Hike the Gateway Loop
Arizona › Gateway Trailhead Scottsdale
Added by Jeremy Meek
Well maintained trail with amazing views of the McDowell Mountains and the expansive Phoenix Metropolitan Area below. A quick in-town hiking escape!
The Gateway Trailhead is one access point into the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in Scottsdale and is my favorite “Gateway” into the treasure trove of great trails and vistas in the McDowell Mountains. The Gateway Trailhead provides great accessibility for a quick hike or trail run at the end of the workday.
The Gateway Loop Trail is 4.5 miles long and has 650 feet of elevation gain, which makes for a great moderate hike. The Conservancy’s trailheads and all trails within its boundaries are open from sunrise to sunset. Plan accordingly for getting your vehicle in and out of the trailhead parking area (there are 320 parking spaces plus 12 parking spaces for equestrian trailers). I have OCD tendencies and typically complete the loop trail in the clockwise direction, but depending on timing for the hike, sometimes I switch it up to maximize sunrise/sunset views or to minimize the sun being directly in my eyes.
Remember that pedestrians and cyclists both yield to horses and cyclists yield to pedestrians!
Some other options on longer trail alternatives sprouting from the Gateway Loop are available here.
You can get by with minimal gear on this hike, assuming you are just doing the loop and none of the longer trails the sprout from it.
- Sturdy trail running shoes or hiking boots will do fine
- Bring plenty of water, particularly in the summer months!
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Fitness, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Photography, Yoga
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