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Ways to Experience McDowell Sonoran Preserve
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All reviews gateway loop nature trail desert hiking great hiking trails great place to hike well marked trails thompson peak tom's thumb bring water lost dog wash maintained trails trail system mile hike trail head lots of water hiking boots beautiful hike
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13 - 18 of 1,090 reviews
Reviewed January 19, 2020

There are several different trails of varying degree of difficulty to choose from, so great for a short walk or a long, serious hike. The views are tremendous from anywhere, looking down on the valley with Scottsdale and Phoenix in the far background. You're truly out in wilderness here so stay on the paths, look around, enjoy the flowers and cactus, and take it all in while getting some exercise. We like to go here whenever we are in Scottsdale/Phoenix on vacation, really enjoy the scenery and views, getting out into nature. This is a short drive from Scottsdale, under 10 minutes from Salt River Fields @ Talking Stick, about 20 minutes from Old Town Scottsdale and 25 from ASU campus. Well worth it.

Date of experience: January 2020
1  Thank KampOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2020 via mobile

Great choice of trails through the Sonoran Desert where you can view many types of cacti.
For us seeing the tall Suguaro Cacti that we only seen in movies or cartoons of the old West was a real treat. Each cactus has its own shape ( and to me its own personally :-))

Date of experience: January 2020
Thank Vegan_Hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2020

Rode the desert trails with teens. Great views, very safe, paths are well marked, you can time your circuit, and extend or shorten easily. Different skill levels in paths to choose from. We saw a whole deer family, foxes, and many birds in one outing. Teens where not specially enthusiastic in the beginning, they became as the adventure progressed.

Date of experience: January 2020
Thank JPGira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2020

This is a great network of trails winding through the desert near Scottsdale. Lots of neat rock formations, big Saguaros and beautiful views.

The parking lots are paved and the trails well maintained and marked. We chose the Marcus Landslide trail, which is a 4-mile out and back trail. The last part of the trail features a short loop that provides pretty views.

When we rolled in, the parking lot was pretty full, but there are several trails so the hike itself wasn't busy at all.

Trails are open to mountain bikes and dogs. There are restrooms at the main trailhead.

The sad part of this preserve is that there are several housing developments in the works. It won't be long before visitors are looking over rooftops instead of the natural land. So visit soon.

Date of experience: January 2020
1  Thank JiffMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2020 via mobile

Being from the Midwest, seeing the desert up close was amazing. Stunning views on our two mile hike to on observation post. We only saw a small part of the Preserve but it is well recommended.

Date of experience: January 2020
Thank illinicee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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