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

Very good workout with all that heat for this Dutch man, but beautifull also.

Very challenging and amazing hike. Top of the trail gives you a very good view of city. Take plenty of water, snacks and some electrolytes.

Awesome signs explaining what use to be there! Amazing views and lots of little critters!

9 days ago

Short, relatively intense trail with excellent views! The parking lot is really big and roads to the trailhead are extremely well marked. Trail is pretty wide and well maintained with regular distance markers. It gets pretty crowded because it's popular for trail running, so get there early or go on a weekday if possible. As far as technical hiking skill needed, this is pretty easy- just wear good shoes so you don't slip. This is a moderate because of the climb. Almost all of the elevation gain is within 1/2-3/4 of a mile and it's pretty brutal. Take breaks and enjoy the views- it's totally worth the climb!

Nice and easy trail. Great trail for beginners and anyone wanting a quick hike/walk.

trail running
10 days ago

One of the most beautiful and scenic trails in the McDowells. Includes a little bit of red rock, desert brush, granite rock, and washes with varying terrain. Get ready to greet a few deer and rattlesnakes on the way.

10 days ago

Awesome trail, be prepared- the first mile is brutal. Make sure you bring plenty of water, at lease 2 liters. (I was surprised how many people I passed on my way down who were carrying a single bottle. At 10 A.M. and the temp was heating up rapidly.
Only issue is this app sent alerts to my lifeline as I hadn’t “checked in” in a while. There are a few dead zones on the hike, so signal was lost. This unnecessarily worried my lifelines- so I am not sure if there is a way for the developers to figure out a way to “fix”.
Also not sure what algorithm is used to determine hike times, again my lifelines were alerted because we didn’t return at the anticipated time (probably spent 15 or so minutes at the peak taking pictures).
Hike is a 10. App is a 5

10 days ago

Easy hike, lots of birds. Saw plenty of pack rat nests too. A few bikers but otherwise quiet. Great for trail running.

11 days ago

Went on a sunrise hike - cooler temps, well marked trail, great leg workout, and amazing views! Plenty of shade in the middle of the hike. Hiking poles and shoes with good traction are recommended. Your knees will thank you later. Bring plenty of water (at least 3 liters), and sunscreen especially in the summer. Ample parking. Restrooms available at trailhead.

trail running
12 days ago

Nice trail for running; beautiful view at the top.

The views at the top are fantastic. This trail is rated as hard and if you are not used to climbing over boulders then it is exactly that! We went at 8am on a Thursday morning and it was already busy. If you like wishing a lot of people a good morning, then this is the hike for you. We will definitely do this hike again!

Completed this trail in the middle of the summer, starting around 7am. A lot of the trail is actually shaded throughout the morning, which makes the heat more bearable. Gloves would definitely come in handy for gripping the metal rails on steep sections, as they do get hot.

My boyfriend and I hiked this trail today between 12:30-5:30 pm. It was a great, challenging trail in the city, and we made it to the top after making a number of stops and dropping packs. While this is a fun trail if you're up for a challenge, take all warnings very seriously. Bouldering is a real thing here, so be prepared to be stooped over scrambling up hot rock. We brought 7 liters of water, protein bars, and electrolyte packs/goos and needed everything to get back down in the summer heat. We were also dressed for hiking: wicking shirts, long pants, boots, big hats. Many people were dressed more casually and were less prepared; I'd recommend you read up on heat exhaustion and the history of deaths/rescues at Camelback before you make the trip. Note: there are friendly park rangers stationed at the bottom of the trail in case you need assistance. Have fun and be safe!

I did this trail March 12, it was around 78 degrees and no wind. It’s a strange trail because you go up to a high point and down to a housing development. Then you turn around and go back up and down to your car. The climbers path to the summit tower is a steep direct path.

The views are great, just a little too crowded. Overall a decent workout with some viewing of wildlife along the trail.


15 days ago

Short and easy, nice signage for the ruins. Head down the back to access the balanced rock.

16 days ago

My husband and I climbed Pinnacle this morning. It is a gorgeous scenic hike!!!! A must do for anyone!!!

A great total body work out. Beautiful views! One of my favorites. Bring more water than you think you need.

17 days ago

Like others have said, this is a classic Arizona trail and is popular among locals and tourists- there are even resorts nearby that offer tours to their guests. The trail is well maintained and clearly marked. It gives you a decent workout, but isn't overly strenuous; my dad and great uncle are both in their 60s and did just fine. It's really popular for running, so be aware that this will be crowded most of the time.

Seems to always be packed with trail runners and tourists.

Awesome view for a short hike.

Markers 1-16 was pretty easy on one bottle of water going up. If going all the way to the top (marker 30 something, I’d recommend another bottle for going up. That’d make two water bottles for going up. Pack 2 to come down. Better to be over prepared on water than not enough.

Pretty view at marker 25. Wear hiking shoes or some sort of tennis that have good traction. Is a bit steep of a hike

I do this hike every time i am in the Phoenix area. Challenging (at least for me) but doable for anyone in reasonably good shape. The views and scenery make it all worth while!

I thought this would be a leisurely hike but was pleasantly surprised. Lots of rock scaling and climbing over boulders. There are times where there isn't a marked trail. I LOVED IT! But definitely worth noting if you're not into that kind of stuff. The view at the top is beautiful. My only complaint is how crowded the trail is. My buddy and I stated at 6am and we were still fighting crowds.

29 days ago

A great trail that's quite a fun uphill journey toward the iconic Tom's Thumb. There were a fair bit of people, but parking was still good early in the morning.

An iconic hike. Very fun in a technical way, where you have to climb up boulders, and amazing city views at the top. It's very popular, so expect a decent number of people. Parking was an issue but I found a nearby park that had spots.

Loved what I saw but I wasn't ready and had to stop with maybe 1/4-mile to go. The mountain got the best of me this time but I'll get more conditioned and get it next year! (And likely bump to 5 stars; I only held back because I couldn't verify the great views from the top.)

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