5.9 Miles

1018 feet


A+ Views

Inspiration Point Hike Overview

The best part of the Inspiration Point hike is that once you get to the turnoff for the Gateway Loop you will see significantly fewer people. Just like other hikes from this trailhead, it is jam-packed full of great views.

Map & Elevation Profile

Total distance: 5.86 mi
Max elevation: 2707 ft
Min elevation: 1719 ft
Total time: 01:48:01

Map for the Inspiration Point Hike

The trails here are well marked but get this map! You may want to go further, explore a new trail, or get turned around!

mcdowell mountains green trails map get outdoors get happy

McDowell Mountains Greentrails map

You definitely won’t regret having this map for your McDowell Sonoran Preserve hikes (affiliate link)!


Park at the Gateway Trailhead for this hike. The parking lot is huge, so you will definitely be able to find a place to park.

Inspiration Point Hike Trail Notes

I wanted to get in a quick hike before a 9:30 am conference call. The parking lot was fairly full when I arrived at 7:25 am.

The trails in this area are very rocky and feel like real hiking trails. As you slowly work your way up and up the rocky path towards Inspiration Point, you will be greeted by great views of Tom’s Thumb and Pinnacle Peak. There are a couple of small pullouts where it’s like the mountains were designed to frame out Pinnacle Peak. It’s gorgeous!

I was running short on time but then came across a sign that said Inspiration Point was only 0.6 miles away. My brain thought, “Yes, you don’t have a lot of time and want to get a shower in before your call but it’s only 0.6 miles! You can do it!” I should have ignored my brain because I ended up having to run part of the way back down to make it back home on time. Ha!

In the end, I made it on-time to my work call (with 2 minutes to spare but no shower) and felt great for the rest of the day. It gave me a sense of accomplishment for the rest of my workday!

More photos and a trail description here

So, is this hike worth it?

Yes! This is a very popular trailhead but the hike to Inspiration Point allows you to get away from some of the crowds. I definitely want to do this hike in the winter and go all the way around to Bell Pass.

Other hikes close by

The Gateway Trailhead isn’t too far away. Check out the Bell Pass hike for something equally as hard, the Gateway Loop hike for something medium, and the Levee Trail hike or the Horseshoe Trail Hike for something easy.

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