for free!

Ocotillo Trail - Sonoran Preserve North, AZ

Guide 167 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.9 of 5 
no permit
1.1k 167 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 6.51 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,735 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Accumulated Gain 699 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.84
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
1  2021-07-25
Ocotillo Trail finished by a Hood Walk
5  2021-06-26
Sidewinder - Ocotillo Loop
3  2021-05-27 Sun_Ray
24  2021-05-09
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve N Highpoints - Apache
19  2021-05-02
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve N - East Side
3  2021-04-23
Ridgeback Apache Vista Peaks Double
9  2021-03-21
Phoenix Preserve Highpoints Super Loop
9  2021-03-11
Apache Vista Double
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 9
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
Expand Map
Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:16am - 6:25pm
Official Route
35 Alternative

The Meanderer
by MEWhiteman

HAZ Patch
The Ocotillo Trail is one of several trails in the northern area of the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. It runs the trail system's length in this part of the park, as does the Sidewinder Trail to the north, described separately. The Ocotillo Trail roughly parallels the new Dove Valley Road and the Sonoran Paseo, although it meanders quite a bit. It starts and ends in the same places as the Sidewinder Trail, forming a long loop. Several junctions or cutoff trails allow for numerous loop hikes by combining these trails. The trail generally sticks to the lowland, while some of the other trails climb the hills for better views but gains some elevation at the western end. On the hills to the north, you'll be able to spot the Sidewinder Trail in many places. The Ocotillo Trail is well marked with an "O" on an orange background and is easy to follow.

This hike is described from east to west following the increasing milepost numbers. Beginning at the junction of the Ocotillo and Sidewinder Trails at the east end of the trail system (MP 0.00, N33 46.121 W112 02.639), keep left on the Ocotillo Trail. This part of the trail is fairly level and does not meander much. At .37 miles (MP .35, N33 46.284 W112 02.932), there is a junction with the Apache Trail where you keep left on the Ocotillo. After a little gain in elevation, you come to the junction with the Ridgeback Trail at .69 miles (MP .68, N33 46.242 W112 03.232), where you stay straight on the Ocotillo. Soon the trail begins its twisty phase and undulates over bumps and through washes for a few miles. At 1.31 miles (N33 46.421 W112 03.717), you pass an access trail on the left to the Sonoran Paseo. This is a concrete pathway along the new Dove Valley Road through the park. The Paseo is about 5 miles long and is open to walkers, bikers, wheelchairs, etc.

The Ocotillo Trail continues past another access trail to the Paseo at 2.03 miles (MP 2.00, N33 46.613 W112 04.156) and a third access trail to the Paseo at 2.56 miles (MP 2.50, N33 46.888 W112 04.426). At 2.99 miles (MP 2.91, N33 47.182 W112 04.533), join with the Sidewinder Trail. Go left on the Ocotillo to continue. Go right on the Sidewinder to reach Central Ave access or to form a loop. Continuing on the Ocotillo Trail at 3.25 miles (N33 47.137 W112 04.752), leave the joint Ocotillo/Sidewinder Trail by going left at the junction. Going right will follow the Sidewinder Trail around some hills back to the trailhead in less distance but more elevation gain than following the Ocotillo Trail. Continue on the Ocotillo Trail, where you come to another Paseo access at 3.53 miles (MP 3.41, N33 47.096 W112 04.967) where you go right to stay on the Ocotillo. At 4.03 miles (MP 3.89, N33 47.095 W112 05.271), you reach the final Paseo access point at the closest point between the Ocotillo and Paseo. Bear right to stay on the Ocotillo Trail as it swings away from the Paseo for the last time and heads into a hilly area and to the 7th Avenue trailhead. There are several old 4WD tracks here, but it easy pretty easy to stay on the trail. At about 5 miles begin the last, longest but gradual climb over 0.85 miles to this particular trail's highest point. The trail ends at the final junction with the Sidewinder Trail at 6.51 miles (MP 6.27, N33 47.925 W112 04.980).

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2013-05-27 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

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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
Directions: West End: Desert Hills Trailhead located at the southwest corner of Carefree Highway and 7th Avenue. From I-17 take exit 223 Carefree Highway (SR-74) and travel east to traffic light at 7th Avenue. Turn right into developed trailhead. From north Scottsdale take Carefree Highway west. Turn left at the 7th Avenue light into developed trailhead. There are bathrooms, shade and plenty of parking.

East End: Apache Wash Trailhead, 1600 Sonoran Desert Drive, N 33 46.103 W 112 02.654. From the west take Exit 222 off I-17. Continue to traffic light at Dove Valley Road. Go east on Dove Valley Road. At 5.1 miles from light the road name becomes Sonoran Desert Drive and in another .1 miles turn left into trailhead entrance. From the east from Loop 101 in north Phoenix, take Cave Creek Road (Exit 28) and go 4.5 miles north to Sonoran Desert Drive. Turn left (west) and continue 3.5 miles to the trailhead on the right. There are plenty of parking, bathrooms and shade.
page created by MEWhiteman on May 27 2013 3:56 pm
help comment issue

end of page marker