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All reviews gateway loop nature trail desert hiking well marked trails great hiking trails bell pass great place to hike thompson peak tom's thumb lost dog wash bring water maintained trails mile hike trail system lots of water hiking boots trail head
This place was well maintained & had various trails for every ability. Watch your step, however, as there are dogs allowed & some waste litters common walking areas. Would be nice to have dog owners pick up their pet's wastes. This is not a road...More
Hundreds if miles if trails, varying degrees of difficulty. You'll find many that fit your level. Go, because there's nothing like a desert hike. Trails are well marked and maps are furnished. Magical place!
For a visitor to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, this place is awesome!
We have done 3 hikes in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve- all very different views and types.
Our first hike- the last 2 years- has been the Gateway Loop. It is a little over 3.5...More
After happily leaving behind the 70+” of rain in Little Rock for 2018, we were unhappy to land in Phoenix, only to find it was raining (and cold!). Luckily that only lasted a day, and we were rewarded with a gorgeous southwest sky next morning....More
During a recent stay in Scottsdale, the wife and I gave our walking sticks a great workout. Trail maps were readily available at the Gateway Trailhead, as were volunteers to answer any inquires. Well maintained and marked trails were available for all skill levels. Experienced...More
We thought the preserve would be something more than a couple of trailheads where you could walk around in the desert. We were wrong. Unless you are into hiking it is not worth the long drive out from Scottsdale! There is nothing there that you...More
Great free way to spend the morning or afternoon! The Preserve has different trails for hikers of every level, including a wonderful botanical garden (Nature Trail) that introduced us to the many desert plants and animals native to Arizona. The descriptions and explanations were fantastic...More
This place has no admission and most of the interpretative signage is far better than the Desert Botanical Garden. We enjoyed the hiking, the learning, and the picture opportunities. Beautiful location late afternoon.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a great park with a bunch of different hiking trails with different levels of difficulty. I did the Gateway trail, which is about 4 miles long, and took me around 2 hours. The hike goes in a loop up and...More
One of the other posts includes a suggestion to "plan and prepare for your hike." So, hikes can be done year-round, but plan the trail, time of day and exertion level for the optimum. Most of the desert plants bloom between... More
One of the other posts includes a suggestion to "plan and prepare for your hike." So, hikes can be done year-round, but plan the trail, time of day and exertion level for the optimum. Most of the desert plants bloom between February and May. Early morning is coolest, and there are hikes that have more shade in certain times of the day. As a starter try the Gateway loop early in the morning going clockwise (Uphill in shade to saddle then mostly downhill back in sun). Wear good shoes with a shank support, bring plenty of water, and poles if you want a little help in gravel or downhills.