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Peak of Interest Loop

Difficult
  3.7 ( 3 ) Favorite

Trail

9.4 mile 15.1 kilometer loop
81% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,191' 668 m
Descent: -2,191' -668 m
High: 3,278' 999 m
Low: 1,885' 575 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 46% (25°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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A great run for the true explorer who loves 360-degree views and doesn't mind getting a bit off trail.

Heather Dunphy

Features Views

Overview

This run is less traveled than others in the area, so you'll be able to get away from the crowds. The trail is for the adventurous person who likes to go a little off the beaten path. Most of it is marked and the parts that are not marked can still be found by looking for cairns and using the Trail Run Project mobile app.

Need to Know

This is a difficult trail to follow even with the Trail Run Project mobile app. The peaks of the mountain are very narrow and if your GPS is off by a few feet you can end up in a dangerous spot. Cliffs, sliding rocks, and Africanized bees can be the result of a wrong turn. I'll post a picture of the narrow top and a very large Killer bees nest that I encountered.

Description

Parking for this loop can be found at the free parking area at the intersection of Meridian Rd and McDowell Rd. From the trailhead, take the first left and connect to Pass Mountain Trail.

From there, connect to Wind Cave Trail. At the top of Wind Cave Trail there is a sign that states the trail is not maintained. This trail is not marked, but there are some cairns that guide your way up to a couple of peaks in the Goldfields. One of the peaks is at 3,300 feet and is the third highest peak in the Goldfields. Enjoy great views!

The descent to Pass Mountain Trail is not marked, but doable and takes you back around on an alternate set of trails to the parking lot. Overall, this is a great backyard adventure that avoids the crowds (except for the 1.5-mile section on Wind Cave Trail, which can be busy). Enjoy!

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Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#3540

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
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3 Star
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Featured Run Rankings

#141

in Arizona

#3,540

Overall
35 Views Last Month
921 Since Apr 21, 2018
Difficult

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Photos

Large nest of Africanized Bees. Encountered while heading up to the Pass Mountain Route. There is no place to run if these guys get mad.
Oct 7, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
Enjoy this view from the cave at the trail's end. The Fountain Hills are located in the distance to the right.
Mar 7, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
This is the narrow top of Pass Mountain. Lots of scrambling over and around rocks.
Oct 7, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
A little cloudy, but this is the view from the backside of the mountain - the eastern part of the trail.
Jan 18, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
Look for a fork in the trail. This one is more pronounced than many others.
Apr 10, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
Wind Cave Trail, Usery Mountain Regional Park, Phoenix.
Jun 8, 2018 near Apache…, AZ

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