★★★★☆ Moderate / Phoenix Area

Fantabulous 360° views await at the top of this lofty peak! Tucked into a beautiful McDowell Mountain valley, the Sunrise Hiking Trail gets less traffic than it’s northern sister-trails. And the radical views at the top make the trek up totally worthwhile.


TRAILHEAD: 12101 N. 145th Way, scottsdale    DIFFICULTY: MODERATE  •  DISTANCE: 2 MILES (4 RT) •  APPROX. TIME: 2 – 2.5 HOURS RT  •  ELEVATION GAIN: 1,100 FEET (79 STORIES)  •  APPROX. CALORIES BURNED: 600-680 RT •  BEST TIME OF YEAR: OCT. – APRIL  •  PETS: YES  •  KID FRIENDLY: NO  •  FACILITIES: none  •  FEES: None

Hikers; Hiking; Sunrise Mountain; Sunrise Peak; McDowell Mountains; McDowell Mountain Preserve; Scottsdale; Arizona; Desert; Views; Sunrise Hiking Trail; Copyright AZutopiaSitting on the southern tip of the McDowell Mountain Preserve, the Sunrise Hiking Trail kicks of from an intimate Scottsdale neighborhood. Within a few yards, the homes are quickly replaced by a gorgeous mountain valley.

Hikers; Hiking; Sunrise Mountain; Sunrise Peak; McDowell Mountains; McDowell Mountain Preserve; Scottsdale; Arizona; Desert; Views; Sunrise Hiking Trail; Copyright AZutopiaThe trail climbs steadily along the side of a granite strewn hill. Looking backwards, views of Red Mountain and the Superstitions become increasingly fine.

Wildflowers; Sunrise Mountain; Sunrise Peak; McDowell Mountains; McDowell Mountain Preserve; Scottsdale; Arizona; Desert; Sunrise Hiking Trail; Copyright AZutopiaIn Spring, the trail is lined by colorful wildflowers, including: Blue Dick (true name), Lupine, Mexican Poppy, and others.

Sunrise Mountain; Sunrise Peak; McDowell Mountains; McDowell Mountain Preserve; Scottsdale; Arizona; Desert; Views; Sunrise Hiking Trail; Copyright AZutopiaDramatic walls of eroded granite line the upper portions of the Sunrise Hiking Trail. Just past the one mile mark, a scenic saddle opens onto hyper-long views of Phoenix.

Hikers; Hiking; Sunrise Mountain; Sunrise Peak; McDowell Mountains; McDowell Mountain Preserve; Scottsdale; Arizona; Desert; Views; Sunrise Hiking Trail; Copyright AZutopiaAt 1.8 miles, a spur trail switchbacks up to Sunrise Peak. And wow is it worth it! Incredible views unfurl in every direction, including a stunning southward view of Weavers Needle and the Superstitions.

If you’re looking for a longer hike, the Sunrise Hiking Trail continues another 2 miles down the backside of the mountain. There, it comes to its ends at a juncture with Lost Dog Wash Hiking Trail.

Total Nerdery

At 3.069′, Sunrise Peak is the shortest of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve six peaks. East End Peak is the highest at 4,059′.

Resources

Click here to download a trail map.