Get in Touch With Nature at McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trail
If you love nature, do not doubt that hiking is the perfect activity for you. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona is a distinct slice of untainted open desert consists of greater than 30,500 contiguous acres and greater than 200 miles of trails. It is a tranquil oasis where you can get in touch with nature and unwind. The preserve is home to diverse desert flora and fauna, sweeping sights of the surrounding landscape, and hundreds of miles of multi-use trails prominent with Arizona’s mountain bikers, hikers, trail-runners, and horseback riders. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is run by and cared for by private volunteers.
The McDowell Mountains rise above the city four thousand foot peaks nestled on 27,800 acres of protected land. It was formed countless years back by volcanic activity and plate tectonics which created what we currently referred to as basin and range topography. The McDowell Mountains are abundant in plant and animal life, home to bobcats, woodpeckers, hawks, rattlesnakes, mule deer, cottontail rabbits, and diverse desert plants including ocotillo, prickly pear cactus, palo verde, and mesquite trees, and Arizona’s iconic giant saguaro cactus.
The hike is a wonderful introductory hike to McDowell Sonoran Preserve and is suitable for all levels of hikers it offers well-marked trails, easy climbs, and great views. The Gateway Loop Trail is a 6.8 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail it explores the bajadas and foothills of McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This popular route provides a compact introduction to Sonoran desert ecology with route extensions to Bell Pass as well as Windgate Pass. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Regardless of where in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve you choose to hike or mountain bike, it is easy to see the impressive intricacy of the landscape.