The Mushroom Loop Trail is a well-defined 6.1 mile loop trail located within the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. The Mushroom Loop is a moderately difficult trail that uses portions of both the Anthem East Trail and McCullough Hills Trail, but mainly consists of a unofficial “social use” trail created by mountain bike enthusiasts. Some websites refer to this trail as the “Sidewinder Trail,” but Google Maps has labeled this trail the Mushroom Loop for many years. The trail can be accessed from either Anthem East Trailhead in Anthem Hills Park or the Chorus/Arpeggio Trailhead. The Mushroom Loop Trail is one of my favorite hikes because it is easy to access, provides a great workout, and is usually a very quiet trail. The description below starts at the Chorus/Arpeggio Trailhead and does a counterclockwise loop on the trail.
Before you attempt to hike the McCullough Hills Trail, please make sure that you are prepared and are following the guidelines for hiker safety. Please be aware that there is no cell phone coverage on most of the Mushroom Loop Trail.
Waypoint 1: Chorus Trailhead (N 35.97864° W 115.07816°)
The Chorus/Arpeggio Trailhead is located at the intersection of Chorus and Arpeggio in the Coventry neighborhood in Anthem.
Waypoint 2: Anthem East Trailhead Sign (N 35.97853° W 115.07774°)
Just passed the Anthem East Trail sign on your right you will see the trail begin on your left.
Waypoint 3: Wash Crossing (N 35.97759° W 115.07528°)
After roughly 50 yards, the trail intersects with a wash. You can cross the wash and continue on a meandering trail. You can also turn left (east) and continue down the wash and get roughly to the same location (directions below).
Waypoint 4: Anthem East Trail/Wash Crossing (N 35.97652° W 115.07168°)
If you continued on the trail after crossing the wash, the trail takes you to a utility road. This utility road is the Anthem East Trail. Head right/west on the Anthem East Trail.
If you went east down the wash, you will arrive at the intersection of the wash and the Anthem East Trail. The Anthem East Trail will be on your right. Follow the utility road going west.
Waypoint 5: Old Road Crossing (N 35.97445° W 115.07213°)
Continue south on Anthem East Trail past the intersection of an old utility road.
Waypoint 6: Right/West Turn on the Mushroom Loop Trail (N 35.97017° W 115.06898°)
Just at the 1 mile mark from the Chorus Trailhead, you take a turn west/right on the Mushroom Loop Trail. This portion of the trail meanders north and west before heading south along the ridges over Anthem Country Club.
Waypoint 7: Bike Crossing (N 35.96938° W 115.06956°)
Over the years, mountain bikers have created several intersecting trails through this area, and new trails seem to pop up every year. This is the first of several intersecting trails that you will see on this portion of the Mushroom Loop. Just continue straight on the trail.
Waypoint 8: Wash Crossing (N 35.96990° W 115.07044°)
Cross the wash and follow the trail south. This part of the trail is an upward hike along the hills that border Anthem Country Club to the east.
Waypoint 9: Ridge/Anthem View (N 35.96462° W 115.06926°)
As you head up the ridge you will get your first view to the west overlooking Anthem Country Club. The trail then follows the ridge line south.
Waypoint 10: Rock Circle (N 35.96622° W 115.07021°)
As you head up the ridge line, you will see a rock circle on your left. You still have a little ways to go before you reach the highest peak.
Waypoint 11: Peak over Anthem Country Club (N 35.96306° W 115.06857°)
At 3005 ft, this is the highest point along the ridge line over Anthem Country Club.
Waypoint 12: Bike Trail Crossing (N 35.96074° W 115.06747°)
Head straight on the trail passed the intersecting bike trail on the left towards the Anthem East Trail. The Anthem East Trail runs along the power lines pictured below.
Waypoint 13: Old Road Crossing (N 35.96017° W 115.06710°)
As you head down the ridge you will see an old road intersecting the trail from the right. This road leads to a fence outside of Anthem County Club (no access).
Waypoint 14: Anthem East Trail Crossing (N 35.95935° W 115.06621°)
Once you reach the power line, the Mushroom Loop Trail crosses the Anthem East Trail heading east. This portion of the Anthem East Trail is a fairly steep and rocky utility road.
The next two miles of the Mushroom Loop is the most isolated, as the trail goes up and down through various washes along a small canyon. You often lose cell phone coverage in this area.
Waypoint 15: Ridge One (N 35.96031° W 115.06345°)
The trail takes you through a small valley and up to a ridge.
Waypoint 16: Ridge Two (N 35.96036° W 115.06223°)
After you reach this second ridge, the trail takes you down into a small canyon.
Waypoint 17: Halfway Point/Ridge (N 35.96065° W 115.05378°)
This is not the actual halfway point on the trail (which is about .2 miles back), but as you cross over a ridge and see a new canyon, I consider this the halfway point of the hike. This is a good place to divide the trail if you are only going halfway (in either direction), and this is also a good place to take a rest stop.
In-between Waypoints 17 and 18A, you will cross the highest point on the trail at 3,221 ft.
Waypoint 18A: Cutoff Trail (N 35.96809° W 115.05777°)
As you hike along the ridge you will see a trail turning left/southeast. This is the Mushroom Loop Cutoff Trail, which takes you down a small canyon to the East Anthem Trail. The Cutoff is a good option if you are short on time, or want a shorter hike.
The trail follows the ridge line down to the northwest.
The trail winds towards the northwest until you run into a utility road (N 35.97319° W 115.06364°). Look for the white mine marker in the distance. Cross the utility road towards the mine marker.
Waypoint 19: Mine Marker (N 35.97315° W 115.06377°)
Follow the trail to the northwest, passing the white mine marker on your left.
Waypoint 20: Crossroads (35.97578° W 115.06681°)
The Mushroom Loop Trail ends at the crossroads of the McCullough Hills Trail and the Anthem East/Burrage Loop Trail. The decision here is easy, take one of the left two trails. Going straight (2nd trail from the left) is a hair faster. All of the trails converge near a utility road ahead.
Waypoint 21: McCullough Hills Trail Mile Marker 7 (N 35.97683° W 115.06842°)
The McCullough Hills Trail Mile Marker 7 will be on the left (west) of the trail. If you took the middle trail (2nd on the left) from the Crossroad, the marker will be about 20 yards from the trail.
Waypoint 22: Utility Road Crossing (N 35.97871° W 115.07385°)
The trail merges with a utility road that heads down (right) towards Anthem Hills Park and Del Webb Middle School. Head right (northwest) and cross the utility road. Look for the Anthem East Trail sign on the left, and follow it southwest to go downhill.
Waypoint 23: Anthem East Trail Sign (N 35.97893° W 115.07424°)
Take the Anthem Hills Trail south and you will soon be heading downhill towards the wash leading to the Chorus Trailhead.
Waypoint 24: Anthem East 1 Mile Marker (N 35.97838° W 115.07399°)
Be careful heading downhill towards the wash. The Anthem East 1 Mile Marker will be on the right (west) side of the trail. This marks 1 mile from the Anthem East Trailhead in Anthem Hills Park.
Waypoint 25: Anthem East Trail wash crossing – back to Waypoint 4 (N 35.97652° W 115.07168°)
At the bottom of the hill the trail merges with a large wash. You have now completed the loop. Turn right to head back towards the Chorus Trailhead.
Waypoint 26: Trail Crossing the Wash (N 35.97759° W 115.07528°)
Look for the trail crossing the wash and take it to the right. This will let you avoid a drainage basin at the end of the wash, and take you directly to the Chorus Trailhead.