Perimeter segment & butterfly boulevard
The Hackamore Trail segment in the Northern region of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (MSP) attracts mountain bikers looking for larger perimeter loops, hikers looking for an easy path, and bird and butterflies watchers.
The trail begins close to the equestrian parking area which is appropriate since a "hackamore" is a device used in horse's bridle. There are two entry points: (1) if you climb up the little hill at the back of the large Brown's Ranch Trailhead parking lot - you will be at Sunset Point which connects to Hackamore trail or (2) From the bathrooms go past the amphitheater headed up towards Jane Rau trail and then turn right to the unnamed path 0.3 miles to trail marker HT1. Folks who are lucky enough to live in the nearby neighborhood may use the 0.2 mile trail from Alma School Road that leads to the HT1 marker.
From the HT1 marker, you will cautiously cross the road and begin up the small hill where you can climb a bit higher to get to Sunset Vista (2769 feet elevation). For out of town guests or the very young and very old hiker, this little hill is a nice spot to feel like you've climbed something and a great place for photographs. Continuing back on Hacakmore travel through relatively flat sonoran desert with neighborhood visible to the south. If you are a bird watcher or butterfly enthusiast, this section of Hacakamore trail is lined ample goldeneye and other host plants seasonally to attract pollinators and feeders.
At one mile you have the intersection with Powerline Road #2 trail and 0.1 miles later is the intersection for Rustler trail. Continue another 0.6 miles to the end of Hackamore trail segment where you may continue to follow the perimeter or make a loop with Cone Mountain Trail. As with most of the MSP trails, you can create endless loops with the various segments in the northern region depending on your skill level and time available.
(The 1.8 mile distance listed is for the 0.2 miles from Alma School to HT1 + 1.6 miles of actual trail starting at HT1)
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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