Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Great hike! Good trail for bringing your dog. I would say this is a moderate trail, not easy. Great to see the owl’s nest at the beginning and the old crashed SUV at the end. Awesome hike

Baby owls were super cute! Did not realize it gets so hot quickly, we started our hike 9ish and it got too hot too soon

This is my preferred trail in north Phoenix. Never too crowded and feel like you've left the city soon after starting.

Awesome. Saw the new baby owls. Mama enjoying the sunrise. Balloons right above. Another beautiful morning in the desert.

No shade be prepared. Great trail that is wide enough to wall side by side. Not to strenuous, conducive for talking and actually site seeing. You don’t have to focus on your footing. Great option to take dogs, good distance even without the summits. I went clockwise, ran a bit and did the two summits in 2 hours flat.

really nice hike! People on here said to took about 2 hours but i finished it and the connector in 1hr and 20min. But, that is just because i am a trail runner so it was not long. Only had very minimal periodical stops. Overall, nice hike. I'm more for difficulty but, this hike is beautiful non-the same. You'll enjoy it! It is worth the drive. And it is free no fee to hike it (the best pat lol)

2 months ago

very easy to follow, nice trail head. A good hike

Excellent trail, plenty of up and down terrain.. beautiful views, so clearly se to the city

Nice views with reasonable elevation, especially at the two summits. You can expand this hike by using adjacent trails. Restrooms and water at trail head.

Dependable, go-to trail. Add the Dixie Mountain Summit if you’re wanting a little extra kick in the workout. Nice views and moderately trafficked. Good variation and many different trail options/combinations you could do!

Long gentle inclines that skirt two summits. If you want more challenge, take the Spurs up to the summits. Mostly away from civilization and noise so very relaxing.

This is the second hike I have done in this area (Go-John was the first). I enjoyed this one more because of the variety of vistas. Very cool to see an owl in nest along the Hawks Nest trail leading to the Dixie Mountain loop. The extra 0.4 each way to the summit is worthwhile.

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.

I did the Dixie Mountain Loop with the summit. I highly recommend this area; it’s my favorite so far in my exploration of the Phoenix area. It’s rocky, but so is everything around here.

Bring a camera! Hike the Dixie Summit for sunset...then when you hike down be sure to have a flashlight. You’ll see the gorgeous neon sunset and then the dazzling city lights and darkened clouds on the way back. -A view you won’t forget! This is definitely one of my most favorite hikes -both for the varied difficulty and the views! The terrain is gorgeous. Seguaro cacti abundant. Lots of wonderful picture opportunities.

Nice hike with some nice views from summits. Wide clear trail, well marked. Nice restroom with running water and fountain at trail head. Definitely not hard, moderate. No technical areas. Not too busy on a Sunday. Good for dogs, easy on paws rock wise, but be very careful of cholla. There's a lot close to the trail. If taking a dog I'd suggest taking pliers along with you. Also saw an owl, that was great.

We did not do the two summits, just walked our own combination of paths, but, got a good feel for the area and the kinds of challenges available.

Definitely rocky. Not a trail for open-toed shoes, but a really fun trail! It’s easy for sure. A great family trail! We saw many mountain bikers, and other groups of hikers. Very safe neighborhood at the base, and felt safe the entire time hiking!

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!

hiking
3 months ago

Difficulty: Moderate. Easy is not accurate! I started at Desert Vista Trailhead to Hawks Nest preceded to Dixie Mountain Loop. The trail is well marked and exposed with very little shade or places to rest. The loop is just shy of 5 miles. Views of Dove Valley, a cholla forest, ocotillo and saguaro. I spotted a few hummingbirds, lizards and birds. There is a 14% grade. This loop with some rest breaks took me approximately 2 hours to complete.

Great walk, not too much loose rock, double wide trail. Views terrific, especially if you take the .2 mile jaunt up the hill and back as shown. Could run or bike this one if I were in better shape.

Sidewinder is beautiful. It’s a bit higher elevation and has much more variety than the Ocatillo trail which is lower down in the valley. It is really well marked and has map scans on each trail beginning and even along the way so it’s really hard to get lost. Lots of parking here now on Carefree highway and seventh Street

Did this trail with two children 4 and 2. Was a little long for my 4yo but lots of good views and a nice hike for me and my husband.

I am 72. Hiked the loop with both peaks. It was 5.8 miles and took me 3:09. My 50 year old sons do the same route in 2:04. I think it is difficult, they think it is moderate. If doing both peaks we believe clockwise is slightly easier. Go for it!

One of my favorites as not many people and peaceful. Very easy open trail and there is a cool old burned up car in a ditch that looks like it’s from the 40 or 50s.

Did the loop on a sunday afternoon, not too many people on the trail. Easy trail,gradual inclines just a little rocky and with tons of teddybear cholla! More suited for trail running or mountain biking. views are great and the rusted car at the end is a nice surprise!

Veering off onto the summit trails made it a fun hike with pretty views. Good, quick leg workout to the summits to get a sweat in!

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.

Well marked trails, easy parking and enjoyable hike.

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.

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