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Coyote Canyon Loop MSP, AZ

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Guide 21 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.7 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 3.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,824 feet
Accumulated Gain 115 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.18
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
10  2016-03-27
McDowell Preserve North
4  2016-01-14
Soapberry Wash Trail - MSPN
10  2015-12-13
McDowell Preserve Phase 2C Loop
8  2015-07-08
Bootlegger-Coyote Cyn-Granite Mtn Loop
3  2015-07-08
Bootlegger-Coyote Cyn-Granite Mtn Loop
15  2015-05-23
McDowell Preserve Far North Area
66  2015-01-28 New2hyk
1  2015-01-19
McDowell Sonoran Wandering
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Feb, Nov, Jan
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:31pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Giant saguaros and hidden canyon
by Crzy4AZ

The Coyote Canyon Trail is a new (2014) addition to the Northern section of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and offers up-close encounters with granite boulder outcrops and a surprising and beautiful narrow canyon and wash.

Overview: The closest access point for the Coyote Canyon Trail is from the 136th Street and Dove Valley Road intersection with no official parking but road-side space for 2-3 cars. From this pull-off area, take Dove Valley trail 0.3 miles to Cow Poke Trail then travel 0.6 miles on Cow Poke to the intersection with Granite Mountain Loop Trail. At trail marker sign GM5: take Granite Mountain Loop trail northwest (right towards Cholla Mtn) about 0.45 miles to the sign for Coyote Canyon trail. Head right/north 1.2 to meet up with Dove Valley Trail. Continue on Dove Valley trail 1.0 miles to the parking area.

Hike:There is very little elevation change in this hike, but there are pleasant ups and downs and bends through giant old stands of saguaro. Most of the greenery along the trail's edge is made up of mesquite and cat claw acacia trees/shrubs. Of particular interest on Coyote Canyon Trail is the double crested saguaro which can be found right off the trail about 0.7 miles along the trail. Just past this point is a warning sign to prepare mountain bikers or equestrians of the approaching trail drop into a narrow, sandy section and mini-slot canyon of the eponymous Coyote Canyon.

I found myself in utter shock as I approached the narrow drop into Coyote Canyon with the granite walls providing shade and an immediate cooling effect. Tall, smooth granite walls to either side of me and the shadows of late afternoon casting lovely light into the space. The area has received greater than usual rain and you could see evidence of fast rushing water that had pushed brush flat and pointing in one direction in the wash. The trail is soft and sandy here with a desert oasis feeling amongst the Datura bushes and grasses and reeds. There was a temporary watering hole on my particular visit with many animal footprints in the mud.

After the 0.25 mile stretch walking along the canyon floor, you meet up with the Dove Valley Trail again and follow an old motorcross trail back to the parking area.

If you want a longer loop trail, start from the Granite Mountain Trailhead to create an 8 mile hike that includes Coyote Canyon Trail. Anyway you access it, this is a terrific new addition to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and well worth the tax payer dollars it cost to acquire it for permanent protection.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2014-10-04 Crzy4AZ
    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 14 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Gamboling Around Granite
    Very nice day for a hike, but we wanted something interesting but not too demanding. The area around Granite Mountain sounded just right. Used a bunch of trails to construct and easy 8ish mile route. A few folks on the trails, mostly close to the trailhead. Enjoyed all the granite outcroppings and Coyote Canyon was a nice surprise.
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Parked Tonto. 136th :next: Barbs :next: DV :next: Soapberry :next: CC and back.
    Saw 5 deer. Hunters still have permits for a little longer. I see them parking at intersection of 136th St and Hawknest on the east side of the road.
    I took a zillion pics of the Michelin Man cactus today to help people see where he is off Soapberry Wash.
    Thursday hike - kids in school. Perfect distance for me to squeeze in beautiful hike during school hours.
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Spent the morning looking for butterflies with Master Steward @ezpixels (she is not active on HAZ anymore - but she has a wildly popular Instagram gallery). Also two other MSC Stewards from class #7 - which is way back in 2004. Marianne has made a butterfly identification brochure for two purposes: raising money for MSC (you can buy a copy at the MSC office on FLW Blvd) and for all the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute citizen science volunteers that will be participating in a large butterfly ID field study in a month or so. There is a training session that is open to the public to learn how to identify butterflies -- even if you are not citizen science and cannot participate in field work. You do have to register b/c space is limited. was very dry and only saw a couple of butterflies. But we had a nice leisurely walk along Dove Valley trail and into Coyote Canyon trail. We all parked at Granite Mountain TH and had a very kind driver take us up to Dove Valley step-over and picked up later.

