Best trails in Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve

3,054 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve, Arizona? AllTrails has 17 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 14 moderate trails in Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve ranging from 4 to 22.4 km and from 485 to 697 meters above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
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Top trails (17)
#1 - Dixie Mountain Loop Trail
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(706)
Length: 7.4 km • Est. 2 h 21 m
The main loop trail at Phoenix's Sonoran Preserve provides plenty of options for either a short walk or a longer hike. The elevation gain is accumulated through small ups-and-downs along the trail. Look for the Teddy Bear Cholla forest between mile posts 2.6 and 2.75. The Sonoran Preserve is located in the transition zone to the Arizona Upland, which has higher amounts of rainfall than other Phoenix area hikes, increasing both the lushness and diversity of plant life.Show more
#2 - Dixie Mountain Loop with Two Summits
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(386)
Length: 8.9 km • Est. 3 h 3 m
#3 - Sidewinder and Ocotillo Trail Loop
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(412)
Length: 8.4 km • Est. 2 h 27 m
This loop starts at Carefree Hwy and 7th Ave. The Ocotillo part of the trail is relatively flat and the Sidewinder part has some good elevation changes. Great Sonoran Desert scenery and views. This loop can get busy with mountain bikes and has some moderate elevation changes on the sidewinder part of the trail. The Ocotillo trail gets close to Dove Valley road in a few places, other than that you are well into the desert. Watch out for snakes, although mountain bikes usually make enough noise to keep them away from trails. There is no water at the trailhead or on the trail - take at least 2 liters! There is also no shade available.Show more
#4 - Sidewinder, Apache Vista, Ocotillo Loop Trail
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(288)
Length: 10.5 km • Est. 3 h 10 m
This is an excellent loop that is very well maintained, well sign posted and if you include the vista summit trail, a moderate work out. Massive Car Park, good restrooms, and plenty of seating. Make sure you bring plenty of drinking water. If you want near perfect desert views, on a very well designed and maintained trail, this will give you a good 2 mile loop (2.5 miles if including the summit). This is part of the Sonoran Preserve trail system and is has excellent signage throughout.Show more
#5 - Dixie Summit Trail
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(240)
Length: 4.8 km • Est. 1 h 38 m
A steep and short trail using many switchbacks to get to the summit. You will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding area.Show more
#6 - Hawk's Nest Trail and Dixie Mountain Loop
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(153)
Length: 9.0 km • Est. 2 h 48 m
Moderate Trail providing access from the Car Park to all other trails. Directly links to Desert Tortoise Trail and Dixie Mountain Loop. Good hiking shoes/boots recommended.Show more
#7 - Desert Tortoise Trail
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(132)
Length: 4.3 km • Est. 1 h 20 m
Very good hiking area with a good range of difficulty levels. Starts with a short climb from the parking lot and some reasonable elevation changes. Back side of loop fairly flat with another slope up to meet Dixie Loop for return. If you bring a dog, it better be very leash controlled due to close proximity of Cholla cactus on trail sides. Observed some Cholla "pears" loose on trail. Good hiker shoes with firm sole recommended due to rockiness.Show more
#8 - Union Peak Loop
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(87)
Length: 9.0 km • Est. 2 h 52 m
#9 - Apache Wash Sidewinder Loop Trail
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(121)
Length: 5.3 km • Est. 1 h 31 m
#10 - Western Vista Trail via Dixie Mountain Loop
Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(93)
Length: 6.1 km • Est. 2 h 7 m
Though short, this trail to one of the summits on the Dixie Mountain Loop can be fairly difficult. There are great views from the top as well as a birds eye view of the gravel pit below.Show more
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