SJ's Hike of the Week: Sunrise Peak

SJ's Hike of the Week: Sunrise Peak

SJ's Hike of the Week: Sunrise Peak

Sunrise Peak via Sunrise Trail

Distance: 3.6 Miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,112 feet

Dog Friendly: YES!!! (Notice the all caps and extra exclamation points)

Permit/Pass Required: Nope!

Getting There: See Map

Tips: While this trail is incredibly dog-friendly, it can also get hot and lacks in shade until late afternoon. Make sure you bring plenty of water and if you are bringing Fido, make sure it isn't on too hot of a day.

About the Hike: Sunrise Peak is home to the friendliest folks in the Valley. I'm not kidding. Don't get me wrong, Phoenix is friendly, but this trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve takes the cake for nice people. 98% of the people who my pup and I passed on the trail stopped to talk to us. Many of them telling my short-legged chiweenie how inspiring she was for conquering the peak. The trail is one of the best maintained I've encountered - you can truly tell the folks in this neighborhood take pride in it's care. If you visit, please follow suit - pick up after yourself and your dog (and no this does not mean putting the poo in a bag and leaving the bag on the side of the trail...we all know you aren't going to pick it up on your way back down). Okay, but back to the trail. The first time I hiked Sunrise was in November and while it was gorgeous, it was breathtaking in February. My guess? By mid-March the wildflowers will make this trail look like something out of a fairy tale. Every switch-back presents you with another view. It was so hard not to stop at every turn and take a million photos. Once you reach the final .8 miles of the trail things get a little tougher. Be prepared with a little scrambling but nothing too intense. The result? A view that is out of this world and one of my favorites in the Valley. I was even lucky enough to catch the Fountain at Fountain Hills do it's thing from 3,063 feet above. So basically, what I'm saying is this - GO. Some of the best places are right in your backyard.