Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

mountain biking
9 days ago

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

hiking
2 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

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike!! Cactuses and other plants just starting to bloom! Mostly easy with a few spots that would be considered moderate. Not very many people... beautiful views! Take lots of water as there is no shade.

trail running
2 months ago

trail running
2 months ago

on Ringtail Loop

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
3 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 months ago

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

Easy trail with lots of road noise. It would be good for bike or walking your dog as it isn’t heavily trafficked.

hiking
4 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.

4 months ago

Enjoyable hike...

Good trail for mountain bikes but not so great for hiking. Always within earshot and eyesight of a busy road. I prefer peace and quiet

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 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

hiking
5 months ago

I hike this trail quite often seeing as I live in walking distance to the trailhead. Usually not crowded although sometimes on weekends there are hiking clubs that go. The mine is actually through the wash at the bottom. Great trail for everyone because you can either turn around at Dixie mine or keeping going to Thompson peak or prospector. Great hike for dogs too.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail, gorgeous views each step of the way!

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
6 months ago

Fairly mellow hike and good for most ages. Can be beautiful during wildflower season but that can also bring a lot of bees. Usually not super crowded.

hiking
6 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

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
6 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
7 months ago

Super easy, cute little hike that takes you to a surprise body of water at the end.

hiking
7 months ago

I’m bummed that I didn’t make it all the way. I thought this was a moderate not an easy hike.

hiking
7 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.

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