Scottsdale Hiking: McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Hiking the Horseshoe Loop Trail.
Click photo for larger view.

Baby boomers: if you are a beginning hiker, or perhaps looking to make your first easy hike for the season, then you need look no further than Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

The 21,400 acre preserve encompasses the McDowell Mountains, is home to stunning geography, lush cacti forests, diverse wildlife and features award-winning trails and facilities.

For a very easy hike, we urge you to consider the Horseshoe Loop Trail found at the trailhead at the Gateway Access Area.

A very easy hike in Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains!

Hiking Trail: Horseshoe Loop ~ McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 100 ft.

The trail starts out at a brand-new facility which features parking, restrooms, shade ramadas, water, wheelchair-accessible nature trail, horse-trailer parking, hitching rails, water trough, and interpretive signage.

The first half-mile of the hike will have you gently climbing up roughly 100 ft. where you will be rewarded with a very nice view of Scottsdale and the surrounding valley below.  At emergency marker GL 5,  you’ll break away from perhaps the busiest trail in the park and very slowly meander your way back down to the trailhead crossing a few small washes, and admiring the characteristic rocky terrain of the McDowell Mountains.

 


 

Address:
18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Lat./Long.
33° 38′ 56.23″N
111° 51′ 32.96″W

 

View Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve in a larger map

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  1. […] Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve – as you drive along the 101 freeway in Scottsdale, the mountains you see immediately to the east are the McDowell Mountains.  In this preserve, there are over 21,000 acres of land preserved for us to enjoy.  Entrance is free, the area is filled with groomed trails, and there are several beautiful gateways with restrooms, picnic tables, and trail maps.  A very easy 1.7 mile hike is the Horseshoe Loop Trail. […]

  2. […] Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve – as you drive along the 101 freeway in Scottsdale, the mountains you see immediately to the east are the McDowell Mountains.  In this preserve, there are over 21,000 acres of land preserved for us to enjoy.  Entrance is free, the area is filled with groomed trails, and there are several beautiful gateways with restrooms, picnic tables, and trail maps.  A very easy 1.7 mile hike is the Horseshoe Loop Trail. […]



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