Preserve Trail Signs
The Sonoran Conservancy and the MMPC completed a major project this year; design and
construction of an emergency rescue plan for the Preserve.
There are several styles and sizes of signs within the Fountain Hills McDowell Mountain
Preserve. All are intended to provide the hiker with relevant information.
At each end of the Preserve there are large, two sided signs that welcome a hiker into the
Preserve (or advise a person they are moving onto either MCO property (posted No
Trespassing), or McDowell Mountain County Park. These signs offer essential information regarding
specific regulations for use of the property.
Preserve Welcome Signs
Next in size are those signs located at each trail head. They identify the name of the trail,
state the one way distance, and the amount of elevation change. Beneath that information
appears a descriptive rating of the trail (easy, moderate, difficult).
Preserve Trail Head Sign
Another helpful type are the directional signs that point to destinations or intersections along
the preserve trails.
Preserve Directional Sign
The most important and prevalent type of sign fortunately is also the smallest. These are known as
"Emergency Markers". Each trail has a designated identification name, such as "WL" for
Western Loop Trail, or "S" for the Sonoran Trail. Plus, each sign has a specific ID number. If a hiker
or Steward needs to call for help they use this "EM name and number" in any communication with a
911 operator. When the operator relays the call to the nearest emergency rescue location that team
will automatically translate the "name and number" from their detailed Map of the Preserve. This
map provides a specific set of GPS coordinates for that EM location.
Preserve Emergency Marker
The combined efforts of MMPC and Sonoran Conservancy created this Security Plan. Bob Sanders designed the
overall plan and EM marker locations, MMPC bought the commercially prepared sign facia. Our Town Road crew
cut over 170 steel sign posts. The SC Trailblazers dug the holes, carried the cement and water needed to
properly mount each sign before establishing the "GPS location"
Lastly, working with the Fountain Hills Fire Dept., the conservancy team toured the entire preserve
with Captain Golden to identify specific locations he felt suitable for brining in an emergency
rescue helicopter. From that step our trailblazers cleared and leveled 7 Landing Zone sights. There will be
identification of these sites per Fire Department specifications.
Testing out LZ7 with FOX 1, the sheriff's rescue helo