McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale

4.8
#2 of 22 in Parks in Scottsdale
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Create an itinerary including McDowell Sonoran Preserve
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.
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Tours to McDowell Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
1,131 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • 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 »
  • We are senior citizens and we were able to comfortably walk two of the trails (despite the heat!) The accessible trail is easy and informative as there are numerous signs giving information about the....  more
    We are senior citizens and we were able to comfortably walk two of the trails (despite the heat!) The accessible trail is easy and informative as there are numerous signs giving information about the....  more »
Google
  • Gateway Trailhead offers so many trails perfect for every level of fitness, time availability and interest. Definitely arrive early to avoid the heat and bring plenty of water. I recommend thick soles as there are any areas with various sizes and shapes of rocks that can painfully penitrate thin soled shoes. I recommend hiking poles especially if doing Tom's Thumb trail. Great place to enjoy nature and hike. Please click 👍 if this was helpful.
  • Awesome views of desert life and nearby mountain range. The cacti and native plants are beautiful too. Nice laid out walking trails. Maps available online and in paper form. Take your cellphone and water. Wear comfortable shoes. Exposed small sharp rocks on the trail. Have fun and be safe.

Plan your trip to Scottsdale

  • Compose it!
    Your own itinerary for your car vacation, beach vacation, city trip, any near or distant journey ... ready within 10 minutes.
  • Customize it.
    Refine your plan. We find the best routes and opportunities.
  • Book it.
    Choose from the best accommodations (Expedia, AirBnB), airlines and activities, by yourself or share with travel professionals for the utmost experience. Up to 50% discount!
  • Do it yourself.
    Or share your plan with travel professionals for a customized trip