Hike the Balanced Rock Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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Among the many interesting geological features in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Balanced Rock is a star attraction. Hike to it by way of the many trails that begin at the Granite Mountain trailhead.

Getting There: Granite Mountain Trailhead, 31402 N. 136th St., Scottsdale. From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Princess Drive/Pima Road exit 36 and go 6.5 miles north on Pima Road to Dynamite Boulevard. Turn right, continue 5.9 miles to 136th Street, turn left. Go 1.8 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Length: 5.6 miles round trip (or 4.2 to the rock and back)

Rating: easy

Kid Friendly: YES

Pet Friendly: YES

Elevation: 2,570-2,646 feet

Best Season: October-April

Facilities: restrooms, horse trailer parking


Photo credit Mare Czinar/PHOENIX