Mount McDowell, more commonly referred to as Red Mountain, is located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation, just north of Mesa, Arizona. It is named after General Irvin McDowell. Its elevation is 2,832 feet. It is not the same landmark as the McDowell Peak, which is 18 km away to the northwest. One of the most recognizable land formations in the Fountain Hills area is Red Mountain. The mountain stands high above the desert floor at the confluence of the Salt and Verde Rivers on the Fort McDowell Reservation. The signature Arizona sunsets transform the mountain’s red sandstone into a fiery orange and rust color that can be enjoyed from much of Fountain Hills. Mount McDowell is often called "Red Mountain", due to its composition of sandstone conglomerate which gives it a distinctive red color that glows during sunset. The mountain is protected and off limits to climbers and hikers. Though hiking the mountain would be a real pleasure, just viewing the mountain at sunset from Fountain Hills is a treat in itself. The rock slopes downward toward the desert floor along a distinct, narrow ridgeline. The deep cut in the rock interrupts this descent allowing the background sky to show through. Red Mountain is a beautiful treasure. Just as The Fountain is Fountain Hills most recognizable man-made landmark, Red Mountain is the area’s most instantly recognizable natural landmark. The mountain is very photogenic but it's difficult to photograph up close. The mountain is located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation, and has been declared off-limits to hikers, climbers and photographers since the early 1980s, due to vandalism.