One of the great things about living in Arizona is the abundance of hiking trails. There are hiking trails for beginners up to the expert level. A great area to get out and walk in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The preserve has 180 miles of trails to explore, and they are an easy drive to.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is maintained and preserved through a partnership between Scottsdale and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. The trails are open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
Just one of the trails in the preserve is the Cone Mountain Loop Trail. Yes, that’s right, it is a trail that goes around Cone Mountain and is a 4.1-mile loop. The trail is located in the northern section of the preserve at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. The trailhead has a large parking lot for cars, parking just for horse trailers, restrooms, ramadas, and special interpretive signage to give you information about the area.
We decided to try this trail because it has an easy skill level and was just a nice day to walk. This was not our first time trying to go around Cone Mountain. About a month ago, we started to hike around the mountain, but we missed the trail that splits off from the upper ranch trail. This time we paid closer attention. After leaving the trailhead and going up the upper ranch trail, a tiny sign tells you the way to Cone Mountain at the 0.7-mile mark. The signs will tell you the direction to go for each of the many trails.
You take the main upper ranch trail from the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. This trail is one of the main trails that run through the preserve. Off in the distance is Brown’s Mountain; several trails go beyond the mountain. The upper ranch trail was the direction we started to head in after our failed attempt at the Cone Mountain Trail.
What Will You See?
The trail loops around Cone Mountain with a few downhill and uphill sections, but it is a scenic and easy trail. You will get to enjoy many saguaro cacti and other local cactus. Plus, some incredible rock formations are on the far side of the mountain. During the spring you can enjoy the flowers.
If you’re looking for a nice trail that is scenic and enjoyable give Cone Mountain Loop Trail a try.
Brown’s Ranch Trailhead
30301 N. Alma School Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85262