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Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook, AZ

no permit
405 169 2
Guide 169 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
2.8 of 5 by 26
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,712 feet
Elevation Gain 380 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.3
Backpack No
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10  2018-10-10
Taliesin Trail - MSP
6  2018-01-04
Lost Dog Wash Short Loop
21  2017-12-28 RowdyandMe
6  2017-09-03 cw50must
26  2017-03-23
Lost Dog Loop
6  2016-02-15
Quartz Trail - MSP
14  2015-03-11
Lost Dog - Old Jeep - Ringtail - Lost Dog
37  2015-01-24 New2hyk
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author Crzy4AZ
author avatar Guides 31
Routes 96
Photos 2,588
Trips 589 map ( 2,119 miles )
Age 46 Female Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
14 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
McDowell Preserve connector
by Crzy4AZ

If you want to enjoy the Preserve side of the McDowell Mountains on the City of Scottsdale trails, this easy connector hike is a good starting place. Rather than weaving through several miles of suburbia on the Quartz trail to get to desert solitude, the Lost Dog Wash trail stays mostly hidden from the surrounding neighborhoods.

The trailhead has ample parking and an area for group education complete with new restroom facilities. The trail is well marked with mileage to the various connecting trails in the McDowell Preserves. Access is mixed use approved for dogs on a leash and horses, and on any given day you will find hikers, joggers, and mountain bikers.

The path is a mix of firm sand and rocks as it criss-crosses the wash and climbs slowly to the overlook. You'll be surrounded by all the typical Sonoran desert flora, but the real scene-stealers are the stands of cholla along the way. Recently a rescued crested saguaro was planted near the trailhead.

You may use this trail to connect with the Sunrise trail at 0.2 miles or Ringtail trail at 0.5 miles, and after the short diversion to the overlook at 2.2 miles the trail ends at the Quartz trail at 2.6 miles.

Really this trail is a connector more than a destination unless the goal is a view of Camelback and the Phoenix mountains at Taliesin overlook. That's why I list this triplog as 2.2 miles one-way to the overlook rather than to continue 0.4 miles more to the trail end. As an after work or early morning hike/jog, the logical goal is the overlook and the payoff is at sunrise/sunset.

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy leads educational activities and guided hikes from this trailhead and publishes a short field guide to the Preserves.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-09-26 Crzy4AZ
  • MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 1
    area related
    MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 1
  • MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 2
    area related
    MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 2
  • MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 3
    area related
    MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 3
  • MSP - Approved Climbing Areas 2011
    area related
    MSP - Approved Climbing Areas 2011
  • overview map
    area related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent of 36 deeper Triplog Reviews
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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Lost Dog Loop
wanted to take advantage of the cooler temps and do some sort of wildflower hike. I saw a post on FB that said the Lost Dog was coloring up so I decided to go there. It had rained off and on this day but I thot it was pretty much done so should be a beautiful hike... and it was for the most part.

I hiked the Lost Dog to Ringtail. There was the usual suspects of wildflowers but nothing too dramatic other than the BRITTLEBUSH. OMG! Yep, it's their time and they're showing off even after a week of very hot temperatures. The hedgehogs were apparently cold as their blooms were pretty tight.

Once you hit the Old Jeep Trail you have Brittlebush lining both sides. I just wish the sun would have stayed out as it makes a much more dramatic picture with the dark skies. I went in and out of a couple washes that were also lined in Brittlebush and then all of a sudden it got windy and cold and oh ya, the wet stuff. Fortunately I was in an area that had some trees so I huddled up next to a Desert Palo Verde presuming that the brunt of this little storm would be short as had the rain for most of the day.

In about 5 minutes it let up enough for me to continue; otherwise I would have gotten even more chilled. I'm glad I had my hat as it kept a lot of the rain off me too. My camera lens was having a tough time recovering because of course I was trying to film the event. The trail got a little slippery after. I contemplated doing the Taliesin part but decided against it since I was in my tennis shoes and the socks were rubbing me wrong (my hiking shoes got left in Ambika's car).

There was one more wash that had a nice display of Brittlebush. As I was back on the Lost Dog I ran into about 6 hikers and 2 bike riders. I finished it off by getting really close to a beehive that is marked by four cones on the sidewalk that marked the area. Now rocked off areas I will go around but I didn't even think twice about why those cones might be there ](*,) . Nonetheless, I took a picture and I think some movie of the hive.

And yep, I have videos in production. Done 04-03-2017

Lost Dog to Old Jeep Trail via Ringtail - [ youtube video ]
Old Jeep Trail and rainstorm - [ youtube video ]
Old Jeep to Lost Dog Trailhead - [ youtube video ]

mostly Brittlebush, some lupine and desert chicory, hedgehogs, chuparosa
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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Sunrise & Taliesen Overlook
needed a double digit training hike with some aeg, not on south mountain
started from lost dog trailhead, went up to sunrise peak, down to 145th street and back
then took ringtail to the jeep trail, and lost dog to taliesen overlook
lost dog back to the trailhead
didn't know if anyone had a track for the new nature trail, so i finished with that - it's cute
saw maybe 15 hikers and three mountain bikers - no one on the west side of sunrise, old jeep or ringtail
83 degrees when i started, 91 at the finish and quite humid
cloud cover for most of sunrise and a good breeze all morning
always enjoy sunrise peak and the east side views
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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President's Day - kids out of school - I got a babysitter to be able to have little hike alone in the morning. I did a shuttle "Uber" hike from the house all the way to Lost Dog Wash Trailhead. Took Uber cab back to the house! So much fun.

