Sonoran Preserve Trail Map
is important to remember that the Phoenix mountain preserves are open,
undeveloped desert areas. Please use care when heading out as hikers
routinely encounter rocky terrain, rattlesnakes and other potential hazards
native to the Sonoran Desert. Check out safety tips for a full
list of ways to enjoy your outing.
The symbols to the left of each trail
name represent difficulty
ratings. Click on
any icon to see full descriptions of the rating categories.
The Bobcat Trail provides an out and back hike of about 2
miles or serves as a connection to the Dixie Mountain Loop and the rest of the
Sonoran Preserve trails system beyond. The trail begins at the eastern end of
Sonoran Desert Drive, there is no designated parking available yet, only walk in
access. The trail crosses two large washes, meanders along gently rolling hills
before ending at the 2.25 mile post of the Dixie Mountain Loop.
Elevation Change: 135 feet
Cactus Wren Trail
Access to the beginning of this trail is from the
Desert Vista Trailhead via Hawk’s Nest Trail, Desert Tortoise Trail and then
Valle Vista Trail (a total of 1.77 miles to the beginning). This trail spurs off
of the Valle Vista Trail and serves to create a larger, outer loop for the Great
Horned Owl Trail.
Distance: 1.41 miles
Difficulty: Easy to
Elevation Change: 234 feet
Desert Tortoise Trail
This trail begins .25 miles from the Desert
Vista Trailhead via Hawk’s Nest Trail. The trail can be used as the southern
leg of a 2.3 mile loop by heading west to the Valle Vista Trail, turning north
on Valle Vista Trail then heading east on the Dixie Mountain Loop back to the
end of Hawk’s Nest Trail which returns to the trailhead.
Distance: 1.1 miles
Elevation Change: 341
Dixie Mountain Loop
This trail was
the first new trail built, 2010, in the Sonoran Preserve. It is accessible from
the Desert Vista Trailhead. Look for the Teddy Bear Cholla forest between mile
posts 2.6 and 2.75. With significant elevation change, it's rated
Distance: 3.82 miles
Elevation Change: 1,322
feet (accumulated through small climbs and descents throughout the
Dixie Summit Trail is a steep summit trail that
provides a view from 2,203 feet that provides panoramic views of all the peaks
of the Phoenix preserve system including Camelback Mountain, North Mountain,
Shaw Butte and Piestewa Peak among others.
Distance: .22 miles
Elevation Change: 346 feet ascent
Great Horned Owl Trail
This Loop Trail is accessible from the
Desert Vista Trailhead. It crests a saddle of the Union Hills where it provides
access to Union Summit Trail, connects with the eastern end of the Cactus Wren
Trail and then loops back around the southern edge of the preserve and rejoins
itself after 3.1 miles.
Distance: 3.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy to
Elevation Change: 1,200 feet
Hawk’s Nest Trail
This trail connects the Desert Vista Trailhead to
Desert Tortoise Trail and Dixie Mountain Loop Trail.
Elevation Change: 237 feet
The trail is reached at the .5 mile point of the Great
Horned Owl Trail. It switches back up the peak to reach the summit of Union Peak
at an elevation of 2,200 feet.
Distance: .45 miles
Western Vista Trail is a steep summit trail that
provides a view from 2,026 feet that allows visibility to Deem Hills Recreation
Area to the west across the I-17. The trail is quite steep.
Elevation Change: 291 feet
Valle Verde Trail
The trail spurs off from the Dixie Mountain Loop
stretching south toward the Desert Tortoise, Cactus Wren and Great Horned Owl
Distance: 1.2 miles
Elevation Change: 286