An awesome loop run through the west McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. This route is singletrack over well-marked rolling terrain.
Features: Birding — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This trail tends to be a little rocky, but it's super runnable.
Leaving out of the Gateway Trailhead, run the Saguaro Trail
on a slight uphill to the first sign and fork in the trail. Go right and follow the Gateway Loop Trail
counter-clockwise around the mountain. Continue past the Paradise Trail
and Bell Pass Trail
turnoffs on your right.
Head uphill and over the Gateway Saddle for spectacular views of the north valley.
Heading past the saddle, cruise down a screaming downhill to the junction with the Windgate Pass Trail
. Turn right on Windgate Pass Trail
. Run rolling terrain for about a mile and you'll see the turn to the left onto the Desert Park Trail
It's all downhill from here. You run around the mountain and under a few bridges back to the Gateway Trailhead.