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Inspiration Point via Windgate - 16 members in 56 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 05 2013
SgtLumpy
avatar

 Routes 12
 Photos 7
 Triplogs 7

male
 Joined Feb 24 2013
 N Phoenix, AZ
Mountain Spring via Gateway - MSP, AZ 
Mountain Spring via Gateway - MSP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 05 2013
SgtLumpy
Hiking3.74 Miles 1,374 AEG
Hiking3.74 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   3.21 mph
1,374 ft AEG      20 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
This destination "Mountain Spring" is not marked on all maps. Found on a 24k topo quad. It's a literal oasis in the desert. An active spring flowing water. As you approach you find creeks paralleling and crossing the hiking path. There are even some irrigation pipes flowing from what seems to be the spring, downhill toward the Scottsdale residential areas.

I began this hike around 0840 hrs Juliet, 2013 March 05. The GPS track data may show some oddball times or dates. It apparently lost something in the conversion. But the distances, elevations and coordinates appear accurate.

Begin at McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trailhead. Take the NORTH (clockwise) side of the Gateway Loop to the junction of Gateway Loop and Windgate Pass Trail. Then take the Windgate Pass Trail to the junction of Windgate and Tom's Thumb Trail. Then it's just about 1 mile up Tom's Thumb Trail to the spring. The turnoff spur for the spring is marked with one of the MSP locator stakes, labeled as "TT13".

As with most hikes in this preserve, the beginning portion of the trail is the most busy. People of all ages and skill levels, equipped/not equipped, moms with babies, people yacking on cellphones and texting while hiking etc are present in the first mile or so of the Gateway Loop Trail.

Once you turn off onto Windgate Pass Trail, the traffic reduces, the hikers are a little more serious and consciencous. I did find myself a few dozen yards in front of a trio of scottsdale ladies who were cackling and yacking. I stopped at a convenient point and let them pass so the sound of their very loud voices would at least not be pointed directely at me. As they passed they were nearly oblivious to me standing on the side of the trail. The topic of discussion was "Which Latin country seems to produce the best house keepers". The fruity fragrance of the ladies' perfume attracted some flies and sweat bees away from me. So I was happy to allow them to pass. Sure enough, they went up trail maybe 1 click then turned around and came back down. Finally I was rid of the audible distraction.

This combination of trails is not overly strenuous. There's some modest elevation gains in short distances, but it's not the constant stair-like climb that you encounter when approaching Windgate Pass or Bell Pass.

Reach the spring and there's bamboo, lush ground cover, just a LOT of green and moist growth. And of course, a corresponding increase in birds, reptiles, and insects as well as signs of rodents and other mammals. A little bit of evidence of Americanis Stupidicis (broken glass, cairns etc). But for the most part, a very welcome cooling off spot amid the hotter desert trails.

On return, I backtracked the one mile to Windgate Pass Trail then instead of heading back DOWN toward the Gateway, I went UP to Windgate Pass (another 1 mile spur). I'll do another entry about that portion.

One very interesting part of the entire hike was the desert flora. On the way UP, there were just a couple of golden poppies showing. On the way DOWN, 3 hours later, the poppies were EVERYWHERE. They had bloomed in just the couple of hours difference in ascent and descent. Joshuas were still "in pineapple" and there were some blue lupines. More lizards than I've seen this year in the area. Two dogs with humans - one appropriately ON leash, the other, irresponsibly OFF leash.

I picked up some small, dry trash that I found on the trail. Couldn't get to some large shiny stuff that looked like aluminum foil or maybe a silver mylar balloon. And brought down a doggie poop bag someone had left. Someone lost a rubber tip to a hiking stick and s 2.3mm allen wrench (likely a biker). I discarded the trash and recyclables, and left the rubber tip and allen wrench visible on the benches at the trailhead in case someone wanted them.

Nice little spot to find. Almost 4 miles up the trail puts it at a logical resting point before continuing on up Tom's Thumb or elsewhere. About an 8 mile round trip if you go up and back.

Hike safely with brains in gear...Sarge
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
Golden Poppies barely present during ascent. Three hours later, during descent, they had bloomed EVERYWHERE. Also present - Blue Lupines, Joshua "Pineapples", Desert Miseltoe (Creosote blooms), new growth Palo Verde.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mountain Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
No real way I can estimate the flow. But the creek that crossed the trail was moving well, not stagnant. Falling water on rocks made a nice sound. Water seemed fast enough to not attract mosquitos. Two or three inches deep but narrow enough to easily step over.
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Dec 17 2012
jochal
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,878
 Triplogs 490

35 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Windgate Bell LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 17 2012
jochal
Hiking9.60 Miles 1,967 AEG
Hiking9.60 Miles
1,967 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Started from the Gateway trailhead.
_____________________
Sep 22 2012
paulshikleejr
avatar

