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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Certificate of Excellence
Nature & wildlife areas, Nature & Parks
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Address: 18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ
Phone Number: 6177243466
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Most recent review
Nice Hiking Spot

We were looking for a nice spot to take our dog hiking while on vacation in Scottsdale. We found the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and gave it a try. The trail we travelled had a... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 28, 2015
k8brit
,
Kelowna, Canada
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396 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Kelowna, Canada
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
6 attraction reviews
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

We were looking for a nice spot to take our dog hiking while on vacation in Scottsdale. We found the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and gave it a try. The trail we travelled had a moderate incline and were fairly flat and well maintained, if we had more time we would have enjoyed exploring the trails further as there seemed to... More 

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Ballwin, MO
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
39 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

Both trails are scenic & challenging. Lost Dog is shorter with a view of Frank Lloyd Wright's artist colony at the precipice. Gateway is a loop & much longer & steeper especially if you go clockwise. It has great views of Scottsdale & Camelback Mtn. Short drives from Scottsdale & plenty of parking.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Des Moines
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
13 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

There are plenty of places to hike in the greater Scottsdale, but none like this. We are in our 60's and look forward to hiking the Gateway paths every year when we visit. There are easy to moderate. Well marked and just plain beautiful and fun to hike. The hiking paths takes you through beautiful area's for desert area's.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
6 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

This preserve, run by the City of Scottsdale, is a wonderful introduction to the natural Sonoran habitat. The facilities, trails, maps and stewards are top notch. The effort and investment that goes into the creation and maintenance of this park is impressive. The trails are well marked and rated. There is something for everyone, no matter your fitness level of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Glendale, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

We chose the North Trail (relatively new so it's not older maps of the preserve) and thoroughly enjoyed the 3 mile round trip. Flat with soft sand to walk on (and no big rocks to scramble over) it was perfect for those of us with bum knees. There are plenty of benches (often placed in the shade of a tree)... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
3 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

We did a quick circuit near the Gateway. On weekends, this is very popular with the community and dog-hikers (who sadly leave their poo bags for later pickup along the main trail). The volunteers are very enthusiastic and honest about their knowledge. Once you get off the main trail - things get much quieter. I suspect the other trailheads are... More 

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Kansas City, Missouri
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
46 attraction reviews
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

Nice area for hiking. Also a short 1/2 mile path into the desert for those not up to a more strenuous hike. Path has markers pointing out various fauna and plants. Starting point has water, nice clean restrooms, benches, and shade under a cover. Dogs on leash allowed. Plenty of parking. Take a hat and water

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Scottsdale, Arizona
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

My husband and I walked about 3 miles of trails. It gave us a wonderful opportunity to see the desert and surrounding mountains up close. The trails are well marked, there are clean restrooms at the parking area. Rangers are available to talk with and we were able to see several scorpions at a table they had set up. Go... More 

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Cary, Illinois
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

Nice hiking area that is free, spacious, easy to find. But the paths are quite rocky so watch your step!

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Northport, New York
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
14 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

Great place for a hike about 20 minutes from my hotel in Scottsdale. My only problem was that the trails are not clearly marked and we got a little lost coming back to the main entrance.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?