Trailhead: North Trailhead
Length: 3.1 miles roundtrip
County Park: McDowell Mountain Regional Park
**Kid Friendly Hike**
Directions to Trailhead:
From Fountain Hills, take Palisades Road north to McDowell Mountain Road North. Turn left into the McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Please check the park's website for the most current fee information.. Follow the main road 11 miles to Asher View Drive and turn left. There is a parking lot directly across from the North Trailhead.
The trail begins at a picnic area, with stone picnic benches and grills. At 0.1 miles, you will reach a trail junction - from here you can either go clockwise, or counter-clockwise. The trail description given here is for the clockwise loop.
The trail, which is completely flat and wide enough for two people, winds through the pristine desert. When we did this hike in January 2005, the Phoenix area had received a large amount of rainfall, so the desert floor was very green. There are signs posted along the trail indicating the names of the desert plants that you will encounter along the way.
After about 1.3 miles, the trail turns to the north and begins to parallel a wash. There are exquisite views of the McDowell Mountains, as well as lots of mesquite trees for shade. You will even encounter a stone bench or two, where you can stop to rest your feet, if needed.
At 2.0 miles, the trail curves to the east. Along the way, you will encouter several small wash crossings before you find yourself back at the trail junction, at 3.0 miles.
This trail is also a popular biking trail, so hikers should always stay alert and watch out for bicyclists.
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