Just North of Phoenix, Arizona you will find the Sonoran Preserve, a desert oasis seemingly untouched by the intrusion of man. The preserve encompasses over 9,600 acres, with approximately 36 miles of trails available for any brand of adventurer. Whether you are looking for a physical challenge or just want to enjoy the scenery, you’ll find a suitable trail for just about every desire.
While Phoenix started as a small desert town, by January of 1972 it had grown exponentially and encompassed nearly 248 square miles. The City Council at the time established the Phoenix Mountain Preserve in an effort to protect the natural environment and landscapes surrounding the city. Protected on this preserve are mountains such as the Piestewa Peak, Shaw Butte, North Mountain, and Dreamy Draw Recreational Area.
Sonoran Preserve has three major trailheads. The Apache Wash Trailhead, which branches out into eleven different trails, the Desert Hills Trailhead, which branches out into two different trails, and the Desert Vista Trailhead which branches out into ten different trails. These trails vary in distance from as little as a quarter of a mile to almost seven miles long! The best time of year to visit is late October through late May, as the heat is not as intense. In the summer months anything other then early morning hikes can become potentially dangerous. With all of the trails being free to access, it’s a great way to get outside and get some fresh air!
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