We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Beautiful, but Hard to Find”

McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Ranked #2 of 162 things to do in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
211 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but Hard to Find”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

It took some trial and error to find the entrance to the Preserve. We traveled Thompson Parkway several times trying to find the entrance and expecting to see a large sign that stated McDowell Sonoran Preserve. There is a small sign that says "Gateway Trailhead" and shortly thereafter an obscure entrance that is easy to miss. The Preserve's entrance sign is hidden by cactus and other plants so look carefully. We wasted a lot of time looking for the Preserve. Once there we only had time for a short hike. The main building was under construction and there were some trail maps in a stack under a rock.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Scotch27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

865 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    679
    162
    22
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
39 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Phenomenal trails”
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Very close to Marriott hotel. Trails are moderate in difficulty. Make sure to put on sunscreen, bring water, and good walking shoes

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Bricktamland7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slinger, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Beautiful land!”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

The trails are easy to follow, and the views from the higher elevations are gorgeous! The steward at the building near the parking lot was so friendly and helpful, with advice about how much water to take and which way to go. Loved hiking the trails here.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level Contributor
107 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great hiking”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Well marked trails and facilities. Can get a bit crowded on holidays. Went on thanksgiving day one year and there were lots of people but the spaces are so wide open and so many trials it wasn't a big deal. Gives you an idea of exactly how vibrant the desert really is

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Airbear777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A Great Hiking Experience”
Reviewed October 11, 2013 via mobile

A beautiful surprise in the middle of an urban area. We didn't realize the extent of the trails. A beautiful view of Scottsdale if you hike up a little way.A great place to take a nature walk. Just make sure you wear the proper foot attire. The trails can be a bit rocky.

Helpful?
Thank FlaDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed McDowell Sonoran Preserve also viewed

Scottsdale, Central Arizona
Scottsdale, Central Arizona
 
Scottsdale, Central Arizona
 

Been to McDowell Sonoran Preserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing