Dixie Mine Trail has some different personalities, depending on which portion you are on. Accessing it from Pemberton takes you through a shallow valley with a bit of rockiness at times. The gradual climb out is rather mundanea slow, straight, slightly rocky climb, that smooths out as it becomes a cactus gauntlet. The trail is wide and straight, so there is little danger of rubbing shoulders with the cactus, but look out for cholla balls scattered in the trail that you are best avoiding. In addition to the McDowell Mountains staring down at you, you can see the Superstitions, Red Mountain, Weavers Needle, Four Peaks, and you'll often catch the fountain in Fountain Hills going off. You'll come to an intersection where Coachwhip Trail
breaks off. Many immediately take the Coachwhip Trail
to make a worthy loop back to Pemberton, but you really miss the best of Dixie Mine.
Continuing on Dixie Mine Trail, you'll crest the hill and start a fun, smooth descent down to the Thompson Peak jeep road, going past the abandoned Dixie Mine. Just a bit later the Dixie Mine Trail continues south off of the Thompson Peak road heading toward the Golden Eagle trailhead access. Up until this point the trail has been pretty easy stuff, but the pucker factor ratchets up just a little once you are south of the jeep road. This section is a fun swooping ride with more contour, twists, and a few steeps that make it more of an intermediate-level trail.
Old-timers may be disappointed that the trail has been widened and smoothed from the narrow, rocky singletrack ribbon it once was, but it's all part of sharing the trail with other users. The trail ends at the edge of the park, although the parking area for the trailhead is another half mile into the neighborhood.