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Andrews - Kinsey Trail MSP, AZ

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3.4 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,784 feet
Elevation Gain 214 feet
Accumulated Gain 315 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.05
Backpack No
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4  2019-05-27
Lost Dog Sunrise Paradise Loop
14  2019-02-23
Sunrise Peak from 124th Lost Dog Trailhead
8  2019-01-19
Adero Canyon Loop
7  2019-01-02
Dixie Mine TH Wander
7  2018-12-16 DarthStiller
15  2018-11-05 RowdyandMe
14  2018-10-31
Sunrise 145th - Andrews-Kinsey
8  2018-01-14
Pk. 3585
Page 1,  2,  3
Author Crzy4AZ
author avatar Guides 31
Routes 96
Photos 2,588
Trips 589 map ( 2,119 miles )
Age 46 Female Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
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Preferred   Mar, Feb, Nov, Jan
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:34pm
Official Route
13 Alternative
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Scottsdale to Ftn Hills Connector
by Crzy4AZ

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.

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 (

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 )

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2014-09-14 Crzy4AZ

    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 Triplog Reviews
    Andrews - Kinsey Trail MSP
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Limited on time so we decided to check this local urban hike out. Not a bad hike and not to crowded for a Saturday morning. From the peak we hiked out on the Andrew-Kinsey trail and then also checked out what looks to be a new trail, Overlook. Had a snack and then returned the same way back.
    Andrews - Kinsey Trail MSP
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Pk. 3585
    This was my first time doing this hike!. I can now add pk 3585 to my list of summits in the McDowells, and what a butt kicker!
    You climb only a short ways, but it's steep and stickery; although the hike up to the mountain is quite a distance.
    On top, you can really tell no one comes up here (no trash, poop bags, or anything!). You make your own way! Very rocky and lots of cactus to watch out for on this mountain. It's funny, when driving through Scottsdale, this mountain and it's sister (Pk 3804) look like gentle slopes. It's very steep and rocky when you get close to them! You can reach out and touch the other peak from the top of this one, but actually it's quite a hike I'm sure. Someday I'll tackle that one. It was very windy on top, but very clear, and I could see all mountain ranges in the valley very good. And the fountain was going off in FH, the wind was blowing it all over the place. Thanks Flying_Fliver for the route to follow! :)
    Andrews - Kinsey Trail MSP
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    wanted some elevation, but also to hike the andrews - kinsey trail
    started from 145th street trailhead since i've never actually parked there, and sunrise trail from that side is shorter, steeper and far more scenic than from the west
    up to the peak, then ten feet past the horse railing, took a right on andrews - kinsey
    very nice trail cut into the side of the mountain, following the contours and going around two big drainages
    good footing so one can look around at the superstitions, weaver's needle, four peaks, and the fountain hills fountain
    lots of vegetation and a decent flower show, with brittlebush, globemallow, hedgehog blossoms, and some little yellow ones
    the only thing i didn't much care for was the arbitrary end of the trail at the fountain hills preserve boundary
    a trail continued, and without time constraints i would have gone farther
    as it was, i had hiked the entire trail and went about 50 feet further to a nice overlook
    went back the same way without sunrise peak
    i don't mind an out-and-back, but next time i would look at some loop options on satellite view
    fun to do something new, along with a peak and a good workout
    started around 9:30 and finished just after noon
    saw quite a few people going up to and on sunrise, no one on andrews - kinsey, and maybe four on the way back down
    Andrews - Kinsey Trail MSP
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Lost Dog to Andrews-Kinsey
    Saw my first rattler!

    To be technical, I saw my first rattler during my HAZ era, i.e., since living in the Phoenix area after moving here from Tucson 19 years ago. I encountered a few during my Tucson hiking days, including a few by the house I grew up in. It was a small little bugger, and it was not happy about being right next to the trail where several hikers were gawking at it. I took a few photos from about 10 feet away, which was the exact distance at which its rattle went off. Backing away, it muted. 10 foot mark, off the rattle went. Pretty amazing.

    Lots of wildflowers out there. I photographed a bird I couldn't recognize that hopefully someone can tag for me.

