Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in McDowell Mountain Regional Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
15 days ago

NIce trail for practice runs... do it clockwise and you get a nice downhill run!!!

I would rate this as easy to moderate, but I love riding my mountain bike here.
Most any bike can use it thou.

trail running
1 month ago

The last mile up to the peak is a knee-burner, and the way back down is a quad bomber. This is a great trail for the occasional hard training session, but due to the somewhat bland scenery following the Jeep trail up to the top, it’s not my favorite. For an extra bonus hard run/hike, come at it from Gateway and go over Bell Pass first. You’ll feel it on your way back for sure, but it’ll certainly harden your body and mind for the next challenge.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, mostly flat but you do hike up and over a small hill. Great views, lots of wildlife including a large Mohave rattlesnake. Lots of saguaros. Peaceful.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike, lots of birds. Saw plenty of pack rat nests too. A few bikers but otherwise quiet. Great for trail running.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a nice beginner trail, and trail to take children to - it has placards along the way that identify plantlife. Pick up a brochure at the entrance so that you can read what each placard references - you'll learn about packrats, for example.
And as much as I enjoyed this trail, it's not one to hike if you're looking for an exertion.
I like that there were only few other hikers. Parking was easy - it's a large, large parking lot.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Smooth and flowy desert ride. I did it counter clockwise and would probably do it clockwise the next time I go...

hiking
6 months ago

It’s fun to hiking with family. A lot of stone. It make it more difficult to walk with rocks but fun tho. Did not go loop we did Forth and back from RingTail to Lost Dog then back same way. 4 Miles. Will come back to different trails

trail running
6 months ago

on Ringtail Loop

hiking
6 months ago

Easy peasy hike with not much variation. Trails are well marked.

hiking
7 months ago

Not a bad trail, perfect for trail running. goes along side residential zones for a part of it though which is disappointing.

hiking
7 months ago

A nice beginner trail, no aggressive grades, just like taking a walk in the park. Low traffic in late January. Nice trail, easy to duck off if you want.

hiking
7 months ago

I would really rate this as easy, but so enjoyable. The majority of this trail is flat. There’s typically a little breeze on the ridge of the hill. For relaxation, it’s one of my favorites.

hiking
7 months ago

This hike starts super easy and flat then you get to a straight up hill cement walk. I am an in shape 25 year old and it destroyed my legs! View from the top was nice.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike, good trail, not too rocky and pretty views.

hiking
8 months ago

Scenic is a perfect name for this trail. It is ver picturesque and an easy trail to hike. Looking forward to hiking this one again in the spring. Would be beautiful to see with flowers in bloom.

8 months ago

Enjoyable hike...

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike for people visiting Phoenix and want a scenic hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful, fairly easy hike with little elevation change. The views of the other mountains are worth it.

hiking
9 months ago

We found ourselves here after a recommendation in Boots and Burgers: An Arizona Handbook for Hungry Hikers. It did not disappoint for a group of diverse hiking experiences. For a gorgeous January weekend we were almost alone on the trail with just a few hawks and planes in the blue sky above. Relatively flat we meandered as we saw fit and the path was well marked. I recommended going south (left) on the loop first and turning around occasionally to snap a pic of the magnificent views. Stop by the fountain when you're done. And eat Portillo's afterwards (added bonus). Get the Chicago Dog.

Not the best hike

Not that great

Fun trail, I’m surprised no one has reviewed this one. Some fast flowy, rock gardens, fast descents. I liked it will definitely do again.

hiking
10 months ago

I stare at the towers on Thompson Peak every morning walking to work. Always wanted to make the climb up there. Started at Dixie Mine Trailhead. Do not let the moderate rating fool you, this is not a moderate hike. The final 1.5 miles has grade approaching 30%. Did not stay at the summit very long due to the RF warnings. The hike down is almost as tough as the climb up. From the bottom I headed back up to Bell Pass to home so don't use my recording unless you plan on shuttling or using Uber to get back to Fountain Hills. There are better hikes in the preserve but this was a must do for me so I can finally stop wondering when I see the dang towers from below

10 months ago

I like the inclined trails! Perfect for a family or for someone who wants a long walk, but for thrill seekers, it’s not a win...also, I didn’t find it “scenic” in comparison to other trails at McDowell Mountain. It worked for the people I was with though!

hiking
10 months ago

This trail is a bitch, extremely steep the last 1 1/2 miles, probably in excess of 30 degrees. I can't imagine trucks driving up it. There is a severe radiation hazard at the summit, most likely damaging human tissue and internal organs. From the trailhead I estimate the round trip distance to be 7 1/2 miles. I have done this hike a 1/2 dozen times, climbing the older access trail that is even steeper than the jeep road. The first time I did this was in 1990 when the only microwave serviced the Maricopa sheriff's communcations. Now there are multiple extremely high power microwave dishes. If you value your health, I strongly urge you to think twice before doing this.

hiking
11 months ago

Thompsons Peak is a medium distance trail to one of highest points in Phoenix. Parking is limited at the trail head, but finding a spot typically isn't an issue as there are several more popular access points for the McDowell Preserve.

The trail itself is well maintained and provides nice unimpeded views of the preserve once you have hiked far enough in. Expect to see the occasional mountain biker but most traffic occurs closer to Toms Thumb on the other side of the perserve. The moderate rating is misleading because almost all of the eleveation is gained in the last mile or so of the hike. To get to the summit you will follow the trail and then follow a very steep dilapidated access road the remainder of the way. It is sustained and very steep so be prepared for a workout. However, there is no technical movement required to reach the top.

Views from the top are nice, but can be overshadowed by the Radio Towers constant humming and abundant radiation signs. Its an okay spot to appreciate the view but is definitly not the kind of place you'd want to enjoy lunch.

on Scenic Trail

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

I loved this hike.

It was so peaceful.

I ran into a multiple bikers but very very few hikers.

The views are great but there is no shade or cover from the sun.

hiking
Friday, September 15, 2017

Beware if you d it with dogs, do it very early AM or when under 80. Our GSD is a good hiker and in great shape, and even though we did it in under 80 degrees she was got really tired in the end, and there are not too many shaded areas on the ridge, so make sure to have plenty of water. A camera is a must on a clear day, there are some breath taking views to the east. I prefer doing it south to north (sort of...) if you can, meaning when coming from the staging area, enter the scenic trail from the 2nd intersection with Pemberton, not the 1st one.

mountain biking
Monday, August 28, 2017

Fun fast mountain bike trail.

Load More