Tied to the Hitching Post
Sunrise Peak is a popular hiking destination in the southeastern McDowell Mountains. This guide describes the hike to Sunrise Peak from the Adero Canyon Trailhead in Fountain Hills.
This hike utilizes several trails in both the Fountain Hills McDowell Mountain Preserve(FHP) and the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve(MSP). From the trailhead in the FHP, the hike begins on the Promenade Trail, and then continues in the FHP on the Western Loop Trail and the FHP section of the Andrews-Kinsey Trail.
At that point, hikers enter the MSP and continue on the MSP section of the Andrews-Kinsey Trail to the Sunrise Trail; about 15 feet from this trail junction is the landmark hitching post. From the hitching post, it can be a bit daunting looking at the steep ascent up to the Sunrise Peak summit. However, there are lots of switchbacks and the hike up is not as difficult as it looks. From the hitching post, first take the Sunrise Trail for a short distance, then take the Sunrise Peak Spur Trail up to the summit. From the summit, you can enjoy the views to the east of Fountain Hills below you and of Four Peaks, the Mazatzals, and the Superstitions further away; to the south and west there are nice views of Scottsdale, Phoenix, and beyond. After enjoying the views on the summit, retrace your steps to return to the trailhead.
The hike to Sunrise Peak from Adero Canyon is a bit longer than going from the 4 starting points off of E. Via Linda in Scottsdale: the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead, 128th St., 136th St., or the Sunrise Trailhead (145th St.). However, the hike to Sunrise Peak is actually easier than the other 4 hikes because the bulk of the hike from Adero Canyon is on the Andrews-Kinsey Trail, which mostly has a smooth dirt surface with no long, steep ascents or descents. In contrast, the other 4 hikes are largely on the Sunrise Trail, which is rocky and has some steep ascents and descents.
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.