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Malpais Trail - MSPN, AZ

Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Distance One Way 2.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,625 feet
Elevation Gain -84 feet
Accumulated Gain 39 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.33
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2021-05-22
Upper Ranch Trail - MSPN
4  2020-04-12
Pima and Dynamite Black Diamonds
17  2020-03-21
Owl Hoot Trail - MSPN
9  2019-11-09
Stagecoach Trail - MSPN
25  2019-04-29
Stagecoach Trail - MSPN
5  2018-08-05
Brown's Ranch Road Trail - MSPN
2  2017-11-02
MSPN loop
author avatar Guides 26
Routes 423
Photos 8,272
Trips 621 map ( 5,615 miles )
Age 53 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Oct, Jan, Dec, May
Seasons   Early Autumn to Early Summer
Sun  5:46am - 7:19pm
Official Route
6 Alternative

all aboard the zig zag express
by DarthStiller

The Malpais Trail is a newly constructed trail in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve, not to be confused with the Malpais Trail in the San Tan Regional Park. The east end of the trail starts at the Hawknest Trail, just north of the Brown's Ranch road Trail. The shortest access to this point is to just follow the Brown's Ranch Road Trail from the Brown's Ranch TH.

From that starting point, the trail heads west and within 0.2 miles crosses the powerlines on the west side of the preserve. After this crossing, it crosses the West Express Trail and Stagecoach Trails consecutively. After this crossing, the trail heads along some volcanic rock, before descending a bit into a more vegetated area. The trail follows a very windy, zig-zag path until it junctions with what is labeled as a Temporary Connector Trail that continues to head west until it ends at Legend Trail Parkway.

There is currently one other trail at this "junction" which heads south and is currently unmapped. There is also a notable difference in how the zig-zags end at this point. About 0.8 miles before this point, there are signs noting that you are entering State Trust Land and that a permit is required.

Heading west, the views are primarily to the northwest of the Spur Cross area, Elephant Mountain, and directly north is Desert Mountain in Scottsdale. Heading back to the east, the main view is of Brown's Mountain, and of the Powerline #1.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2018-08-05 DarthStiller
  • MSPN Brown Insert
    area related
    MSPN Brown Insert
  • MSPN Trail List
    area related
    MSPN Trail List
  • MSPN Gate Schedule
    area related
    MSPN Gate Schedule
  • MSPN 2019 Map
    area related
    MSPN 2019 Map
  • MSPN 2019 Details
    area related
    MSPN 2019 Details

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.

Permit $$
AZ State Recreational Land Permits
For hiking, driving & sightseeing purposes, you seek the recreational permit.
Under "Recreational Land Use" in the link above.
2020 - $15.00 individual
2020 - $20.00 family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18
Plus $1 processing fee
The permitting process quick, you will be emailed your permit instantly.

Land Parcel Map

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take the 101 North to Pima Road, then head east on Dynamite/Alma School until the turnoff for the Brown's Ranch Trailhead.
page created by DarthStiller on Aug 05 2018 5:50 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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