Updated: Oct 31, 2018
Sunrise Hiking Trail is located approximately 7.2 miles from Fountain Hills, AZ.
From Fountain Hills head west on Shea Blvd turning right onto N. 136th St. for 0.5 miles. At the 4 way stop take a right onto E. Via Linda for 1.4 miles where you'll turn left into the parking
lot. If this parking lot is full you can go back about 500 yards to an overflow parking lot on your right. This trail is a very popular trail and the busiest times are between 8:00 am - 10:00 am during the winter and 6:00 am - 9:00 am during the summer.
The 3.7 mile out and back trail ascends upward to an elevation of 1092 feet.
About the Hike:
My favorite time to hike is at sunrise when the trail opens. See links to find the URL providing the Scottsdale AZ preserve hours.
Proceed up the rock steps to the trail head. You'll find a map of the McDowell mountain trails. On some Saturday mornings you'll find a trail steward who can fill you in on all kinds of details about the trails.
The trail begins behind the neighborhood to your immediate right.
You'll ascend upward for 1/8 mile before leaving the neighborhood behind you arriving on a small plateau providing a beautiful overlook of the McDowell Mountains.
In spring the desert blossoms with an explosion of color. Ocotillos add a red splash of color contrasting beautifully against the boulders and Saguaros
Late spring after the ocotillo flowers finish blooming, the desert beauty continues with the blooming on the prickly pears and compass barrel cactuses.
As you progress upward the trail smooth's out with less lose rocks allowing you to focus more on the beauty surrounding you.
The brittlebush provides a flush of yellow as your ascent upward to the saddle of Sunrise Mountain before taking the final trail to Sunrise Peak.
Once you arrive to the top of Sunrise Mountain looking back towards the east you are rewarded with a magnificent view
After you arrive to either the peak or the saddle of Sunrise Mountain take a break and relax enjoying the beauty and solitude surrounding you. It's a perfect place to reflect or meditate calming all the noise that surrounds us throughout the day.