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

Well marked, easy to moderate with great vistas along the trail. Many bikers not aware of the right of way culture.

Easy Hike. Great Mountain Views. Easy to Moderate. Very quiet, not too popular, for those looking for a peaceful hike.

It was a great Saturday morning walk with the dogs but was crowded, lots of bikes. Will come back during the week and check out the traffic.

I like the Desert Vista loop trail. Very quiet typically and not a lot of traffic. The climb to the summit half way in, which is a side trail off the main loop trail, is worth the aerobic effort.

It’s a moderate trail due to the up and down nature of the loop and the distance. Clean restroom at the trailhead.

A great easy to moderate trail with facilities and lots of parking at the trailhead. We want to go back with our bikes.

Nice easy trail with a few spots that might be considered moderate. Lots of parking and facilities at the trailhead.

This is a collection of 3 - 4 trials and I recorded the hike at 3.03 miles. Great trail with an incline at the start and about 65% of the way in. Mostly flat, chill terrain. Great hike!

Beautiful easy hike.

This trail covers 2 different trail heads of moderate/easy category. I & my friend's started with the Dixie trail and then before taking the Great Horned Owl trail, we made it to the Dixie summit to catch the bird's eye view of the town spread across the North. Dixie trail, is crowded as ever. However by now, we had completed close to 4.5 miles of hike. Then, we took the Vista trail head to complete the other part of the trail. This was pretty interesting. May be the word was catchy - Great Horned Owl. It was less populated with bikers now and then, but not so frequently. We did not get to confront any owls as it was early in the morning. By the time we came back to the trail where we begun, it was 11.4 miles already. Good work out, to be honest. It ain't complex, for sure.

Easy going, moderate traffic, including bikes. Would do again.

Great day hike with lots of cactus and minor up and downs. It’s a multi use trail with lots of horses and mountain bikers. Everyone was very respectful. Made for a great afternoon.

Nice views, easy climb but lots of bikers.

trail running
11 months ago

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Really gorgeous hike and not too difficult, but there are a few spots with incline that make you feel it a bit.

hiking
Saturday, April 01, 2017

With the desert in full bloom, made for some beautiful scenery.

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

Love this area. There are a lot of trails off of Dixie Mountain Loop trail head. Desert Tortoise is one of them. Just beautiful! A small incline in the beginning, but the rest is pretty easy. Trail is rock, so watch your step. Beautiful flowers and various types of cactus. Also saw some lizards, family of owls, quail, beetles and caterpillars. Will definitely go back and hike all the trails there!

Soooooooooo many bikers. I got annoyed having to get out of their way so much.

The trail is rated moderate but it was pretty flat most of the time. I would guess it was rated moderate solely for length.

Good trail for trail running as there are far fewer rocky patches on this route.

There were great flowers on parts of the hike.

Beautiful flowers! Passed a few bikers but we had the most trails to ourselves. We hiked all most 8 MI. The most of trails were covered with flowers. It took my breath away. So beautiful! Enjoyed it very much!

Nice trail. Lots of wildflowers. Fairly easy with some elevation change. Literally a walk in the park for a reasonably fit person. Ran across a rattler on the trail on 3/14.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New trail area with plenty of parking. Well kept. Nice relaxing short walk.

Great views with interesting terrain options.

Great trail for a work out and a beautiful view from the vista. Beautiful sunsets!!

mountain biking
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Some great variation of terrain! Difficult climbing on the bike

mountain biking
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Love this trail in particular. Little climb to the lookout and a fast downhill. Great addition to Sonoran north adventure

hiking
Saturday, December 31, 2016

nice place to hike and bike

good hike

Easy hike. Well-marked trail. Decent views.

hiking
Saturday, November 26, 2016

This was a fun trail to walk on. You have beautiful, desert views all around. Easy trail, with some climbing involved as you ascend to the top. Friendly people, plenty of parking and multi use trails for all. Highly recommend this trail for a short get-away from the city.

Great scenic trail and good starter trail for the hiking season here in AZ. To get a little more out of it, take the apache ridgeback trail to the ridgeback overlook summit to get a great view.

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