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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Pemberton Trail - MMRP, AZ

547 218 1
Guide 218 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
2.8 of 5 by 21
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 15.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,960 feet
Elevation Gain 620 feet
Accumulated Gain 850 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6-8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 19.5
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
1  2019-01-14
Cinch-Scenic-Pemberton-Shallmo Loop - MMRP
7  2019-01-12
Toms Thumb Marcus Landslide Loop
7  2019-01-04
Wash Day - MMRP
2  2019-01-01
Pemberton Dixie Mine Loop
8  2018-12-14
Wash Day - MMRP
5  2018-12-12
Shallmo-Pemberton-Scenic-Cinch - MMRP
9  2018-12-07
Lost Wall Loop - extended version - MSP/MMRP
1  2018-12-05
Cinch-Scenic-Pemberton-Shallmo Loop - MMRP
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 18
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  7:31am - 5:43pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
26 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Scenic Trail - MMRP
Scenic Trail - MMRP
0.0 mi away
4.5 mi
441 ft
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
0.1 mi away
0.7 mi
101 ft
Wagner - Granite - Bluff - MMRP Loop
0.8 mi away
5.2 mi
459 ft
Wagner Trail - MMRP
0.8 mi away
1.1 mi
124 ft
Stoneman Wash Trail - MMRP
0.8 mi away
4.3 mi
574 ft
Cinch Trail - MMRP
1.0 mi away
0.6 mi
-59 ft
Tonto Tank Trail - MMRP
Tonto Tank Trail - MMRP
1.1 mi away
2.7 mi
436 ft
Bluff Trail - MMRP
1.4 mi away
2.2 mi
335 ft
Escondido Trail - MMRP
Escondido Trail - MMRP
1.5 mi away
6.2 mi
710 ft
Shallmo Wash Trail - MMRP
Shallmo Wash Trail - MMRP
1.5 mi away
1.8 mi
210 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
long, flat, long, flat
by ck_1

Likely In-Season!
Rerouted in early 2013 to NOT follow the service road at the north end of the park.

The Pemberton Trail is the longest hike in the McDowell Mountain Park. This long loop hike has varied terrain and wonderful views of Four Peaks and the Rim to the North. Weaver's Needle and the Superstition Mountains are also visible from this trail. Begin your hike at the Trailhead Group Area. Hiking the 15.3-mile trail counter-clockwise will allow you to experience the elevation changes and varied terrain at the tail end of the hike. The trail begins to the North of the parking area driveway. Rather quickly the Scenic Trail shoots off to the right and offers a 3-mile option as it returns to the Pemberton farther North. About a mile and a half into your hike the trail crosses McDowell Mt. Park Dr. Continue on the trail to Cedar Tank at the 3-mile mark. At this point you will be heading west toward the corner of the park. There is an additional walk-in entry to the park at about the 6-mile mark along this stretch of trail. The trail makes and abrupt turn south toward Granite Tank. You will be walking toward the actual mountain range. Although it will seem that you will actually reach the mountains, you will not. This is where the hike becomes interesting. The unusual rock formations along this stretch of trail make for interesting photographs. The trail continues past Rock Knob to the right and Tonto Tank to the left until it begins to turn East at approximately 13 miles. Throughout this section the terrain is broken, however this is the most scenic section of the trail. After passing the old Pemberton Ranch site with less than a mile to go, the trail will again cross the park drive and end with a straight shot back to the parking area.

The total elevation gain on this hike is less than 1000 ft. There is no water along the trail. Elevation at the trailhead is 1960 feet. My evaluation of the trail is that it makes for excellent mountain biking. As a hiking trail it is too long and dull to hold the hikers interest. It is possible to break the hike into segments by connecting with other park trails. This is a popular trail for trail runners do to its flat, even terrain and mountain bikers for its length. Bike it, don't hike it.

  • overview map competitive tracks hunting zone campgrounds
    area related
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 $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info

$7 per vehicle or $85 annual

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Shea Blvd take Fountain Hills Blvd if coming from the West, Saguaro if from the East, to McDowell Mtn. Road. The road heads North away from Fountain Hills. Turn left at the entrance to McDowell Mountain Park. Yes, you have to pay to enter. Take the park drive past the family and group campgrounds to Shalimo Dr. Turn right and follow road to Trailhead Group Area
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