Following a dull, six-hour drive from Las Vegas, Dinah and I had only time for a short hike, Sunrise Peak, north of Scottsdale, Arizona. The route begins on Ringtail Trail but after a kilometre, it turns right, onto Sunrise Trail. Since the trailhead is situated at the edge of a subdivision, we weren't expecting to find solitude, nor did we. But after we reached a saddle, 1.4 km into the trip, we saw no one. The few people we encountered turned around here.
From the saddle the trail cuts a curve into a slope as it curls toward the summit of Sunrise Peak. A short side trail, eased with a few brief switchbacks, extends to a rocky little point. We found little to see from the top, however, because most peaks were too distant to show much detail. But we enjoyed this hike. The area was new to us and we experienced flora and fauna we hadn't seen before, including majestic saguaro cactus.
Starting up the trail
Taking a close look at a saguaro cactus
From the saddle we could see the summit of Sunrise Peak
The trail cuts into a slope as it curves around to the summit
The summit is now ahead
Black-throated sparrow with its next meal
The steep side trail to the summit isn't recommended for bikes or horses
Reaching the summit
Mount McDowell aka Red Mountain lies 12 km SE
On the summit
Sawik Mountain Topo 1:24,000 Topo (5.8 mi, 3084 ft, 1404 ft)