Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,122.00 ft (341.99 m)
Trail type
3.80 mi (6.12 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

On the south side of McDowell Sonoran Preserve is Sunrise Peak, a 3052-foot peak that is a wonderful trail to catch sunrise or sunset.  The trailhead has limited parking but there is an overflow lot within 0.25 mile.  There is also potable water at the trailhead. Hikers will start to follow the trail towards the summit.  This trailhead is the start of a network of trails so hikers should follow signs towards the summit. 

The trail has moderate elevation gain for the duration of the trip to the summit.  Hikers will start out by heading towards the summit and will slowly leave the last portion of the neighboring subdivision. For the first 0.6 miles, hikers will have some brief downhill portions and will quickly resume ascending. 

Hikers will follow the wash for the next mile.  For this portion of the trail, there are only a few switchbacks as the trail continues to ascend.  During this portion of the hike, people can enjoy the dense saguaro cacti and the rock formations as well as view of the superstitions in the distance.  Once hikers reach 1.6 miles they will reach a trail junction where they should turn left and head for the final ascent of the trail.  This portion starts out with a series of steep switchbacks but the trail is well maintained for adequate conditions to the summit.

Once hikers reach the summit they can enjoy views of the Superstitions and Four Peaks to the west and Thompson Peak to the north.  Hikers will also be treated to view of the entire Phoenix Metro Area including downtown and the Phoenix Mountains.  When hikers are ready to return to the trailhead they will follow the route which they came.  If they so choose they can explore more trails within the preserve or return the way they came.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Spectacular Views of the Superstition Mountains. Great Sunrise Hike.


Crowded. Minimal Shade.

Trailhead Elevation

1,943.00 ft (592.23 m)

Highest point

3,052.00 ft (930.25 m)


Potable water
Family friendly
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona
McDowell Mountain Regional Park


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