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Paradise Trail - MSP, AZ

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Guide 103 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.1 of 5 by 12
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,655 feet
Elevation Gain 350 feet
Accumulated Gain 360 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.7
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
4  2019-05-27
Lost Dog Sunrise Paradise Loop
11  2018-05-02
Quartz Trail - MSP
7  2017-12-10
Gateway Loop Trail - MSP
4  2017-11-25
Thompson Peak from 104th St TH
7  2017-09-23
McDowell Mountain Loop
9  2017-03-04
Thompson Peak from Dixie Mine TH
3  2017-02-26
Thompson Peak from Dixie Mine TH
8  2016-03-20
Gateway Loop Trail - MSP
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   Nov, Dec, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
19 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Conjunction junction, what's your function
by Crzy4AZ

Chances are you won't hike (or bike) the Paradise Trail in isolation, and defining the start of the trail depends on your perspective. The trail follows the edge of developed land for 1.5 miles linking several City of Scottsdale trails around the McDowell mountain range (see map).

This description begins at the parking lot at Bell Road and 104th Street where you go 0.2 miles before signs for the Levee trail appear. Take the raised Levee trail for one mile to the intersection with Paradise.

Here you have three choices:
To Bell Pass - go left 0.2 miles on Paradise trail to Gateway Loop then go right to meet up with Bell Pass trail in 0.2 miles. It's two miles of switchbacks from here to the great views at Bell Pass;
(2) To McDowell pit mines - go right a few feet and then head up the hill;
(3) To Quartz trail - go right 1.3 miles and follow the signs.

This description trailhead GPS coordinates are from the start of the Levee trail by the parking area at Bell & 104th Street. I chose this location since you can't access Paradise trail without starting on some other trail first. Here are the GPS coordinates for the three choices:

1. Intersection of Gateway Loop and Paradise
2. Intersection of Levee trail and Paradise
3. Intersection of Quartz trail and Paradise

You'll find the Paradise trail to be isolated in sections and in a wash below housing developments in other parts. The terrain is rocky with gentle ups and downs, which lends itself well to mountain biking, walking, or trail running.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2007-12-10 Crzy4AZ
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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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 46 deeper Triplog Reviews
Paradise Trail - MSP
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In keeping with the yearly goal of more peaks, more unique hits, and more miles, I decided to head out here. Wow. That last road is no joke. It felt never ending with a steepness I don't remember experiencing elsewhere. I think the paved portions make it seem like it isn't as steep as it is but holy crap.

I was going to attempt this last weekend but decided to do the loop around Tom's Thumb. I am glad I chose to follow lindaagm's route as it shaved a few miles off of the one I was going to use. I was gassed by the end.
Paradise Trail - MSP
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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
Paradise Trail - MSP
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A nice and warm afternoon for a hike. I decided to hit the McDowell's and really wasn't sure which trail to do. I parked on the 104th street trailhead and just started hiking.
I kept a close eye on Rowdy and adjusted our hiking accordingly. Right know 85 seems to be a little on the warm side for him. I guess it time to break out his cooling jacket.
This was a new trail for us and it was nice and not busy at all. I did hear some small little birds but I could not seem to find them. It seemed warmer than it as and there was shade for Rowdy so that made it nice.
Paradise Trail - MSP
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After nap - did a family hike from the house onto Paradise trail :next: Quartz :next: Taliesin (brief thought of going up to Taliesin overlook but was too late in the day to make it out by sunset) :next: McDowell Mtn Golf club parking lot.

We drove one car to golf club and then started hike from house. I like this method. Sometimes we have dinner at Mesquite Grill after hike - but not tonight. Caroline stopped to journal nature observations a few times. George loves being line leader and using a kid adjusted hiking stick.
Paradise Trail - MSP
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Ever since we moved into the new house - I have wanted to do this loop from the front door up to Tom's Thumb and back. Dropped kids at school - Brad took day off work to hike.

House :next: Paradise :next: Gateway loop up to saddle and over :next: up Windgate Pass :next: Tom's Thumb past spring :next: up to the Thumb itself (lunch) :next: down East End :next: Windmill briefly :next: Bell Pass up and over :next: back to Paradise trail :next: home to front door.

Very nice weather. Great loop! Lots of AEG without driving anywhere! :y: :D

Cattails out of control tall and growing into the trail by the spring
Paradise Trail - MSP
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Hiked to the Lookout in the morning. Then home for nap/lunch. At 4:00 - set out from the house (so awesome to leave from front door!) through neighborhood gate to Paradise trail with the kids. Caroline had on her church dress with some random pants and UGG boots.

We stopped to inspect mammalaria cactus and did loud echoes in the tunnel under Paradise Road. Took Quartz trail south to the community park and played on the playground for a while. Then I called Brad to come pick us up.
Paradise Trail - MSP
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McDowell Loop
My go to area when I need a workout hike or am limited in time.
Lots of loop opportunities from 5 to 30 miles and as much AEG as you can bite off.

Perfect weather with plenty out enjoying the day. East of the ridgeline you rarely see another. I scrambled south off of the Thompson Peak Trail to meet up with the Quartz trail. On the Quartz trail I spooked 3 mule deer that never went more than 40' from me.
Paradise Trail - MSP
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I was supposed to meet Brad and kids at the gym. But instead I bolted out the front door and went up Paradise trail to Gateway Saddle and back down. No one seemed to miss me for a while. Then we met to drop of my car for new back tires. 130,000 miles now third set.

There's a new little warning sign about the Paradise pit mines. After all the rain the trails looked good. This area is so rocky that the muddy areas hold up better than the sandy northern preserve.
Paradise Trail - MSP
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First hike of 2016. Brad took kids to the park. I left from our front door (awesomeness) and took Paradise to Gateway to Windgate Pass trail up to Inspiration point then back the way I came. Did Patrol and exercise. Helped one person get cholla ball out of their shoe. Busy as expected on Gateway.
Paradise Trail - MSP
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One last hike to round out the year. Took the family up to Flagstaff yesterday to play in the snow, figured that earned me a hike day. It has been three years since I did this one last, it is the only named MSP peak I have not gotten in this year. Hit the 104th trailhead about 7:15 to start my day before the sun was up. Didn't see much of the sun until I hit Bell Pass. Made my way in good time up and over. I took the cairned shortcut slownsteady mentioned, nice way to skip a bit of the road walk. Needed a few breaks getting up the tower road, just as steep as I remember it. There was a worked up top moving some heavy equipment around, he seemed none to happy to see me despite giving him a friendly hello...I got stuck behind him for a bit of the downhill as he maneuvered a skid steer down the really steep part of the road. Took one last break at Bell Pass again, then on back to the truck. Saw just a few folks in the morning, but quite a few on Bell Pass and Gateway on the way back. This makes 82 different peaks for 2015, surprised myself that I managed to get that many in without driving to every corner of the state. Happy New Year all!I

Permit $$
Information is listed below

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Directions: From 101 - take Bell Road exit (either FLW Blvd or Pima/Princess depending on your direction). After the intersection of Bell Rd with Thompson Peak Parkway continue east, and the gravel lot is on the left at 104th Street.

If you visit the mines or go off the labeled trails, you'll need a AZ State Land Trust permit.
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