Scottsdale to Ftn Hills Connector
Overview: This two mile connecting segment completed in May 2014 brings together two vast trail systems between the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the Fountain Hills Preserve. The trail is named for two preservation champions Chet Andrews and Roy Kinsey who created stewardship programs in their respective areas.
Hike: The Andrews-Kinsey trail is a McDowell gem with spectacular views, shade, jagged rock outcrops, old saguaro stands, and a harrowing narrow section looking down into a canyon. From the intersection with Sunrise Trail you wind along a rocky but packed trail looking down on the City of Fountain Hills and behind you to Sunrise Peak. At 1.2 miles you encounter a sign for a Scenic View at 2940 feet elevation to look southward towards Camelback Mountain and the Phoenix Mountain range. Take your obligatory photo op here and then press on for more shaded section of the trail. At 1.6 miles in the trail becomes more narrow and makes a very sharp turn into a narrow canyon. Views of Four Peaks and the Superstition Mountains compete for attention with the straight down plummet you would take if you aren’t watching your step! No texting or jogging in this narrow canyon section as the trail is barely two feet wide with no room for error. Significant old stands of saguaro line the canyon and you feel extremely far away from the city. At the 2 mile mark the trail ends within the boundaries of the City of Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve and leads into the Fountain Hills Preserve.
Access from the Scottsdale side:
1. Sunrise TH at 145th Street(2.2 miles from TH to A-K trail) At the junction with the Sunrise Peak Spur stay straight and go another 0.4 miles just past the equestrian hitching post and you will see a sign for the start of A-K connector.
2. Sunrise TH at 136th Street (2.3 miles from TH to A-K trail) At the junction with Sunrise Trail turn right/northeast another 0.7 miles to junction with A-K. Remember no horses or bikes from this trailhead.
3. Ringtail TH at 128th Street (2.6 miles from TH to A-K trail) Take Ringtail 0.6 miles to intersection with Sunrise Trail then go right/northeast 2 miles to junction with A-K.
4. Lost Dog Wash(2.7 miles from TH to A-K trail) Take Lost Dog Wash trail 0.3 miles to Ringtail trail for 0.4 miles then stay straight/northeast another 2 miles to junction with A-K trail.
Access from the Fountain Hills side:
Western Loop Trail which connects to Promenade Trail and Sonoran Trail and ultimately Dixie Mine Trail. More info on Fountain Hills Preserve (fh.az.gov/trails-preserve.aspx)
You could also make a full loop trail from the parking lot at 145th Street up Sunrise – across Andrews-Kinsey onto Western Loop to unnamed local trails and sidewalks back to the parking lot at 145th Street. Familiarity with the neighborhood and Fountain Hills Preserve would be helpful since current trail maps are inadequate for good advance planning.
History of trail name from June 17, 2014 City Council Report:
“Chet Andrews and Roy Kinsey are, respectively, the originators and developers of the McDowell Mountain preserve stewardship programs in Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. They are also among the core founding groups of McDowell Mountain preservation organizations in their communities. Both developed stewardship programs from the ground up, soliciting volunteers and providing training. Each has served his community as a Preserve Commissioner and each has worked assiduously over two decades to educate the public regarding the importance of McDowell Mountain preservation. Each has also led trail building initiatives in cooperation with community governments. Collectively they have given 40 years of service to McDowell Mountain preservation as leaders, as educators, and as community boosters. It would be fitting to have a trail named jointly for them that connects the trail networks which they helped to develop. The name, like the men, would leave a legacy for others; a tribute to the value of cooperation transcending boundaries.” - written by Mike Nolan, Steve Fleming, and Pam Cissik in a letter to the City Council ( public record )
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.