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Desert Parks and Gateway Loop is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.3 mi Elevation gain 666 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (101)
Photos (687)
Recordings (109)
Completed (197)
sebastian martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 23 2020
Running

I ran this loop. Wouldn’t recommend running it. There are better trails in this area.

Mitar Dragic
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Apr 15 2020
Mountain bikingRocky

NOT for mountain biking. If you want to enjoy yourself, do not ride your bike here.

View Mitar's Recording
Soren Nielsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Apr 06 2020
HikingRocky

Very very rocky, lot of small and medium rocks on the path. Do not attempt to try run these trails, it will mess your ankles or feet up if you are not experienced and have the right running shoes. Even walking it will be a challenge without proper footwear.

Rachel R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 29 2020
HikingRocky
View Rachel's Recording
LouAnne Wegrzyniak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 29 2020
Hiking

NOTICE TO ALL DOG OWNERS: please stop leaving doggy poop bags along the trail, regardless if you plan on picking them back up on the way back. Look- I get it. I too have a dog that likes to sh*t far away enough from the trail head that it’s not worth walking the half hour back, and too soon where it would not be worth holding the bag the rest of the trail. SO HERE IS WHAT YOU DO: continue bagging your dogs poop on the trail, but ADDITIONALLY bring your oldest/most hated Tupperware. Bag your dogs poop, then place the baggy in the Tupperware, and seal it with the Tupperware lid. Now you can carry out your dogs poop in your bag without it getting squished or touching anything or making a smell. This Tupperware will now be your designated Pooperware. Please help keep the trails enjoyable for everyone. I picked up 3 baggies of (not even tied shut!!!) poop on my way back to the trailhead. It’s trashy and we are all better than that.

Hailey Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 27 2020
Hiking

Was pretty. Lots of loose rock, but not very hard. Watch calculated 673 total feet of elevation gain. Ended up taking about 2 hours for 5.53 miles. Stopped to take lots of pictures. Would be a good hike for little kids.

View Hailey's Recording
Peter Danielsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Mar 19 2020
HikingNo shade

Beautiful day. Great scenery. Heavy traffic on Gateway section, but light on Desert Park.

View Peter's Recording
Lance Branford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 15 2020
HikingNo shade
View Lance's Recording
Linda Jean Fenner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 09 2020
Hiking

3-8-20 Hike for The Homeless!!!

Westen W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Mar 02 2020
Hiking

If you wanna stay away from some of the traffic of the Gateway Loop, switch it up, add a mile and do this loop, instead. The latter half is fairly tame, but makes for a nice cruise (I jog that portion). On the way up, you get great views of the Tom’s Thumb area.

Marcia L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 01 2020
Hiking

Hike today had some of the prettiest display of wildflowers I’ve seen in a long time.

Emily Westerback
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jan 17 2020
HikingRocky

Great workout on the way up. Much less busy once you get past gateway. Super rocky, so it’s unpleasant to go down. But the views are very nice. The viewpoint isn’t really as good of a view as the way up but still worth it for the hike. I took desert park back and this was a good cool down because it was easy but veryyyy long and super rocky.

View Emily's Recording
Jason Buscema
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jan 02 2020
HikingNo shade

This is a nice, very easy trail. We added a few more trails to make it longer. It should be classified as easy.

View Jason's Recording
Emily Buscema
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jan 02 2020
HikingNo shade

Easy trail

View Emily's Recording
hannah roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 22 2019
RunningRocky
View hannah's Recording
Bala Chandar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Dec 18 2019
Mountain bikingRocky
View Bala's Recording
Sara Brotherston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 14 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

Easy trail. Some parts are hard to figure out where trail is

View Sara's Recording
Westen W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Oct 07 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

A quiet loop out there today. Once I hit the Gateway Loop portion (from Saguaro) I didn't see another person all the way around and back to the trailhead. Rocky most of the time.

hannah roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Sep 21 2019
RunningNo shadeRocky

Fantastic trail run. Good climbs and some speedy sections. Not terribly technical but rocky enough one should pay attention. Well marked. Bring water and have a blast

View hannah's Recording
Pastor Joe Braucht
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jan 24 2019
HikingRocky

Extremely Rocky, I would rate this moderate rather then easy.

Scott Drzonsc
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Nov 17 2018

Nice loop! I had it at 7.2M complete. Get there early!!! Very busy trailhead. I started at 6:45 and on way back, was very busy and noisy. I also suggest, go right on gateway first and then finish on desert trail. Enjoy!

Maggie H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 11 2018

nice trail, partly through a very nice neighborhood.

Stephanie Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jan 15 2018
Hiking

This was a pretty tough hike. Just when you think you can’t go higher, you turn a bend and your ascending again. I didn’t make it the whole way around. We turned back about 2 miles in. Great workout, though. Maybe I’ll tackle this again!

Anglee Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 16 2017

Nice pace hiking, you can run and power walk. I will come back...

Matt B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 29 2017
Hiking

Decent alternative loop hike to gateway loop. Although you spend a decent part of the hike on gateway.

Tanner Bohlender
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 04 2017
Mountain biking

First off this is not an "easy" mtb ride. The trail is very rocky and includes a significant amount of steady climbing. Great intermediate loop!

Nathaniel Ferguson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 25 2017
Hiking

Great new trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I would call this an alternate to the more popular Gateway Loop trail, although you take the Gateway for part of this hike. Once you get to the turn off for the Gateway saddle, continue on to the Windgate Pass Trail. You hike through the beautiful canyon as the views get better with elevation. At the next fork in the road, you can either continue on to the Windgate Pass or turn left for the Desert Park trail. I took the Desert Park as it gently descends down the valley. There are some nice houses in the distance and a golf course nearby. The last part of the hike had me going through washes with beautiful, lush vegetation. This trail is very quiet and I like it because the scenery changes quite a bit. I would definitely come back again!

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