Gateway Loop hiking trailWorking out in the gym during the week gets the job done, but it can get a little mundane on the same machines doing the same exercises with the same people day in and day out. By the time the weekend rolls around I am ready for some fresh air!

After all, Scottsdale has 200+ days a year of sunshine to get some sun on your face. Our average high temperature is 87° with an average low of 63°. This gives you a whole lot of time to enjoy what so many people come to Arizona for, GREAT WEATHER!

One of my favorite things to do is hike and run the trails of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. There is over 21,000 scenic acres to explore!

The Gateway is just a few miles from the 101 freeway near the Thompson Peak Parkway and Bell Road intersection. Head North on Thompson Peak Pkwy for a ½ mile and on your right hand side you will find the park entrance.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset everyday of the week. The gates open and close automatically and I have heard stories of people getting locked in, so don’t get caught in there after hours. There is plenty of parking at the Gateway Loop trail head for everyone. Since this location is hiker, biker, dog, and horse friendly it tends to be busy. The facility has clean restrooms and water. There is usually a volunteer in the area on the weekends handing out brochures and answering questions for visitors.

The trail system is phenomenal and has something for everyone. The seasonal visitor can enjoy the easy to moderate trails of Bajada Nature trail and Saguaro Loop. If you are looking to get in a decent work out try the 4 mile Gateway Loop trail and when you are ready to push it try the Bell Pass to Windgate Pass trail for an 8 mile trip.

More Photos of The Gateway at McDowell Mountain Preserve


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