136th St Express Trail Hike Overview
We recently hiked the 136th St Express/Cow Poke Loop and gave this hike 100% on the “likelihood to revisit” scale. One week later we were back! This area is great because of the views are spectacular, all the cool saguaros, and how easy it is. It’s a solid choice when you want to get outside but not hike anything crazy or when it’s ridiculously hot out.
Map & Elevation Profile
Max elevation: 2702 ft
Min elevation: 2521 ft
Total time: 01:45:50
Map for the 136th St Express Trail Hike
You won’t regret having this map. The signage here is good but there are a lot of trails. What if you want to extend your hike? With a this map you can make a plan!
McDowell Mountains Greentrails map
You definitely won’t regret having this map for your McDowell Sonoran Preserve hikes (affiliate link)!
You will want to park at the Granite Mountain trailhead lot. It’s a giant free lot!
136th St Express Trail Hike Notes
I wasn’t completely honest in the overview above why we decided to come back here only a week later. Here’s my true motivation: I posted the photos of the crested saguaro (check them out here) in the Crested Saguaro Facebook group and someone commented with a photo of another crested saguaro in the area. It has a HUGE crest and that was enough for me to drag the BF back up here.
We didn’t find it but that’s part of the fun and gives us another reason to go back 😊.
This hike is all about expansive mountain views. So if that’s your thing (like me!), then get up here and check it out. It’s easy, relaxing and will make your brain feel good!
So, is the 136th St Express Trail Hike worth it?
Even though it isn’t a big hike up a mountain with a clear ending, it is super nice out here! It’s quiet and very scenic. You’ll likely feel great after walking around this area.
Other hikes close by
You can create a loop if you prefer those. We did this with the Cow Poke trail. You could go towards Tom’s Thumb area and hike that area: N 128th street. There is also the Whiskey Bottle Trail hike at the Fraesfield Trailhead. Brown’s Mountain trailhead is busier but also pretty great. There are a zillion options from the Brown’s Mountain Trailhead.