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Pass Mountain Trail

Intermediate
 4.1 (10)

A 7 mile (11.7 km) loop trail that offers nice elevation gains and scenic views.


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Map Key

7.7

Miles

12.3

KM

Loop

3,230' 985 m

High

1,885' 575 m

Low

1,510' 460 m

Up

1,510' 460 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildlife

This trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.

Description

The main trailhead for this trail shares a parking area with the Blevins Trailhead. It can also be reached from the Wind Cave parking area, but that one is usually a lot more crowded. I usually take this trail counterclockwise from the Blevins parking area. It is more rugged and rocky at the beginning where it crosses a few washes. From there, the trail runs along a fence line for a while, keeping along the southern edge of the park.

The trail gets really rocky as you turn north to begin your ascent. The trail becomes less rugged once you climb to the saddle and wind around the backside of the mountain. I think it is pretty flat up there, with maybe a small elevation loss over a couple of miles. The views there are excellent, and it is worth stopping a few times to check them out, especially in the spring.

The trail becomes pretty narrow at some points, and you do need to share with mountain bikers, but this trail is nowhere near as crowded as Wind Cave. You can hear the gunshots from the nearby rifle range as you round the northern edge of Pass Mountain, and there are signs warning you about the archery range as you start heading south. It is always a good idea to stay on the trail and your side of the fence. The western side of the trail is more sand and gravel than the rocks of the eastern side, so watch your footing as you descend into some more washes. I've seen people slip down a hill and run into a barrel cactus. It isn't pretty.

The trail is pretty obvious and well marked, although, in my opinion, not as well marked as the rest of the trail system in this park.

Carry plenty of water and plan to either do the whole loop or turn back at a given point. There are no shortcuts back to the parking area. Along its southern edge, this trail does connect to the Cat Peaks Pass Trail, so you can access the rest of the trail system from there, and it connects on the northern edge to the Maricopa Trail (look for the signs).

Flora & Fauna

Lots of cholla, saguaro and prickly pear. Look for deer, coyotes, and your usual desert reptiles.

Contacts

Land Manager: Maricopa County Parks

Shared By:

Doug Baer

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 10 votes

#7645

Overall
  4.1 from 10 votes
5 Star
30%
4 Star
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3 Star
20%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#230

in Arizona

#7,645

Overall
28 Views Last Month
5,048 Since Jan 18, 2017
Intermediate

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89%
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11%
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Photos

A little cloudy, but this is the view from the backside of the mountain - the eastern part of the trail.
Jan 18, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
The trail is rocky and rife with saguaro on the way to the saddle.
Jan 18, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
East side just below peak.
Jun 8, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
Topping off a cairn on the Pass Mountain Trail.
Jun 8, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
Look for a fork in the trail. This one is more pronounced than many others.
Apr 10, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
A bench at the top of the hill. Great view of Fountain Hills ... no shade, though. (Look for the BIG fountain to be going on the hour.)
Jun 9, 2019 near Apache…, AZ

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Check-Ins

Oct 2, 2021
Eric E
Fun, moderate trail. 7.7mi — 4h 00m
Jan 29, 2021
Karen Enright
Jan 3, 2021
Chuck Enright
Mar 8, 2020
P.w. Hodge
Feb 27, 2020
Rock On
Apr 7, 2019
Inessa Martin
Mar 17, 2019
Saman Garkani
10mi — 3h 40m
Feb 23, 2019
Lian Allen
Amazing hike! Beautiful views, especially on the back side. Bring plenty of water! Used Blevins Trailhead. 7.5mi