McDowell Mountain Regional Park

McDowell Mountain Regional Park

McDowell Mountain Regional Park
4.5

Top ways to experience McDowell Mountain Regional Park and nearby attractions

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles174 reviews
Excellent
121
Very good
45
Average
7
Poor
0
Terrible
1

CraftBeers
Plano, TX25,230 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
I didn't really like this park. I can't say there is anything wrong with it. I just am not a desert fan. The day after we hiked this park, we visited Jewel of the Creek Preserve in Cave Creek. What a difference.

The desert setting here has rolling hills with pleasant hiking. We found the trails to be easy to moderate depending on what trails we selected. A nice pair of hiking boots, sunscreen (including lip balm) and lots of water are absolutely necessary. Start at 7:00 AM. If you are heading out at 9:00 AM, that's too late. You will be hiking in 100 degree weather with no shade on the way back.

My main reason for disliking this park is the low number and density of cacti and arid plant life. Walk through Jewel of the Creek Preserve to see what I mean. There was a self-pay station with a cost of entrance for hiking of $2 per person. See Dixie Mine Trail for parking and hiking.
Written May 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

desertsky1
Chicago, IL43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We walked the 3 miles North Trail loop on a beautiful sunny afternoon and the scenery was awesome. It's a mostly flat trail of crushed sand and gravel and a good width. There are interpretive markers along the way and you can pick up a brochure at the entrance that tells something about the vegetation or view at each marker. I was concerned at first that this trail also allows bikes but there were only a couple when we were there and you could hear them before they came upon you and it was no issue. There were also a couple families with small children and I think this is a good trail for the less serious hikers that want to get out in the desert scenery. There are plentiful seguaro cactus and other vegetation and views of the surrounding mountains are beautiful. There are several areas where narrow washes come across the trail so after a hard rain this might not be viable.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jurora
Peterborough, Canada606 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
This park was amazing for us. The day was sunny, so that made our short walk most enjoyable. We got parked in the large parking lot (signs state to take valuables with you/leave them out of site, due to stealing occurring). We looked at the map of the trails, and had assistance from one of the several volunteers. On our first choice, it was tricky walking along the trail, as there were several rocks sticking out on the path, and it got worse in some spots. The walk wasn't enjoyable for me, as I had to keep looking down as I walked, as I was afraid to fall and re-cut my leg, as I already had an injury. The trail started to have an incline to it, and others on the way back stated that it inclines more, further along, so hubby and I turned around. The next trail (.7 mile? trail) we went on, I believe was the shortest, and it was more suitable...a wider, flat dirt path. We kept stopping along here, as there were several posted, information boards along it. They explained about the park's cactus, trees, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, rocks, washes and more. The surrounding mountains, and the desert flora were spectacular! My hubby really enjoyed this walk, and being his first trip to the desert, just couldn't get enough of the scenery. Since we had puttered along the walk, or more-so me, I sat near the entrance, after we did that trail, and hubby went back to do that same trail, at a faster pace. He was gone awhile, and he later stated that he did it 3 times, as he didn't want to leave the park! We would come back here definitely, on another trip.
Written April 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gefilte63
Beachwood, OH710 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
The setting is magnificent overlooking the valley; we were there right at the end of the rainy season and everything was on bloom.
There are several paths to choose from; we chose a path that went around back the mountain and back down. It took about 1.75 hours to complete. Be forewarned, this is not a paved trail; it is rocky and might be challenging for some people. Be certain to have the proper shoes on; flip-flops will not cut it. I rolled my ankle at least a dozen times on the trail even with good running shoes. Also, make sure to bring plenty of water and/or snacks for the hike.
There was literally no trash on the ground at all, which was so refreshing to see.
Best to do this in the morning before it gets too hot.
Written April 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HPSGene
Palos Verdes Estates, CA256 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
We spent some time here over a couple of days biking some of the trails and had a blast. The Pemberton loop is about 15 miles and has flowy, some moderately rocky stretches that made for a great ride. The trailhead facilities are nice and the entire system is very clean. Loved the desert riding!
Written April 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

carmenvbonjour
Fountain Hills, AZ5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
I ventured to McDowell Mountain Regional Park one Saturday with my dog. I didn't realize there was an entrance fee to enter the park. Eager as I was to explore this new place, I didn't hesitate to pay the the daily fee. Once in, I drove a long while to view the exceptional views. I found a sweet place and off my dog and I went on our hike. This was our first time visiting, but not our last! There is hiking for the entire family young and old!
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wc9828
Boulder CO115 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
The campground is well-constructed and well-equipped. It is a campground clearly geared for RVs. Our one complaint, and it is a big one, is the noise of pilot training. Each and every afternoon, a flight instructor and his tutee take off from a nearby airport (assume Scottsdale), fly out to McDowell, and then fly circles above the campground. It is a loud, obnoxious drone that ruins the peace and quiet of the area. I am told that the issue has been raised but the park was stiff-armed by the airport. We can't see going back.
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

T9-Orca
Seattle, WA703 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
This isn't a national park, but it does have lots of trails, many suitable for mountain bikes and people, and it does have a large open desert area replete with cactuses and desert shrubs. It's a pleasant place to walk, and readily accessible from Fountain Hills or Rio Verde (just northeast of Scottsdale). The mountain biking includes a competitive loop ... and while not difficult, it is pretty and rewarding, assuming the temperatures are reasonable (generally great in February, not so desirable by June).

The park also includes some mountains an a few mountain trails (not so much for summits as circuits with some elevation gain and loss). The facilities are limited, but of good quality, and there is plenty to do there. Many of the people who use the park are locals, there either for outdoor exercise or just to get outside somewhere in a natural environment, but still close to town.

Well worth a trip if you're in the area -- not dramatic, but consistently good
Written February 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wanderlust
Victoria, Canada13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Absolute must stop for off pavement cyclists. many miles of beautiful trails from relatively easy to difficult. Government campsite with water and electricity hookups, showers and toilets (and sani dump)
Written December 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

retiredteacherAZ
Scottsdale, AZ328 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I retired out to Scottsdale, Az in 2008. I love to hike and found one trail that would be rated as "easy" and hikers of all ages could enjoy. This trail is the "LOST DOG WASH TRAIL" and the trailhead can be accessed by driving down SHEA BLVD to 124th St and then taking 124th to the Trailhead parking (there are signs on Shea and 124th directing you to the parking area). The trailhead itself has washrooms and a cold drinking fountain...both for hikers and one for their four-legged friends. The Lost Dog Trail branches off into other trails (RingTail, SunSet, Old Jeep, etc) but I think one would best enjoy just staying on the Lost Dog Trail and taking it the 2.6 miles to the Taliesen Overlook where you will be amazed at the beautiful views (see photos). The hike itself is fairly easy and has a variety of desert plantlife (Saguaro, Cholla, Palo Verde, Jojoba, Creosote, Octillo...just to name a few) as well as a variety of desert dwellers (see photos) though I have only come across a snake twice on this trail in 3 years (and I hike it almost daily). This is one hike I highly recommend if you are in the Scottsdale area and looking for a bit of hiking.
Written October 12, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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McDowell Mountain Regional Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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