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Pemberton Loop Trail



15.6 mile 25.1 kilometer point to point
99% Runnable


Ascent: 790' 241 m
Descent: -787' -240 m
High: 2,476' 755 m
Low: 1,828' 557 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Map Key

A long, scenic, desert run on singletrack and jeep road.

Tom Dobson

Features Birding · Cave · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

Super fast, very runnable singletrack. An awesome run for newbies and experienced runners alike. This is the home of the Javelina Jundred, Pemberton 50K and many other ultra marathons and trail races.


There is a small park fee to enter the park.

From the trailhead, you can start the loop in either direction at the west end of the parking lot. This description is based on running the loop clockwise.

As you leave the parking lot, you'll run on easy hard packed sand trail for about a quarter mile and cross over the main road. Once over the road, the trail starts in earnest with an awesome section that rolls down through several large, sandy washes and passes the trails that cut across the loop (Granite Trail, Tonto Tank, etc).

After passing Pemberton Pond, the trail makes a righthand bend and starts a long, lazy climb up a rocky slope before leveling out (mostly) to run past the Dixie Mine Trail and Coachwhip Trail which lead further into the McDowells.

After Coachwhip, the trail becomes more rolling as you cruise up, down, and around the terrain, across several washes, and past the other end of the Granite and Tonto Tank trails.

A little past the half-way point, the trail takes a hard right turn and switches to a jeep road with a downhill tilt.

Once you cross the main road again, you're in the home stretch. The last mile or two is desert brush running down the windy trail back to the parking lot.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna


Land Manager: Maricopa County Parks

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May 25, 2019
Jose R
Javelina Jangover course preview. Did the loop once. 16.2mi — 2h 29m
Dec 1, 2018
Marizonagirl M
Part of McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50k Course 15.8mi
Mar 24, 2016
Adam Dyas

Trail Ratings

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  4.8 from 5 votes
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in Arizona


62 Views Last Month
2,130 Since Apr 9, 2015



Sonoran Desert
Dec 2, 2018 near Fountai…, AZ
Sonoran sunset.
Mar 26, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
Top end of Tonto Tank Trail.
Mar 26, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
"Twinsies" saguaro cacti
Mar 11, 2018 near Rio Verde, AZ
Moonrise Over Desert Foothills
Mar 26, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
This sign is at the start of the parking lot.
Jul 9, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ


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