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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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Free hiking area

This place was well maintained & had various trails for every ability. Watch your step, however, as... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
via mobile
Stunningly beautiful

Hundreds if miles if trails, varying degrees of difficulty. You'll find many that fit your level... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Kelowna, Canada
via mobile
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  • Excellent77%
  • Very good19%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“gateway loop”(108 reviews)
“nature trail”(25 reviews)
“desert hiking”(18 reviews)
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18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ
+1 617-724-3466
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Reviews (1,015)
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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
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1 - 10 of 1,001 reviews
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

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

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank 428denice
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

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!

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank kelownageek
Reviewed 1 week ago

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

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank colderthanyou
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

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

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank World_Traveler_Food
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

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

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank RaymondP1597
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank williame975
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank vacationgirl07
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

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.

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank JoelK382
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Easier than some of the other area hikes if you choose and have a great little botanical garden area that is great for those that don't really want to or might be challenged to go on a long hike.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Shift1Properties
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank mlee822018
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
October 25, 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from DannyWasserman | Reviewed this property |
No problems with bugs what so ever. Enjoy !!
February 22, 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Jim-Wilmywood | Reviewed this property |
No bikes for rent in the park. if renting one elsewhere, you should be an experienced trail rider. These trails are rocky and rough and steep in a few places.
October 15, 2017|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Gary B | Reviewed this property |
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