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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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Address: 18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ
Phone Number: 6177243466
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$116*
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Sonoran Desert Adventure from Phoenix
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Great hiking!

Infinite hiking possibilities for all levels of fitness and ability. Trails are well maintained. Beautiful scenery.

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 29, 2015
fit-writer
,
Arizona
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479 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Arizona
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

Infinite hiking possibilities for all levels of fitness and ability. Trails are well maintained. Beautiful scenery.

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New Jersey
Level Contributor
1,040 reviews
526 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,580 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015

Easily accessible from Scottsdale this preserve is simply a fantastic place. It allows us to see the real landscape of Sonoran Desert - it is an oasis in the midst of all the modern human developments which transformed the dessert's ecosystem . The trails are relatively well marked and organized. The Gateway Entrance area has water fountains and bathrooms, trail... More 

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Level Contributor
37 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

Rated moderate. Trail is very rocky, an incline elevation first 45 minutes then, levels out. Elevation increases to the Saddle, downhill from there. Bring plenty of water to hydrate and a hat, sparse shade areas. Beautiful scenery on the Western edge of the Sonoran Mountains Preserve. Lush green trees, bushes, and cacti after the monsoon season, (June to Sept., peak... More 

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
80 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

We day hiked both Brown's Ranch in the north as well as the larger southern preserve. Trailheads are excellent: paved parking, rest rooms, water, maps, shade. Trails are easy to follow and well marked. Trails are of all levels of difficulty and length. We have had a wonderful time every time we've been here. You do need to remain attentive... More 

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Sedona
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

Experience the 'real' desert without driving 50 miles away! Take your time following the winding paths, reading descriptive signs as you go and feel the "quiet"!

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Paradise Valley, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

A great way to experience the desert but so convenient to Phoenix/Scottsdale. I'd say that it is a must-see for any out-of-town visitor to be able to experience the Sonoran desert. The Preserve has done a great job of appropriately developing the trails and main visitors' center. I live here but I still occassionally return. Make sure to bring plenty... More 

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Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2015

My father and I went out for Spring training in March and before we went to the games each day we would go hiking and tour the surrounding areas. The views were so pretty and it was surreal. We made the mistake though of going for a hike which we thought was going to be short but we missed the... More 

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Seattle
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

Nice location for desert hiking near Scottsdale - provides a taste of the Sonoran without venturing further from Scottsdale

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2015

This is a gorgeous place to trail run or hike with a side of boulder scrambling; a wonderful unexpected find in AZ.

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Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2015

The Sonoran Preserve, like many groomed trailheads in Phoenix and Scottsdale, supposedly closes at sunset. I find that there is little enforcement of this and since I like to go UP at sunset, it's a bit of a challenge to be down by then (duh). The trailhead is just outside a remote community of Scottsdale. There's ample parking and a... More 

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