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Horseshoe Trail - MSP, AZ

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Guide 82 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
Rated
2.3
2.3 of 5 by 9
 
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.85 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,695 feet
Elevation Gain 125 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 1.27
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
31  2019-02-23
Gateway hike - snow day
tibber
17  2018-10-29
Gateway Loop Trail - MSP
RowdyandMe
4  2018-10-13
McD lil' Loop
The_Eagle
1  2018-08-26
Tom's Thumb Trail - MSP
johnlp
17  2018-03-08
Lookout Trail - MSP
RowdyandMe
14  2018-01-23
Tom's Thumb Loop off Windgate Pass Trail
RowdyandMe
7  2017-09-30
McDowell Balloon
The_Eagle
8  2017-04-30
Desert Park Trail - MSP
DarthStiller
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov
Sun  6:12am - 6:31pm
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18 Alternative
 
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Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby


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2012-02-12
  • 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
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    MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 3
  • MSP - Approved Climbing Areas 2011
    area related
    MSP - Approved Climbing Areas 2011
  • overview map
    area related

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 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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McDowell Balloon
Needed to stay in town. This is my go to area for in town, time crunched hikes.
Temps were nice to begin and a bit warm at the end for this cowboy.
Breezes kept it decent most of the day.

All the beautiful people were out today.
Saw a young couple with 2 toddlers in baby backpacks in 100 degree temps, 3 miles from the TH going up as I was going down.
Not sure how smart that was. But didn't see them on the news last night.
Horseshoe 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.
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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Quick after work hike in the McDowells. I went out of my way to avoid the heavily congested areas.

Desert Park Trail :next: Horseshoe Trail :next: Gateway Loop :next: Levee Trail :next: Equestrian Bypass
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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Well this wasn't the hike I had planned for today. I work late last night and finally made it to bed just after 2am.
But I still had time for a hike and headed out to the McDowell's. I had not pick out a hike yet but when I got to the trailhead it was crazy.
I decided to turn off on the Horseshoe Trail to get away from the crowds and it worked :y: . When I reached Desert Park Trail I decided to take it and glad I did. I only saw a few people on this trail and it was a nice hike through DC Ranch. There are some really nice homes in this area and it was nice and quite.
Once I got back on the Windgate Pass Trail the traffic picked up. But the weather was great and the desert was incredibly beautiful.
Tomorrow is Saturday and I do have it off so in the morning Ford Canyon here I come.
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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McDowell Loop
I had afternoon plans, so I had to stay close to the valley. With the freakish cool/wet May Saturday, this worked out perfectly.

I don't get many hikes, where the hike mileage is greater than the driving distance or where I can get in close to 15 miles and be home before noon.

Temps were perfect and the clouds from the previous night's storm, made a decent hike into a great hike. The climb up the Tom Thumb Trail from the SW, the Lookout Trail, and the East End Trails... are my favorites in the McD's. The weather added a new kick to them.

Saw nobody for the first 2 hours and then was surprised at the lack of people out enjoying. I ran into the masses once I got to the Gateway Loop portion of my hike.

Saw JJ and his entourage climbing Bell Pass on their way to Thompson Peak.
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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Horseshoe Trail to Gateway Saddle
Final hike of the year, needed to reach 400 miles in 2014. This was my third consecutive day of hiking, to attain that goal. Wasn't totally sure if my leg muscles were on board. And it was raining. But I did it. :wlift:

I was almost the only nutjob out there. I did encounter 2 trail runners on the way back. My left lower calf muscle feels like it almost pulled, close to the end, so I am definitely taking a little hiking break now. But it feels good. Thanks for a great year, HAZ friends. Here's to many more!
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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Horseshoe to Paradise Trail
I'm trying to log some cheap and close-by mileage, to reach 400 miles for the year 2014. I figured I'd hit Paradise Trail for the first time so as to knock that out of my "MSP trails hiked" list, and kill two birds with one stone. Paradise was nicer than I thought it would be, actually. But I did stop mid-trail after I'd reached my mileage goal, before the residential scenery backdrop started.

Horseshoe to Gateway Loop to Paradise.
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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Horseshoe Trail to Gateway Saddle
Hiked out in the rain this morning, starting at 5:50am when it was still dark. The reward was being completely enveloped in fog for most of the hike. Cameras could do this mystical desert imagery no justice so I didn't even bother trying. I loved it.

Zero hikers. One trail runner.
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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Horseshoe Trail to Gateway Saddle
Night hike in the evening. Tried to go while the sun set, but traffic held me up and by the time I actually hit the trail it was too late.

Saw maybe 5 other night-hikers using headlamps. No Scottsdale chupacabras this time. :scared:
Horseshoe Trail - MSP
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Horseshoe Trail to Gateway Saddle
Just before the sun broke this morning, I heard a lone coyote howling from very close by. Growing up in the Tucson foothills, this sound is what I went to sleep to every single night. When I moved to mid-town Tucson for college, I actually had trouble sleeping for a while because I missed the howls. So, I chuckled at the thought of my ol' friend howling away and the completely terrified out-of-staters on the trail today who must have stopped in their tracks and looked around frantically.

(Not that I'm any better. See my recent log of my moonlight hike. But I still chuckled.)

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Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To Horseshoe Trailhead
Take the 101 Pima Freeway to the Princess Drive/Pima Road exit. Go north on Pima Road to Union Hills Drive. Turn right (east) on Union Hills Drive. Turn into the parking lot for the health club at the southeast corner of Union Hills Drive and North Thompson Peak Parkway. Parking for the Horseshoe Trail is permitted in the southeast corner of the lot. A sign for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve marks the start of the trail.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 28.9 mi, 34 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 126 mi, 2 hours 5 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 140 mi, 2 hours 31 mins
page created by joebartels on Feb 12 2012 8:40 pm
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