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Pemberton Loop Trail

Intermediate
 4.9 (7)

A long, scenic, desert hike on singletrack and jeep road.


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Map Key

15.6

Miles

25.1

KM

Point to Point

2,476' 755 m

High

1,828' 557 m

Low

790' 241 m

Up

787' 240 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Cave · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

There is a small park fee to enter the park. maricopa.gov/parks/mcdowell

From the trailhead, you can start the loop in either direction at the west end of the parking lot. This description is based on hiking the loop clockwise.

As you leave the parking lot, you'll hike on easy hard packed sand trail for about a quarter mile and cross over the main road. Once over the road, the trail starts in earnest with an awesome section that rolls down through several large, sandy washes and passes the trails that cut across the loop (Granite Trail, Tonto Tank, etc).

After passing Pemberton Pond, the trail makes a righthand bend and starts a long, lazy climb up a rocky slope before leveling out (mostly) to run past the Dixie Mine Trail and Coachwhip Trail which lead further into the McDowells.

After Coachwhip, the trail becomes more rolling as you cruise up, down, and around the terrain, across several washes, and past the other end of the Granite and Tonto Tank trails.

A little past the half-way point, the trail takes a hard right turn and switches to a jeep road with a downhill tilt.

Once you cross the main road again, you're in the home stretch. The last mile or two is desert brush running down the windy trail back to the parking lot.

Contacts

Land Manager: Maricopa County Parks

Shared By:

Tom Dobson with improvements by Chad Dailey

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 7 votes

#619

Overall
  4.9 from 7 votes
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#39

in Arizona

#619

Overall
18 Views Last Month
2,843 Since Apr 9, 2015
Intermediate

14%
14%
57%
0%
14%
0%

Photos

Sonoran Desert
Dec 2, 2018 near Fountai…, AZ
Sonoran sunset.
Mar 26, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
Top end of Tonto Tank Trail.
Mar 26, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
"Twinsies" saguaro cacti
Mar 11, 2018 near Rio Verde, AZ
Moonrise Over Desert Foothills
Mar 26, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
This sign is at the start of the parking lot.
Jul 9, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ

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Check-Ins

Nov 23, 2019
Candy Wampler
Apr 27, 2019
Chris Stewart
Jan 1, 2019
Ryan Krekling
Dec 15, 2018
Ashton Winfree
Nov 7, 2018
Derron Klafter
Dec 26, 2017
Jacque Durhman