McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale

4.8
#2 of 22 in Parks in Scottsdale
Wildlife Area · Nature / Park
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McDowell Sonoran Preserve spans 12,150 hectares (30,000 acres) of protected desert terrain, with over 190 km (120 mi) of multi-use trails. Five trailheads offering hikes of varying difficulty and length will take you through different regions of the park. Explore the trails by foot, by bike, or on horseback, and you'll see cacti forests, wildlife, and mountain ranges. This huge preserve is geologically diverse, made up of a mixture of 1.7 billion-year-old metamorphic rocks, granite, and volcanic deposits. The preserve provides a safe home to desert plants and animals near an urban environment and connects to Tonto National Forest and McDowell Mountain Regional Park, creating a continuous wildlife corridor. Use our Scottsdale vacation website to add McDowell Sonoran Preserve and other attractions to your Scottsdale vacation plans.
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McDowell Sonoran Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
1,132 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Amazing variety of trails for all ages and abilities! You could spend an hour or a day here. We did a 2-hour easy hike that included a nature trail with fun info boards with facts and questions... 
    Amazing variety of trails for all ages and abilities! You could spend an hour or a day here. We did a 2-hour easy hike that included a nature trail with fun info boards with facts and questions...  more »
  • I never know how we can actually “rate” nature. The trail was just what I needed this morning - to get out of my head and into my body. It was picturesque, easy enough, with just the right amount... 
    I never know how we can actually “rate” nature. The trail was just what I needed this morning - to get out of my head and into my body. It was picturesque, easy enough, with just the right amount...  more »
Google
  • Such a beautiful trail and friendly people. It wasn't very active but there was a couple larger groups we did the 4.2 miles all the way around in a little over an hour. Thankfully it was a nice warm day with a little breeze to keep us at the perfect temp. Definitely started to the right and had good rocky start but was amazing needless to say. Definitely a recommendation and will be going back to try the other direction to the left. Like share and love. Follow for the new adventures to come started yesterday and everywhere will be a new hike.
  • Trailhead is excellent. Plenty of parking and a shaded restroom/info center where you can prep for your hike. I took the Gateway Loop trail on a 75 degree Sunday afternoon in Feb. Surprisingly, there weren’t many people on the loop. I went counterclockwise but didn’t see any particular advantage of one direction over another. The trail was mostly rock covered (difficult footing and easy to twist an ankle). That said, it is a very scenic and fairly easy 4 miles.

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