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Monday, April 27, 2015


McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Crested saguaro on Coyote Canyon Trail

The next phase of trail development in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve is underway. Repurposing of existing social paths and new construction in the far north corridor that stretches from Dove Valley Road to the border of Tonto National Forest will continue through 2016. Several fresh routes have already been opened including the Coyote Canyon Trail which is already becoming a hiker favorite because of its unique features. In addition to see-forever views of the Cave Creek
Mountains and Verde River Valley, the route has two signature attractions--- a granite-walled slot canyon and a gloriously gnarled crested saguaro. Since this trail is deep-baked into the heart of the preserve, the only way to get to it is by hiking along connecting routes.
Inside the mini box canyon
Until additional legal parking areas are established, the trail must be accessed from the Granite Mountain trailhead. Here's the most direct circuit. Follow the 136th Street Express 1.3 miles north and turn left onto the Dove Valley Trail. Hike 0.9 mile to the Coyote Canyon Trail junction veer left and trek 1.3 miles to where it ends at the Granite Mountain Loop Trail. From here, there are many options for your return route (download the preserve map for details) but the shortest way back to the trailhead is to turn turn left and go 0.5 mile to the Cow Poke Trail, follow it 0.6 mile back to Dove Mountain Trail and return the way you came.
LENGTH: 6.2 miles (as described here)
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 2,580' – 2,840'
Entrance to the box canyon
Granite Mountain Trailhead, 31402 N. 136th St. Scottsdale.
From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Princess/Pima exit #36 and go 6.5 miles north on Pima to Dynamite Blvd./Rio Verde Dr.  Turn right and continue 5.9 miles to 136th St., turn left and go 1.8 miles to the trailhead on the left. Trailhead is open sunrise to sunset.  No facilities.

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