Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in McDowell Sonoran Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

Moderate grades throughout, and lovely views of the desert landscape. A bit crowded at the start but quickly thinned out.

Watch out for inconsiderate hikers if you’re running, fell because I had to pay attention to their movements since they didn’t move out of the trail for just one second for me to pass. Needs signage to watch for runners/bikers.

Did this again today but went bell pass to windgate instead. It’s nice to get the elevation gain out of the way!! Much prefer this route. Did it in 2:30 today, took an hour up to bell pass

Great for mountain biking and kid friendly.

Nice, smooth trail. Downhill first.

Agree with the warning to not do the loop! I should’ve paid more attention to reviews before venturing solo. Thank goodness for the map which i consulted every 10 ft at times trying to find my way down the northwest return descent before sunset. Stick with the out & back hike to Tom’s Thumb and enjoy this absolutely pristine portion of the mcdowells. and please mind your voice levels - everything carries and amplifies which interrupts the peace for those of us who appreciate quiet nature.

hiking
5 days ago

Great trail - well maintained. Fantastic views. Loose gravel on the decent so caution will going down.

Great trail. Fairly steep but short climb to summit. Fantastic 360 degree view of surrounding mountains.

An awesome but challenging hike that is so accessible to Scottsdale. Started this mid day and finished in 2:45. I would like to start right at sunrise next time as you are exposed to the sun the entire time. I went clockwise and went up windgate and down bell.

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike. Groomed and maintained very well with great signage along trail. Very steep in some areas but I would say it was hard. Beautiful views in all directions and very pretty desert vegetation. I took my 7,9and 11 year old and they did well with lots of little breaks on the way up.

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

Good hike but very steep first mile plus. Worth it!

Lots and lots of people. Very cool getting to the top, kinda reminds me of a small camelback mountain.

Awesome trail, FYI skip the loop and head to the top of browns mountain, you can get back on the loop afterwards.

hiking
no shade
rocky
12 days ago

Nice, easy hike. The trail is rocky. Lovely views.

This is a fairly rocky trail. There’s no real destination. You just kind of find a trail comes to an end and then it’s time to turn around and go home. Better than sitting on the couch so four stars it gets

mountain biking
12 days ago

Best trail this far, very well mapped and the perfect balance of hills. Highly recommend!

well marked and simple. low traffic on a saturday. very easy and pleasant walk

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

mountain biking
no shade
16 days ago

Nice desert single track trail with a few bikes on a Monday.

hiking
17 days ago

I don’t know why all trails changed this to hard, the 11 mile version is hard not the 4. This hike is easy to moderate.

Moderate trail with some inclines. Very pretty scenery with all the rock formations and the descriptive signs explaining the origin of the landslide were a bonus! Nice views of Four Peaks and the superstitious mtns. No water and no shade so be prepared.

hiking
19 days ago

Good challenging hike with great views. The trail is very well maintained gravel so it can get a little slippery at some points. Very windy at the top.

rocky
scramble
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

This was a challenging climb - first mile was steep switchbacks that levelled out and then final steep sections to reach Tom’s Thumb. Busy trail and path was narrow in spots so watch for cacti as you let others pass. Took us 1 hr 10 min up - slow & steady climb with lots of photo opp & water break rests. 1 hour back down - had to run portions due to steepness (tough on knees). Great views and really enjoyed - right footwear (good treads) imperative to avoid sliding on gravel path. (Was cold wind at top though beautiful day.)

hiking
19 days ago

Challenging hike in the Sonoran Desert Preserve of Scottsdale, AZ. Beautiful views all the way up, with the trail concluding at Tom's giant Thumb. The rock formations at the top are quite unique. If you're interested in seeing the hike in it's entirety, check out my video: https://youtu.be/P-qDadpbo6M

hiking
no shade
21 days ago

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