As Fountain Hills residents, we are fortunate to have 80 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding right next to us at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. One of the best Christmas gifts that our family received was an annual membership to the park. While my husband has been taking advantage of the incredible mountain biking, we have also made it our mission to do as many family hikes as possible this year.
The dilemma has been finding hikes that we could do with our four year old son. When he was younger, we would simply carry him in our kelty pack and go. However, he is now a whopping 40 pounds and loves to explore hiking on his own two feet. We decided to start out the new year with a hike on Hilltop Trail.
At only .5 miles, Hilltop Trail was a great starting point to see if our son would stay on the trail, stay interested in the hike, and not run into a teddy bear cholla. It starts off quickly with a gradual ascend to the top of the hill.
When you have reached the top, you will be surrounded by impressive 360 degree mountain views. It is hard to believe that within just a few minute drive from Fountain Hills awaits the vast beautiful views of the desert.
The hike does a quick loop back around to the parking lot area. Our son enjoyed picking up rocks and sticks along the hike, as well as identifying desert plants and cactus. Some that you will see on this hike:
Hike length: .5 miles
Age Appropriate: 3+ (walking)