Bell Pass and Windgate Pass Loop

6 reviews #2 hike out of 33 in
9.2 mi
Distance
4 hrs 49 min
Time
terrain
1,473 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a difficult loop trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Getting Started

The Gateway, Bell Pass, and Windgate Loop trail begin at the Gateway Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale. This is a very well maintained trailhead with a lot of parking, water and restrooms. Often there are volunteers who are a part of the McDowell Stewards who are on hand to answer questions about the trails or the park.

The trailhead has a few different hiking options for various length trails but you will want to cross the scenic bridge and follow the Saguaro Trail up to the Gateway Loop Trail. Follow the Gateway Loop Trial toward the North East until you come to the Windgate Pass Trail. This section of the trail is usually busy with many hikers, trail runners and some mountain bikers but as you get further into the park the foot traffic will die down and you will have the trail mostly to yourself after a few miles. The Windgate Pass trail is pretty rocky and very steep in some sections. You will feel the elevation gain as you hike on to the Bell Pass section of the trail. When you reach Bell Pass the trail will smooth out and you will come upon beautiful views of Four Peaks and the Superstitions in the distance. If you time it right, you can also see the fountain in Fountain Hills going off, it goes off on the hour. Following Bell Pass around you will experience more elevation gain until you get to the saddle where you will start a steep descent back to the Gateway Loop Trial. This is a challenging hike that offers beautiful views and in the spring you will see fields of wildflowers.


Sights to See


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    6 months, 4 weeks ago
    No ok ooo wweerwddd DCS hghfgggdttytcx. Fix gc chug g gVichy guguggvggh. CB. Vbjjjj. BBC m

    user_profile
    1 year, 11 months ago
    This hike is an excellent “fitness hike” but if you’re wanting a hike with beautiful panoramic views etc, there are better choices imo...the signage is excellent! The first 3.5 miles (counterclockwise) represents the lions share of elevation for this hike, though there are ups and downs after that but nothing too intense. Bring sunblock! Happy hiking!!
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 2 months ago
    Overcast day on Oct. 1, saw a herd of almost a dozen deer on the east end of the loop, between Bell and Windgate.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    6 hours ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    6 months, 2 weeks ago

    user_profile
    11 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


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