Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Windgate Pass Day Hike
when Saturday, December 30, 2017
where McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale
the hike     This is a 9.6 mile loop hike in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, starting from the Gateway Trailhead off Thompson Peak Parkway. We will do a clockwise loop hike through the heart of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, taking in great views of the three highest peaks in the preserve: McDowell, Thompson, and Drinkwater (named after Scottsdale’s long-time mayor Herb Drinkwater).
    Three miles from the trailhead we’ll take a rest break at the rock benches on Inspiration Viewpoint. From there we will continue heading east to Windgate Pass and beyond to the junction with the Bell Pass Trail. Here we start heading south to Bell Pass, at 3,204 feet the highest point on the loop trail. Then we continue heading SW and finally west back to the Gateway Trailhead.
    After the hike we will stop for lunch at a shopping center two miles south of the Gateway entrance on Thompson Peak Parkway. There are several options including a great sub sandwich place and a good Asian restaurant.
Required:
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
Recommended:
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 9.6 miles round trip
time 5-6 hours
EC +- 1,996 feet elevation change
elevations 1,720 feet at Gateway Trailhead to 3,204 feet at Bell Pass
starting at
Gateway Trailhead 33° 38.963' N,  111° 51.501' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100%
rating "B"   Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost When car-pooling, pay your share of the cost of gas.
The club accepts voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Scottsdale
leader   You must email the leader to confirm.
meet 8:00 AM in the Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve parking area closest to the large Ramada building where restrooms are located (see map).
drive From West Valley:
•  101 East to Pima / Princess Drive exit.
•  After exiting, go straight through the 1st stoplight, which is Pima/Princess Dr.
•  Go to the 2nd stoplight, which is Bell Road.
•  Turn left on Bell Rd.
•  Go about one mile and turn left at the light on Thompson Peak Parkway. There will be a CVS pharmacy on the NW corner of Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway.
•  From Thompson Peak take the first right (about a half-mile north of Bell Rd.), which will be the entrance to the Gateway trailhead (you’ll see a brown trailhead sign). Park close to the large Ramada building.

From East Valley:
•  101 North to Frank Lloyd Wright / Bell Road exit.
•  After exiting, go straight through the 1st stoplight, which is Frank Lloyd Wright.
•  Go to the 2nd stoplight, which is Bell Road.
•  Turn right on Bell Rd.
•  Go about one mile and turn left at the light on Thompson Peak Parkway. There will be a CVS pharmacy on the NW corner of Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway.
•  From Thompson Peak take the first right (about a half-mile north of Bell Rd.), which will be the entrance to the Gateway trailhead (you’ll see a brown trailhead sign). Park close to the large Ramada building.

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updated December 4, 2017 © Copyright 2017, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.