Mountain Ranch, Arizona Map
VIEW FULL MAP

This is a nice hike to get the blood flowing. Definitely more challenging than Gateway Loop.

Really great hike to start. It’s pretty easy until you get to the last 1.5 mi. From there, it’s straight up to the “saddle” and a serious leg burn. The views from the saddle are great. From there you can continue to Tom’s Thumb which is about another 4 mi. Otherwise, turn around and head back down. Because it’s a gradual incline for most of the hike(except last 1.5mi), you can run for most of the way down. Be careful of the large rocks sticking out. This trail is very rocky!

Great hike.
Great workout.
Take plenty of water.
Not crowded during the week.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. Go early as it gets busy. You have to work for the view at the top - steep switchbacks for a lengthy period of time will kick your butt! Make no mistake, this will get your heart pumping. Don't let that scare you. Make sure to turn around and check out the views. Great parking, great bathrooms, great trailhead. Hike on and enjoy this beauty!

loved this hike
not easy walking up to the top of the pass, but when we got there it was all downhill. 2.5 hours.

As desert hiking in the big city ... this is as good as it gets. Lovely mountains, clean, well traveled path, lots of healthy desert plants. Trailhead facility is luxurious. Traffic rapidly falls off about an hour in ... and the upper trail is steep and as hard as the Canyon. In the hot season, this trail takes full mid-day sun; expect a hot afternoon. An excellent warm-up trail for those preparing for longer hikes.

This was a quick back and forth hike with many options to continue on in different directions. It’s very clean and easy to follow. The incline is gradual, but still enough for a slight workout.

hiking
Thursday, November 09, 2017

Great hike, last 1/2 mile gets pretty heavy on the incline but it's worth it. Earlier the better as folks get going once the sun breaks the peaks. Also use to push my bike up and ride down, though it's a crazy ride through that immediate decline from the top.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

My "go to" hike. Once you get off the loop portion you will see few other hikers

mountain biking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

This trail is an absolute gnar. Bell pass up on the bike is very difficult! Worth the views for sure. Don't do this trail without full suspension

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fabulous views and great trail. Pretty flat until the last 1/2 mile.

Took the kids, we had a great time. Very scenic and quite beautiful.

hiking
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

This a gorgeous trail and a bit grueling once you get to Bell Pass. I tracked 2700 elevation opposed to what all trails says. We made it a little bit less than a quarter mile from the top but turned around due to a rattler letting us know we were in her home.

trail running
Monday, December 19, 2016

Light and easy out-and-back trail that provides views of the valley. Great for trail running in the cooler months. Very slight incline. Connects to the Gateway loop trail if you are looking for a additional distance.

hiking
Monday, December 12, 2016

I simply love this trail! I have taken the Gateway Loop a couple times before, to the saddle and back, but wanted to extend my hike a bit. I hiked on a very busy Sunday morning and passed by many other hikers. Once I branched off on the Bell Pass Trail, I was the only one out there. Lots of scenery and solitude. The climb up to Bell Pass at about 3,200 ft. elevation was steep with some switchbacks, it reminded me of "Two-Bit" in the Squaw Peak area. Once you get to the top, there are great views of East End, Thompson Peak and the other peaks, as well as Four Peaks. You can keep going from here, but this is where it turns into a day hike, so maybe next time. I love all the trails around here!

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

on Gateway to Bell Pass

4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Load More