From the house :next: Paradise trail :next: Quartz trail :next: up to Quartz outcrop :next: up to Taliesin overlook :next: Lost Dog Wash trail :next: called Uber from LDW Trailhead. I think it was $15-20. So fun!

brittle bush around LDW trailhead
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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Great morning hike with Rob.

The morning was cool and the trail was surprisingly unbusy. We only made it a bit past the junction with 136th Street Spur Trail, but that was because of me.

As we made our way down, we saw the beginnings of the "ant trail" that I'm sure will thicken throughout the course of the day.
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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Lost Dog - Old Jeep - Ringtail - Lost Dog
finally on the last legs of being sick, had to get out after work, looking for wildflowers.
    People count 5, lizards 3, bike rider 1, squirrel 1, silly wabbit 1, bitty garter snake 1, wildflower 1 if you don't count brittlebush.
Disappointing, so it became just a hike; but I did take a bit of video; okay a lot (didn't start narrating until Old Jeep). It was somewhat warm and the sun was in and out amongst the flat broken layer of clouds. The brittlebush added some liveliness to the hike up to the Taliesin Overlook. I took Scout II along for the ride too ](*,) but I don't think there's much point in doing that anymore for established trails and no side excursions. (Thank you Garmin Oregon 450; I love wasting my time and money.)

At the Overlook, even though your view is of the city, it is still rather striking to have it all laying out there right in front of you. I checked my heart rate after walking around a bit and was not happy that it was still high. Oh well. Hopefully that will change soon! I moved Scout II back in my backpack and headed off to the Old Jeep Trail. I like this part of the hike as you go up and down a couple drainages. At the one big drainage/wash you can definitely see the road/trail has been effected by our winter rain.

The temps started to cool now as I came up the Ringtail Trail to top out above the area. This is a pretty part too I think. It's still quite green even if the brittlebush blooms are starting to fade. Before completing the hike I went around one of the two small loops of the Interpretive Trail that I believe is being dedicated at the end of the month. The signs are scheduled to go in this winter.

A couple videos:
from Lost Dog to Taliesin to Old Jeep -
Old Jeep to Ringtail to Lost Dog and Interpretive -
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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Did an out and back hike along the Lost Dog Trail to Taliesen Overlook, then on to the Quartz Trail intersection and back. Just adding more segments to my All Trails Challenge.

This was a nice little hike. A bit crowded on this Presidents Day holiday, which is understandable given how quickly the city fades away.
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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My daughter had a play date and dropped her off at her friend's house around 10am. Lost dog TH is close by so decided to go there. I did it a couple of year's ago and somehow managed not to enter triplog :o . It was very windy throughout the hike. Steady flow of hikers and some bikers made it feel like I was not alone. Not much wildlife to speak of. I photographed a new bird for me but it came out too blurry.
Saw a artificial saguaro cactus at Ringtail TH. I see those in north Scottsdale too. Anyone know what their purpose is?
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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Hiked with 3 other MSC Stewards who are Nature Guides. I learned a heck of a lot and enjoyed the company. Lost Dog :next: Ringtail :next: Old Jeep :next: Lost Dog.
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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I'm working with @Sun_Ray to develop an "All Trails Club" designation for MSC Stewards -- a program to encourage the 500+ stewards to know the trails better and explore the newer ones. Also hoping to influence some to track their progress here on HAZ.

So I typed up a list of all 133 miles of MSP trails and checked off the ones I've done, and I was shocked to find that I had not ever been on Old Jeep Trail. So I've made a list of the little bits and pieces of the Preserve that I haven't done to put on my 2015 resolution list.

In the boring spirit of checking things off a list - afterwards I parked at Anasazi Elementary (ok to do on the weekends) and took some of the access trails to get to the trailhead. Feels ridiculous to walk on a sidewalk basically to Via Linda on the "Lost Dog Wash Access Trail" but it's really a neighborhood access trail. I question whether this land is really in the Preserve and should be "counted" in the total mileage, but all the signs on the trail are from City of Scottsdale. To get a straight answer would take a dozen emails and not worth it.

Old Jeep Trail is pretty remote feeling but very, very rocky. A little unpleasant like Levee Trail. But nice to not see any houses. There's a peekaboo view of Camelback Mountain from the highest point on Old Jeep Trail.

Happy holidays to everyone!!! : rein : : rein : : rein : : rein :
Lost Dog Wash to Taliesin Overlook
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McDowell Sonoran Conservancy steward only hike for those that had completed the 4 hour class on flora & fauna. 25 of us met at Lost Dog Wash trailhead and hiked a hybrid type hike that included parts of Ringtail and Lost Dog trails. Experienced master steward Lisa Miller lead the hike and discussion.

3 hours.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
101 to Shea Boulevard. East on Shea to 124th Street. North on 124th Street to dead end at trailhead.
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