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.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Features Animals
Review Highlights
Highlight of our trip....

Taking a hike through this preserve was the highlight of our family vacation. We have an 11 year... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Oak Forest, Illinois
The Sonoran Desert is Awesome !!

Whatever you do, you must stop by this place and take all the cactus and other wildlife that the... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Read all 980 reviews
All photos (626)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent77%
  • Very good19%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gateway loop”(101 reviews)
“nature trail”(22 reviews)
“desert hiking”(17 reviews)
Local Weather
Powered by Weather Underground
18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ
+1 617-724-3466
Reviews (980)
Filter reviews
967 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsgateway loopnature traildesert hikingwell marked trailsgreat hiking trailsbell passgreat place to hikethompson peaktom's thumblost dog wash trailheadbring watermile hikemaintained trailstrail systemtrail headhiking shoeslots of water
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 967 reviews
Reviewed 4 days ago

Taking a hike through this preserve was the highlight of our family vacation. We have an 11 year old and it was going to be hot (100+) so we opted for the North Trail which is only 3 miles. The best part - it came...More

Thank tinleyparktraveler
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Whatever you do, you must stop by this place and take all the cactus and other wildlife that the Southern Arizona area has to take in. This is a wonderful place, but try to go when its not 110 degrees. We came during the summer...More

Thank DannyWasserman
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

So close to Scottsdale & so very convenient. This is a great place to take desert walks - short or long. Lovely scenery with a variety of plant life.

Thank esl1067
Reviewed 9 July 2018

I was hesitant to go, since it was middle of June, but our car rental Shuttle bus driver convinced us and we are glad that we visited. It is very well maintained and so many flowering cactus is really something to see. I will recommend...More

2  Thank lmisra
Reviewed 2 July 2018 via mobile

The reserve gets pretty busy! It is extremely well kept. Trails are clearly marked. Beautiful views, clean and welcoming. We really enjoyed our time here. There are easy walks, as well as more challenging trails. Do not pass this place up!

Thank Badger27
Reviewed 13 June 2018

The Sonoran Desert Preserve is a beautiful stretch of nature. The landscape and cactus are amazing to experience.

Thank lollygal
Reviewed 3 June 2018

We hike here every month and it is always growing and changing. The views are amazing and the cacti plentiful. I love hiking just before or after our monsoon storms when you can smell the petrichor!

1  Thank Sloane H
Reviewed 2 June 2018

This was close to our Scottsdale hotel and has parking and there is no charge, so what is not to like about this preserve. Many people were there, it was early. People had their workout clothing and their sunscreen and their water. We were almost...More

Thank LAtoEverywhere
Reviewed 17 May 2018 via mobile

The Best Hiking Trails in Scottsdale Arizona! Over 200 miles of well marked and maintained trails! Great trailheads with more improvements to come at some of our best vistas.

Thank Marsha L
Reviewed 10 May 2018

We did the shorter hike and discovered just how out of shape we were! It was very beautiful and worth the trip. Talk to a guide on the way in. They are very helpful..

Thank 114AmyH
View more reviews
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
22 February 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Jim-Wilmywood | Reviewed this property |
No bikes for rent in the park. if renting one elsewhere, you should be an experienced trail rider. These trails are rocky and rough and steep in a few places.
16 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Gary B | Reviewed this property |
One of the other posts includes a suggestion to "plan and prepare for your hike." So, hikes can be done year-round, but plan the trail, time of day and exertion level for the optimum. Most of the desert plants bloom between... More
4 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from TucsonOtawa_Canada | Reviewed this property |
I think all of them are dog friendly. We saw a few people with their dog on our hike.