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Sunrise Peak
Scottsdale, Arizona
April 16, 2015

Distance: 9.4 km (5.8 mi)
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 430 m (1411 ft
)

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 had the trail to ourselves. The few people we encountered turned around at this point.

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.

KML and GPX Tracks


Trailhead


Starting up the trail


Taking a close look at a saguaro cactus


Flowering pancake prickly pear cactus (mouse over to view flower)


Ocotillo. Mouse over to see the flower.


We followed the trail to the saddle


The trail leads to switchbacks going up to the saddle ahead


Dead saguaro


From the saddle we could see the summit of Sunrise Peak


The trail cuts into a slope as it curves around to the summit


Saguaros were abundant along the trail


The summit is now ahead


Looking down at Scottsdale


Black-throated sparrow with its next meal


The steep side trail to the summit isn't recommended for bikes or horses


Cholla flower


Reaching the summit


Mount McDowell aka Red Mountain lies 12 km SE


Also SE, Superstition Mountains. The conspicuous point left is Weavers Needle (mouse over)


On the summit


Sawik Mountain (5.8 mi, 4685 ft, 1404 ft)

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