    At the end one of the stewards brought us all mesquite flour cookies and other goodies made from desert flora - - ethnobotany for chocolate lovers :lol:

    As a side note - just for my own journaling documentation - the person who convinced me to become a MSC steward was @ezpixels after we had "known" each other on Instagram for a year. I would send her trail condition updates and ask her about flora/fauna. She convinced me that I didn't have to be retired to be a steward and any hours I could contribute would be helpful even with busy work life and kids/husband to look after. I am so glad that I took her advice and TODAY September 13th is my one year anniversary with MSC! Should have joined years ago...
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Bootlegger-Coyote Cyn-Granite Mtn Loop
    The Turtle needed to get off of the concrete trails and do something different. I showed him some boulders ans saguaros.

    We hit up the Northeast portion of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and some new trails or both of us. Once again got lucky with the weather. Upper 70's to start, probably low 90's to finish. Clouds filtered the sun and the breeze blew just enough to keep us cool.

    The Coyote Canyon Trail was a pleasant surprise and interesting area.

    Lots of Doves, Quail, Rock Squirrels, but that's about it. 2 bikers, and 3 hikers were all we saw.

    Good hike Mr Turtle... Lets get that arm healed so we can get you on some other hikes.

    ** Note to future hikers that want to hike out of Trailheads on the Eastern side of this complex. There is No Parking at any of the Trailheads, other that the Granite Mountain Trailhead **
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Since I already hiked my monthly goal, decided to goof off today. Went to dove valley pseudo TH. There is one car already there and parked behind it. Later on found out that I blocked the gate :o . Sorry preserve folk. Someone left a very nice note on the gate now asking not to block it.
    Did the loop ccw and there are no signs still. I followed 2 hikers first. Then stopped at the water tank which has no water despite rain :( . Saw a hunter and had a nice chit chat. He is hunting quails and really wants the big buck lot of people already told me about. He said there are 2 more weeks of hunting season left.
    Off I went and ran into another group of hikers. My third time seeing that group this winter and chatted a bit. Then I kept going marvelling the beauty of coyote canyon. Saw lots of sps of fern there(should be nick named fern canyon). Wild flowers are starting :y: . Glad they don't move around like fauna :sl:
    Saw no one else in the canyon. Heard horse like sounds twice. Looked around bit saw no horses or any other wildlife :?
    As I am on granite mtn trail, there is a flight school helicopter practicing all sorts of feats. Glad I was not in it :)
    Had a secret wish to see large animals today but no sightings :(
    On the other hand, I photographed a new bird for me-abert's towhee :y:
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    McDowell Sonoran Wandering
    I started out at the Fraesfield TH. I was the only vehicle in the lot. I headed down the Gooseneck trail to where I left off the previous week.

    I explored Redbird / service road connectors before heading back on the Redbird trail. When I went past the Fraesfield TH, the lot was half full. The mountain bikers came out in full-force at 10am.

    I headed North by taking:
    Blackhills trail
    Bootlegger trail
    Granite Mtn Loop trail
    Cow Poke Trail
    Dove Valley trail

    I explored on the old BLM roads that are now part of the preserve. I went the Tonto forest Granite MNT boundary. There are numerous old BLM roads in this area. It looks like there are plans for a numerous new trails. I seen a bunch flagging for new trails.

    On the way back I took the new Coyote Canyon trail. This trail is a loop that connects the Dove Valley trail with the Granite Mtn. Loop trail. The Coyote trail starts off is a cool canyon. It's about 90% done. The trail sign is taped on a post and one of intersections has a post without a sign.

    I took the following trails back:
    Granite Mtn. Loop trail
    Bootlegger trail
    136 Street Express trail
    Morning Vista trail
    Black Hills trail

    The weather was perfect. Even though you're in a city park, you can get to the middle of no-where and explore. The Tonto Forest connection opens up a lot of possibilities.
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Granite Mountain Loop - MSPN
    The dog was begging for a walk. He just loves hiking but at 12, he just can't do what he used to be able to do. I ended up carrying him on the uphill portions of the last 2 miles.

