Bulldog Canyon Saddle and Pass Mountain Trail Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,090' 332 m
Descent: -1,090' -332 m
High: 2,589' 789 m
Low: 1,925' 587 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 32% (18°)
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“A tough trail with lots of climbing and beautiful views.”— Doug Baer
This trail is great if you like a challenge and don't like crowds. In my book, however, it is just "good" for trail running because I was not able to run as much as I like and spent more time speed-hiking due to the terrain (that, and not wanting to fall on my face!)
You can access this trail if you park at the end of N. Meridian Dr. and catch the trail from the parking area there. When the trail forks just above the parking lot, stay left on Bulldog Canyon Alternate Trail to complete this loop. (You can also go to the right on Bulldog Saddle Trail if you prefer as they join up before the climb). Once the trails merge, you'll be on Bulldog Saddle Trail.
Follow this up to the saddle and continue north onto Peak 3004 Loop Trail. Be prepared to look out for cairns and possibly make some wrong turns and need to backtrack. At least a third of this loop seems to be VERY lightly trafficked, undeveloped and not well-maintained. Follow the Peak 3004 Loop Trail around the north side of the mountain. This section of the route is pretty remote but be on the lookout for backpackers who may be camping on the north side of the peak. After the trail turns and heads south for a bit, it joins up with Pass Mountain Trail. Take a right to head south on Pass Mountain Trail until almost the end of the run. Take a left onto Pass Mountain Connector which is a short wash connector to Bulldog Canyon Alternate Trail. Follow Bulldog Canyon Alternate Trail back to the parking area to finish your run.
As a run this was only "good" but as far as hiking goes, this would be a solid 4 stars because of the views, remote feel, and challenge.
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Land Manager: USFS - Tonto National Forest Office