2.7 Miles

300 feet

Easy Peasy

A+++ Views

Sidewinder Trail Hike Overview

The best thing about the Sidewinder Trail Hike is the views. Be prepared to see mountains in every direction. It’s an easy trail with minimal elevation and the ability to make it longer or shorter. For this trip, I hiked a portion of the Sidewinder trail, added on the Apache Vista, and made it into a loop with the Apache Wash and Ocotillo trails.

Map & Elevation Profile

Total distance: 2.74 mi
Max elevation: 2005 ft
Min elevation: 1705 ft
Total time: 00:59:44

Map for the Sidewinder Trail Hike

There is a map at the trailhead that you can take a photo of and you can find a pdf here.


Put in “Apache Wash trailhead” into the Google maps machine. There is a huge parking area that is free!

Sidewinder Trail Hike Trail Notes

The views start right from the parking lot and get better as you head up the trail. For instance, you will see the McDowells in all their glory are to the west. All the mountains in Phoenix proper are to the south. The mountains in the Tonto National Forest are to the north and all kinds of mountains to the east. As you walk the loop you are treated to excellent mountain views all around.

This trail can be combined with many other trails to make it as long or as short as you wish. Give the map a quick look and you will find many ways to turn this hike into big or short loops. You can also pop up the Apache View trail (adds on another mile or so) and experience great views of Camelback, Piestewa, Lookout, and more.

From the East side of the loop, you can see the Ridgeback Trail and it looks like a fun trail. That is on my “to hike soon” list :).

Read a detailed trail description of the entire Sidewinder Trail here at HikeAZ.

So, is the Sidewinder Trail hike worth it?

Most definitely. The views are better from here than from the McDowells (in my opinion!).

Other hikes close by

If you are looking for something with some elevation check out the Ridgeline Trail Hike. There are other trails in the South portion of the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve from the Desert Vista Trailhead also worth checking out! If you want to hike around the McDowells, check out the Gateway Loop hike or the hike up to Bell Pass.

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