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Pets allowed
Yes
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
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McDowell Mountain Park is one of the oldest and largest of the marvelous chain of regional parks in Maricopa County. These parks surround the huge Phoenix metro area and offer a multitude of recreational opportunities. McDowell Mountain has over 40 miles of hiking/biking/equestrian trails, a marvelous campground with group and primitive areas, a separate tent-only camping area, a competitive mountain bike track complex, 88 open picnic sites in two areas, plus reservable group picnic ramadas and a small nature center.

Most trails in the park are multi-use, allowing bikes, horses, and hikers. The trails interconnect, allowing an almost infinite variety of loop hikes to be created. Some of the primary trails:

  • Pemberton Loop: 15.3 miles, 667-foot elevation gain.
  • Scenic Trail: 4.5 miles, 272-foot elevation gain.
  • Escondido Trail: 6.2 miles, 284-foot elevation gain.
  • Tonto Tank Trail: 2.7 miles, 446-foot elevation gain.
  • Lousley Hill: 1.2 miles, 295-foot elevation gain.
  • Granite Trail: 2.5 miles, 332-foot elevation gain.
  • North Loop: 2.9 miles, 138-foot elevation gain.

The McDowell Mountain Competitive Track consists of three inter-connected tracks: the Long Loop for general riders, the Sport Loop for intermediate and advanced riders, and the Technical Loop for expert riders. The tracks contain a variety of features to test riders’ skills, including steep inclines, swooping turns, and rugged terrain. The track is open to runners and horseback riders as well.

Camping

  • E. I. Rowland Campground: A typical campground with 76 sites for RVs or tents. Water and electric hook ups.
  • Ironwood tent camping area: Thirteen primitive sites with nearby restrooms and water.
  • Three-acre group campground: Room for up to 30 RVs or tents.
  • Youth group campground
  • Minks Camp and Eagle Camp: Small primitive camps.
  • Group Picnic Ramada: Can be reserved for groups larger than 30 units and is also used for overflow camping

The beautiful desert and mountain scenery of McDowell Mountain Park is a real treasure for residents and visitors to the Phoenix area. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Day use fee

Pros

Many varied hiking trails. Mountain bike tracks. Great camping options.

Cons

None.

Address

McDowell Mountain Park Dr
16300
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
United States

Features

ADA accessible
Campgrounds + Campsites
Showers
Flushing toilets
Mountain biking
Potable water
Picnic tables
Off-leash dog area
Covered picnic areas
Horseback riding
Playground
Bird watching
Wildlife

Site type

Full hookups

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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