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Sonoran Preserve - North Area, AZ

Guide 53 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.1 of 5 
no permit
138 53 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,840 feet
Elevation Gain 1 feet
Accumulated Gain 700 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.5
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
14  2017-03-11 rrshort
1  2015-07-29 Stoic
20  2015-06-10 Stoic
14  2014-05-15 Bradshaws
9  2014-05-06 Bradshaws
7  2014-03-28 Bradshaws
20  2014-03-23
SRO Loop - Sonoran Preserve N
9  2014-01-13 Lost
Page 1,  2
Author MEWhiteman
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 93
Photos 802
Trips 354 map ( 2,723 miles )
Age 77 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:37am - 7:32pm
3 Alternative

Lots of Options
by MEWhiteman

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The Phoenix Sonoran Preserve has been in the planning stages for many years. A trail system was built a couple of years ago in the southern part of the park, which is now being actively used. In mid-2012, another network of trails was completed in the northern section of the park on the south side of Carefree Highway. The new Dove Valley Road / Sonoran Desert Drive, completed in May 2013, divides the northern and southern sections. (This segment of Dove Valley Road should not be confused with the Dove Valley Road on the north side of the park, which allows access to some of the trails. They do not connect.)

This new trail system goes around and over a line of hills stretching southeast from Carefree Highway west of 7th Avenue to Apache Wash. The trails in this section are interconnected, such that many loop as well as in and out hiking opportunities exist. I'd describe it as a large loop with trails and junctions connecting both sides of the loop to create smaller loops. There are also several side trails leading to the concrete multi-use trail called the Sonoran Paseo paralleling the new road as well as a couple of spur trails leading to hilltops providing excellent views of the surrounding park. Several access points are providing different options for starting the hikes enabling one to hike different areas without a long hike in from the main trailheads. The large, outside loop, comprised of the Sidewinder and Ocotillo trails, is 13.7 miles long. The shorter loop possibilities begin at about 2 miles and go up from there. Several combinations for different loop hikes are posted as GPS tracks. I used an arbitrary median distance and AEG in the statistics for this description as there is wide variation depending on the trek. The trails themselves are well constructed, graded, and the hills are not steep, making for excellent hiking, mountain biking, and riding. There is very little shade. The trails are well marked with stickers on steel posts using the same format as in the southern area of the park. They contain the trail name, mileage, elevation profile, and a QR code to allow smartphone owners to get additional information. A letter on a colored background allows easy trail identification.

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2013-03-01 MEWhiteman
  • Sonoran Preserve - North Map
    area related
    Sonoran Preserve - North Map
  • SPN - West Side Map
    area related
    SPN - West Side Map
  • SPN - East Side Map
    area related
    SPN - East Side Map
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
The trailhead is at the southwest corner of Carefree Highway and 7th Avenue. From I-17, take exit 223 Carefree Highway (SR-74) and travel east to a traffic light at 7th Avenue. Parking is on the right just before the light. From north Scottsdale, take Carefree Highway west. Turn left at the 7th Avenue light and park in the dirt on the SW corner. It may be easier to pass the light and make a u-turn at the first opportunity and return to the parking.

Alternate access: Parking for a couple of cars is available at the intersection of 10th Street and Dove Valley Road south of Carefree Highway (.5 mile paved, .5 mile good unpaved); also at the junction of 14th Street and Dove Valley Road on the side of the road (paved); and also at the end of Central Avenue south of Carefree Highway there is minimal parking for a high clearance 4WD vehicle, or you can park at the end of pavement and hike downhill.

Future access: The City of Phoenix is constructing a new large trailhead at the 16th Street alignment on the north side of the new Dove Valley Road / Sonoran Desert Drive within the park. The target completion date is Fall 2013.
page created by MEWhiteman on Mar 01 2013 5:55 pm
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