McDowell Sonoran Preserve Hike
|In This Guide|
|Distance||4.5 miles (7.2 km)|
|Hike Time||2 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||750 feet (229m)|
|Highest Elevation||2,392 feet (729m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Park Website||McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trailhead|
This “best of” McDowell Sonoran Preserve hike offers well-marked trails, easy climbs, nice views, and classic Sonoran desert scenery on the Gateway Loop Trail. The hike is a great intro hike to McDowell Sonoran Preserve and is suitable for all levels of hikers. And unlike Camelback Mountain, McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a peaceful oasis where you can connect with nature and unwind.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve was created in 1990 when private citizens and the city of Scottsdale realized that they had to protect this pristine nature from development. They formed the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, a public-private partnership. The preserve is run by and cared for by private volunteers. Very awesome.
Getting to McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Use this trailhead address: 18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ, 85255, USA
The parking lot is huge and you should be okay to find a spot.
Gear for the Hike
You can get away with fitness gear here, but hiking gear works too. Bring lots of water, it can get very hot.
Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
Great for all hikes – short ones to 10+ miles Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.
This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.
There’s a lot of great hiking clothing out there, but what I especially like about the Kuhl clothes is that it’s not too hiker geeky and I can wear it in real life too, formal or informal. For women and men.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve Trail Maps
The trail system is well marked and there are free trail maps at the Gateway Trailhead. The Gateway Trailhead also has water, bathrooms, and volunteers who will answer questions.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve Hike Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
McDowell Sonoran Preserve Hike Directions
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Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
If you see trash on the trail, please pick it up and carry it out. Be a good egg and practice no trace principles.