“Rocky loop with steady uphills turning in to remotely steep switchbacks before the saddle each way.
— B. Miner
You can access the Gateway loop from a number of trails. The most popular access point being the McDowell Sonoran Preserve parking lot then a half mile ride to the loop. Beware, it is fairly rocky here.
Clockwise and counter-clockwise are each enjoyable rides. Both of which have a steady uphill, followed by steep switchback climbs. Once to the saddle, it's the same way on the way back down in each direction. There are trail heads heading east towards Fountain Hills, and north towards Tom's thumb if you decide to go exploring.
This is a fun, not too challenging ride. Some areas by the saddle can be a bit hairy if you aren't experienced.
- Ride early or at night when there are fewer hikers.
- Direction to ride: Ride wherever the incline is shadowed, depending on the time of day, season and sun. Or whatever you are feeling.
- This trail is awesome after a nice rain.