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|2.9 of 5|
|AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE|
quickest trail to the center of the northern expansion
The Whiskey Bottle Trail is a new trail in the expanded northern section of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The trail starts at the Fraesfield Trailhead and heads northwest across the northeast side of Fraesfield Mountain and terminates at Powerline Road #2. From there, you can go back the way you came, or continue throughout the system of trails making a larger loop back to the Fraesfield Trailhead.
Take the wide dirt road from the trailhead north, which is the Black Hill Trail. At 0.1 miles, the junction for the Whiskey Bottle is also at the same point as the Monument Trail. Take the Whiskey Bottle Trail to the left and head northwest. The trail very quickly becomes a narrow single track and begins to gain elevation along the northeast side of Fraesfield Mountain. Below you to your right, you can see the Black Hill Trail head directly north, as well as the Dixileta Trail that junctions with it. Behind you are very good views of Four Peaks and to your right the Mazatzals and Mt. Ord are visible in the distance. Closer, just beyond the power lines, is Granite Mountain, which has a nice network of trails surrounding it from the Granite Mountain Trailhead on 136th Street. Once you’ve reached the high point of the trail and begin to descend, Brown’s Ranch Mountain is visible directly ahead. The trail is fairly soft reddish dirt with not too many rocks. Vegetation is pretty sparse in this section on the mountain.
The trail quickly descends to the junction with Dixileta Trail at the 1.6-mile mark and continues northwest. Soon to your left, the golf course is visible on the western side of Fraesfield Mountain. At this point, the trail is very flat and meanders back and forth through the somewhat thicker vegetation, mostly mesquite and paloverdes. The trail remains softer dirt with not much rock. Just a little further past the junction of the Dixileta Trail are the junctions of the Turpentine and Yucca Trails, which intersect at an odd angle. Having a map is probably a little helpful here to figure your bearings. At 2.9 miles, the trail ends at the Powerline Road #2, very near the junctions for the Chuckwagon, Watershed, Vaquero, and 118th Street Trails, giving options for other exploration throughout the preserve. Directly ahead to the northwest Brown’s Ranch Mountain is very prominent and the summit trail on it is clearly visible. At this point you’re also right in the center of the preserve, just a mile or so away from anywhere else you might want to check out.
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