    This hike was chilly at the start so we set a pretty good pace. On the east side of Granite Mountain, we caught up to Richard and a friend. We hiked with them a bit, discussed linking, until they headed off trail to climb Granite Mountain.

    We saw 8 horses, a dozen mountain bikers and a dozen hikers out enjoying the day.

    This is a well established area with pristine trails perfect for low AEG hikes, Mountain Biking, and dog walking. I'll bet Scottsdale has eradicated all instances of Catsclaw in a 5 mile radius of their trails.
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Coyote. Canyon-Granite Mountain Loops
    I decided to combine two loops into a figure eight. It was a little chilly at the start but I warmed up pretty quick. The trailhead was pretty full when I got there. Once Rowdy and myself got started the hike went smooth. There were quite a few people out maybe working of Christmas Dinner and drinks.
    The views were great on every side of Granite Mountain. It seems like it has been awhile since we had clear skies. Seeing three Crested-Saguaros on one hike was a real treat. I really enjoyed this area and will do some more exploring, but first Rowdy is going to get fitted for a new harness.
    In the spring I am sure this area will be bloomimg nicely.
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Dove Valley Trail loop - MSP
    Got a babysitter for the morning - so Brad and I could have a date hike together. Usually at night but holiday stuff going on full force in evenings this weekend.

    Weather great - blue skies - chilly but not cold. Wanted to spend the morning exploring Dove Valley Trail and getting GPS route and to check out what kind of signs were out there from the City and MSC since this trail is not listed in its entire length on the MSP official maps.

    Once you get 1 mile from 136th St parking area - signs are pretty much gone and it's not clear whether to follow the wash or another small trail. We followed the wash and came upon the Michelin Man cactus. Should have turned south here but we kept going in the wash to the northwest and then looped back to Michelin Man. Then took connector to Coyote Canyon trail and back to parking area.

    Highlight was the unnamed rock formation with lots of granite water collecting depressions. Beautiful little miniature balanced rock. Great views. No one anywhere in sight. Could hear motorized vehicles off towards Carefree/Rio Verde Foothills.
    Coyote Canyon Loop MSP
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    Met at Granite Mtn Trailhead at 8:45 am for a McDowell Sonoran Conservancy wellness hike. I brought Caroline b/c she begged me and promised that she could handle it. "Is it with your blue shirt friends?" she asked. LOL, yes

    Took Bootlegger :next: Granite Mtn Loop trail :next: Coyote Canyon trail :next: Dove Mtn trail briefly to see "Michelin Man" cactus :next: 136th Street trail back to trailhead.

    This was Caroline's longest hike to date - and I was so proud of her behavior on the large group hike. She held my hand most of the hike and used her hiking stick a little. She ate all her snacks and carried her own water in her Grand Canyon junior ranger backback with a camelback water pack coming out the top.

    There are phenomenal stands of saguaro on Granite Mountain Loop - I think the prettiest trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. When you hit the newly acquired Coyote Canyon trail (old trail but recently changed from state land trust to MSP land) - - it really is a spectacular hike for old stands of saguaro.

    Double crested saguaro on Coyote Canyon Loop
    "Michelin Man" saguaro on Dove Mtn trail
    One of the oldest saguaros in MSP right next to crested arm near the water tank on Coyote Canyon Loop (see pics - they are GeoCoded)
    HUGE owl nest on 136th Street trail (i'm going to post pics in a different post to write up that hike segment)

    I also got to meet @ezpixels (she doesn't post here but does have an old account - but she's very active on Instagram and has written several books for the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. She is a conservation photographer) -- I've "known" her for a year through IG and it was so great to meet her in person even if just briefly as she was biking by our group while we were in the little slot canyon. She created the MSC coloring books, Wildlife Book, Field Guide version 2.0, and makes christmas cards and prints of MSP photographs. Very talented lady!!

    What a hike to remember :)

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Dove Valley Trailhead
    From intersection of Pima Road North and Dynamite Blvd - go east on Dynamite to 136th Street.
    Go north on 136th Street past the Granite Mountain TH to Dove Valley Road.

    There is no official trailhead (yet) - but there is room for 2-3 cars along the roadside at the intersection of 136th Street and Dove Valley Road.
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 2 h 5 min
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 2 h 11 min
    page created by Crzy4AZ on Oct 04 2014 11:08 pm
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