    Hiked from the Lost Dog TH up to the border with Fountain Hills Preserve and back, primarily to knock out some more All-Trails Challenge segments.

    Pictures to come.
    Andrews - Kinsey Trail MSP
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I saw a post on Instagram about a loop hike from Sunrise TH using Andrews-Kinsey and the Ftn Hills Preserve trails --- so I studied the FH maps and found a route that I thought would be all legal and all on sanctioned trails.

    But . . . it was not. So don't copy my GPS route. But if you want to do this route you better get out and do it fast before construction starts on the private land at the edge of Ftn Hills Preserve. That construction will partially ruin the view from Sunrise trail looking down into Adero Canyon. And the new neighborhood will definitely change the view from Andrews-Kinsey trail looking into the canyon - - so get out and enjoy before it's ruined.

    Parked at Sunrise TH 145thStreet and went up to Andrews-Kinsey (did not go to Sunrise Peak). Took AK to the end of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve portion - - then continued into the Fountain Hills McDowell Mountain Preserve portion until I came upon a FHMMP sign for Adero Canyon overlook. There's a nice shaded bench and I stopped for lunch. Then took Western Loop trail south to Promenade trail which leads to the well-marked end of FHMMP and start of private land. On the Ftn Hills maps I could not see this distinction in my planning and I saw a big star for "Future Trailhead" and a black-dash trail named "Old Jeep Trail".

    This future trailhead will not happen - - and the Old Jeep Trail on their maps is all do-not-trespass private land that is marked for construction already. Lots of survey markers around and tags for trees and cactus to preserve. I continued on Old Jeep Trail until it hit the neighborhood -- and then saw clear signs that said any biking or walking past that point would incur a $250 fine. I proceeded at my own risk and thought I would be following a yellow line trail (turned out that the yellow line was a border between Fountain Hills city limits and Scottsdale) - - so I stuck to sidewalks instead and made it back to my car uneventfully.

    Next time I'll do this as a 2-car shuttle with one car at Golden Eagle TH and one at Sunrise TH. All the map reading and reviewing made me appreciate even more the full protection of the MSP and such a contrast to the FHMMP. "A tale of two Preserves". Stark contrast between the tiny FHMMP with basically no access unless you live in those gated neighborhoods or you hike through MMRP trails from Golden Eagle to get to them. And the MSP which has huge parking areas and lots of access points and truly belongs to the tax-paying citizens of Scottsdale that voted twice to protect the land via self-tax.

    Unfortunately the Ftn Hills construction that will take place adjacent to their tiny Preserve will impact views and sounds from Sunrise trail soon.
    Andrews - Kinsey Trail MSP
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Fresh off my graduation ceremony to become a MSC Steward (McDowell Sonoran Conservancy) - I was all pumped up from reading about all the new trails and ones to come - and we had a babysitter for the night. So we did a very ambitious hike but got to check out the brand spanking new Andrews-Kinsey trail. It's on the newly printed August 2014 MSP trails of the Southern Region but you can't find info on it anywhere else yet.

    I was pretty tired when we hit the Scenic Point on the new trail but was determined to get the whole route for HAZ! Saw mushrooms on the trail edge (a first). And I'm pretty sure we saw a badger hole (see pics). Ballsy for me to say that but it was clearly an animal excavating with the pile of trailings and the width and depth of the hole fits badger description. Of course only one has been seen in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in the last 30 years - - so there's also a good chance that I'm wrong. But I'm throwing it out there :)

    We hiked after sunset (obviously) which is against MSP rules and a clear violation of Steward behavior. I don't know how to justify it except that I really, really wanted to hike and needed that GPS route for HAZ. I'll do better next time with rule bending. And I didn't have on my blue shirt, and I felt really guilty about it - and the risk is mostly on me to encounter an animal after dark.

    Inhaled dinner at Pita Jungle including dessert. What a day. :y:

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    This is a connector trail segment that cannot be directly accessed by car. See above description of access points from either Scottsdale (Sunrise TH 145th or Sunrise TH 136th St) or Fountain Hills.

    Closest parking area is the Sunrise TH at 145th Street at 12101 N 145th Way
    page created by Crzy4AZ on Sep 14 2014 12:11 pm
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