Explore the most popular wildlife 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
1 day ago

Always a good hike.

Great hike to start with to open up the lungs to prepare for more difficult hikes (if you’re visiting). Nice elevation gain;more of a steep incline toward the top to reach the summit. I would consider this a pretty rugged trail to run on.. It was challenging in a good way, moderate is an accurate description! We started late, about 9:30am, I think it was 79 when we started and mid 80s by the time we finished. It wasn’t unbearably hot. Nice breeze at the top and on the way back down.

My favorite place to hike. Well maintained trails, beautiful views, and you get a great workout too. Can't beat it definitely 5 star material

This is a nice hike to get the blood flowing. Definitely more challenging than Gateway Loop.

15 days ago

Great trail. Too many black flies in May

Great hike go early it gets hot!!

Good 10.5 mile loop if you mix in the Wingate Pass and East End Trails.

The Thumb was actually really cool to see! The approach at the beginning was a little steep, but overall not too hard. Great hike!

hiking
19 days ago

Lookout points along the trail provided a scenic opportunity to take pictures and rest. The trail was harder than expected. Lots of steep uphill areas. We did not finish and turned around half way through (which we anticipated based on other reviews). However, it was a beautiful view and we are glad to have done it (even if we didn’t finish).

Nice trail with views.

Fantastic hike but very little shade on your way up. Not overly challenging but a fantastic view at the top!

Very busy on weekends. Excellent facilities at base. Well marked. Great trail for tourists.

hiking
26 days ago

Absolute gorgeous hikes with incredible views around every corner! Got to go back this morning for a sunrise hike and it was magical to watch the light as it painted the hills around every corner. And well worth the super early rising to avoid the direct sun exposure as we snaked up the switchbacks too. This hike was so beautiful, and the geological structures so immense it makes you feel like an ant in the grand creation. Definitely a new favorite place on this planet.

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike with well maintained trails and scenic views. Agree with moderate rating. Heart rate didn’t get up super high but we did run some of it to make it more of a workout. Great nook in the “thumb” at summit to take water and snack with shade. Many switchbacks make the elevation change much less challenging than camelback hike.

beautiful trail for a run. not hard and can easily be done in an hour to 1.5 hours

trail running
28 days ago

Absolutely love running this trail! Great workout. I go early at sunrise. Although the trail is marked as shorter it always clocks at 5.4-5.8 miles for me from the visitors center I think from zig zagging the terrain. Great views, and the cacti are blooming now

hiking
28 days ago

This trail is absolutely breathtaking and we will be back! Word to the wise - the park hours are serious they close at sunset - meaning a gate closes at the entrance to the park area and you may have to call to get out. We didn’t realize and had planned to do a sunset hike thinking we could stay after sunset while it was still light so it was a very quick stop but the sunset was sooooooo beautiful I would highly recommend timing your hike so you’re walking out right at sunset. Gorgeous area, wildflowers, a sweet bunny, we will definitely be back.

hiking
28 days ago

One of my favorites!

Sitting here at 5AM. Gate is not opening?! Does anyone know about when this officially opens? Why is it called the sunrise, so you can sit at the gate and wait for the sun to rise?

Great hike. Got a little to warm, we started too late. There is an awesome overlook about two thirds of the way up to take a quick rest before you summit. Crews were out working on the trail, it is exceptionally maintained. Thanks guys!

Great trail for trail running. I did part of the east end loop as well. Great views

hiking
1 month ago

I love this trail. It’s pretty steep for the first 1.5 miles but then levels off. The views are amazing!

Great hike with beautiful views! Would definitely do this trail again!

Very nice hike with beautiful views!

Such a beautiful hike with amazing views. I give it “two thumbs up”.

hiking
1 month ago

Family of five with three kids in elementary school had a blast on this hike. First mile is mostly up but then flattens out for second mile to Tom’s Thumb. Beautiful views and a well-maintained trail get two thumbs up ;)

Loved this trail. It is on the easy side of moderate, but this trail is not easy. There is some good elevation changes and some excellent scenery. The lower parts of the trail are pretty easy, but the later parts near the summit are where it because more difficult. Definitely worth checking out.

Great Hike. Well maintained trail all the way up. The steward at the top was very friendly and provide good info about the area. Took the dog with and had to keep him on the leash the whole time due to high traffic and previous reviews of snakes being more active near the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike just an hour out of Phoenix. Uphill the entire way out, but it’s a well kept, smooth, dirt trail, so not too strenuous. Some steep cross-backs. No trees, so being water if it’s warm! Hiking among the pebbles of giants.

hiking
1 month ago

Decent sized parking lot. The center at the trailhead does not have water, but they have restrooms.
The first 1.2ish miles of the hike are a good leg workout (pretty uphill) but the rest isn’t bad.

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