 Guides 20
 Routes 77
 Photos 542
 Triplogs 405

54 male
 Joined Feb 02 2010
 Scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 22 2012
paulshikleejr
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   2 Hrs   24 Mns   2.50 mph
1,300 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great hike with the Bipparz!
_____________________
Decisionmaking and action should only be informed by, not subject to, healthy, reasonable concern.
That being said, anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.
Feb 19 2012
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,216
 Triplogs 1,083

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2012
The_Eagle
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,300 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A leg stretcher on a perfect weather day...
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
1 archive
Feb 12 2012
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 16
 Routes 19
 Photos 398
 Triplogs 1,459

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 12 2012
mt98dew
Hiking17.93 Miles 3,054 AEG
Hiking17.93 Miles   5 Hrs   47 Mns   3.10 mph
3,054 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Hiked in the McDowell Mountains. Wanted to do some trails on the Fountain Hills side, but I didn't want to drive that far. I hit several trails on this hike, but not all of them in their entirety. The only one in HAZ that I can take credit for is Inspiration Point via Windgate.

Got there a little after 6. The gates don't open until sunrise so I had to start from the 124th st. and Bell Rd side trail. Had to use a headlamp for the first 30 minutes. This was my first time doing the Windgate Trail in a clockwise manner. I got a nice view of the montains and Tom's Thumb as I ascended. I was disappointed to see that it seems that the housing development seems to be moving closer and closer to the preserve. (The homes may have been there before, but its possible that I never noticed them coming from the other direction). Hit Inspiration Point a little after 7:30. Would have liked to have gotten up there earlier to have seen the city lights...however I think I would have had a better view from the Bell Pass side.

Took the Windmill Trail from the end of the Windgate Trail. I had done this trail last time out here. It's one of the trails that connects the McDowell trails to the Fountain Hills trail. Trail is nice. Does some mild elevation change, but nothing serious. I passed an old wind mill about 1/3 of a mile in, hence the name for the trail.

From the Windmill Trail, I took the CoachWhip Trail north. Last time out I had come in from the south end of the CoachWhip Trail, so this part of the CoachWhip was new to me. I liked this trail! Very little elevation change and what there was down hill going in this direction. The trail did some nice twist and turns, ideal for bike riding. The vegetation was healthy, but I would have loved to have seen it with some moderate rainfall. Got some great views of the moutains to the north and east. Four Peaks and Mt. Ord where visible and I'm not sure what else, but it was quite beautiful.

The CoachWhip Trail intersects with the Pemberton Trail. At the intersection, the Pemberton was heading in north-south direction. I briefly thought of taking the north direction and trying to hook up with Tom Thumb TH but I wasn't sure where this trail went and I was about 8 miles into the hike so I took the southernly direction which was heading back in the general direction that I wanted. I was only on this trail for a little under a mile, but I was not impressed. It was wide, straight and flat. Felt a disconnect from my surroundings, which as not the case with the CoachWhip trail.

Luckily I came upon the Dixie Mine Trail, which I recognized and knew would take me back toward Thompson's Peak. This trail did a few turns initally but was pretty much a straight shot to Thompson's Peak trail. The trail was single wide which made me feel closer to the surroundings. Where this trail intersects with Thompson Peak rd there is an obvious mining site to the north. I followed a side trail up to the top where I found a mind shaft that seem to go straight down. It was screened off, but I threw a few stones down the shaft and they seem to go for several seconds before hitting bottom.

From here I took Prospector Trail up to Bell Pass Trail. Prospector Trail is only a mile long, but its one of the nicest trails in Mcdowell Preserve. One of these days I'm going to do a write up on it.... it deserves one.

Rest of the hike was uneventful and common enough that most hikers are familar with the trails. Took Bell Pass down to where it meets the Gateway trail. From there took Paradise Trail over to Levee trail and that back to the car. Didn't see many people on the trails until heading down the Bell Pass trail. Got really heavy when I hit the Gateway. Saw a few rabbits out there but not much else. Interestingly, the Fountain Hills side was a lot more hazy than the Phoenix side. I would have expected the reverse.
_____________________
Jan 22 2012
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 22 2012
John9L
Hiking7.75 Miles 1,513 AEG
Hiking7.75 Miles
1,513 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Made my way up to Windgate Pass and then returned the way I came.
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 21 2012
New2hyk
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 Photos 5,652
 Triplogs 236

53 female
 Joined Jan 04 2012
 scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2012
New2hyk
Hiking7.50 Miles 2,054 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.67 mph
2,054 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
met some wonderful Stewards :DANCE: at the preserve today. Learned some medicinal info of some plants at the preserve :y:
_____________________
Jan 18 2012
New2hyk
avatar

 Photos 5,652
 Triplogs 236

53 female
 Joined Jan 04 2012
 scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2012
New2hyk
Hiking6.00 Miles 2,054 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.50 mph
2,054 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
:y: My first time to Inspiration point :y: Used a hiking stick for the first time :) Loving it. Mental note: keep spare batteries for camera in my hiking gear :whistle:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Apr 22 2011
Daydreamer21
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 Photos 18
 Triplogs 38

40 female
 Joined May 13 2010
 Scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2011
Daydreamer21
Hiking6.00 Miles 2,054 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   2 Hrs   25 Mns   2.48 mph
2,054 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hike with my BF in the eve. It was pretty hot, but once the sun started setting it was fantastical. Amazing cactus blooms back there! Lots of ocotillo and barrel cactus flowering right now.
_____________________
Nov 22 2010
asu9165
avatar

 Photos 47
 Triplogs 155

44 male
 Joined Apr 22 2008
 Goodyear
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 22 2010
asu9165
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   1 Hour   37 Mns   3.71 mph
1,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another long lunch hike. 50 minutes to Inspiration Point. Would like to go to the point faster, but I am 260
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Apr 26 2010
azdesertfather
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 Guides 12
 Routes 59
 Photos 1,194
 Triplogs 796

46 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Tom's Thumb Loop off Windgate Pass TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2010
azdesertfather
Hiking13.44 Miles 3,495 AEG
Hiking13.44 Miles   5 Hrs      2.69 mph
3,495 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Lots of people on the way out to the lasso part of the loop, over a couple dozen people. Once I started the lasso part of the loop however, the trail was all mine. Didn't see another person until I was back out of the lasso on the final few miles back.

Nice and hot today...today I was trying to get re-acclimated to hiking in the heat! Just over 90. Took 4 liters, it barely did it.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
Apr 08 2010
asu9165
avatar

 Photos 47
 Triplogs 155

44 male
 Joined Apr 22 2008
 Goodyear
Inspiration Point via WindgatePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2010
asu9165
Hiking5.87 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking5.87 Miles   1 Hour   38 Mns   3.59 mph
1,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quick hike to Inspiration point from the Gateway center. Lots of flowers a bit warm. Guess I'm not ready for the summer
_____________________
Apr 03 2010
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,216
 Triplogs 1,083

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Gateway Loop Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2010
The_Eagle
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,366 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   2.04 mph
1,366 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Decided to check out this area for the first time. At 9:50, the parking lot was full of with what I'm guessing to be 200 cars. I continued to the dumpy old dilapidated Gateway Center (JK, this is an incredible building for a Trailhead. I could tell I was no longer in the west valley) for the start of my hike. The bathrooms in this place are nicer than most people's (West Side) homes. After getting a Double Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee and a Orange Mango Vivanno Smoothie to go from the Barista there (JK again), I hit the trails. Decided to take the Gateway loop clockwise until getting to the path to the Wingate trail. Took that up to Inspiration Point for a snack and watch the chipmunk. Headed back down to complete the Wingate loop. On the way down I saw my first Desert Tortoise! While on the south side of the Gateway Loop took a short bypass to check out the Paradise trail. I liked the trails and the views. The flowers were still pumping pretty good. The Brittle Bushes, especially on the southern exposures, are going to be exploding this week.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Dec 30 2009
nonot
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 476

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Gateway Loop Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2009
nonot
Hiking14.20 Miles 3,400 AEG
Hiking14.20 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   2.47 mph
3,400 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
...forgot what it was like to hike on actual trails and finish a hike early and without bodily damage.

Time includes stopping to eat lunch #1 and stopping to eat lunch #2.
_____________________
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
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1 archive
Dec 30 2009
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,173
 Triplogs 1,078

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Windgate Bell LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2009
mazatzal
Hiking10.10 Miles 1,967 AEG
Hiking10.10 Miles   6 Hrs      1.68 mph
1,967 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
It was interesting to come back here after a decade. It's quite different now. :?
_____________________
Jan 11 2008
Crzy4AZ
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 Guides 31
 Routes 96
 Photos 2,588
 Triplogs 595

46 female
 Joined Apr 02 2007
 Scottsdale, AZ
Gateway Loop Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 11 2008
Crzy4AZ
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,248 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   3.00 mph
1,248 ft AEG
 
Tried a new permutation of Gateway - there are so many options combining the trails in the area. Parked at the health club at Union Hills/Thompson Peak Pkwy and took Horseshoe Trail 0.7 then Gateway Loop clockwise 1.5 to high point on Gateway Saddle (708 feet elevation gain so far). Then backtracked 0.5 to Gateway Loop intersection with Windgate Pass trail and continued up 1.3 miles to Inspiration Point (540 feet elevation gain). Took a break at Inspiration Point and then down 3.0 miles to the parking area.

Saw more than a dozen hikers and four mountain bikers mid-day along the trails. Good exercise - peaceful - lovely weather.

:bigth:
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average hiking speed 2.23 mph
Previous  1, 2, 3

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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