McDowell Mountain Regional Park

McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Fountain Hills: Address, Phone Number, McDowell Mountain Regional Park Reviews: 4.5/5

McDowell Mountain Regional Park

McDowell Mountain Regional Park
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Parks
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4.5
172 reviews
Excellent
119
Very good
45
Average
7
Poor
0
Terrible
1

gefilte63
Beachwood, OH577 contributions
Apr 2022
The setting is magnificent overlooking the valley; we were there right at the end of the rainy season and everything was on bloom.
There are several paths to choose from; we chose a path that went around back the mountain and back down. It took about 1.75 hours to complete. Be forewarned, this is not a paved trail; it is rocky and might be challenging for some people. Be certain to have the proper shoes on; flip-flops will not cut it. I rolled my ankle at least a dozen times on the trail even with good running shoes. Also, make sure to bring plenty of water and/or snacks for the hike.
There was literally no trash on the ground at all, which was so refreshing to see.
Best to do this in the morning before it gets too hot.
Written 30 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RoadtrippingGirl2014
Prince George, Canada141 contributions
Apr 2022
My 10-yr old nephew and I came to the park on a Friday morning. Short/easy (~35 minute ) drive from Scottsdale (Holiday Inn Club Vacations area). The place was pretty quiet which was nice. The entry was easy, $7/day and the man at the gate was very informative. We stopped at the nature center and checked out the snakes before doing the Tortoise Trail. Great views, easy 0.8 mile out and 0.8 mile back trail, with options for longer loops at the end. We saw a couple lizards which was really neat, and the cacti were just about to bloom. We then went to the campground playground and checked out the snake slide which was very cool. After that we drove around and did the Nursery-Tank Trail which also had great views and large cacti. Overall great experience, highly recommend for people travelling in the area.
Written 25 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HPSGene
Palos Verdes Estates, CA227 contributions
Apr 2022
We spent some time here over a couple of days biking some of the trails and had a blast. The Pemberton loop is about 15 miles and has flowy, some moderately rocky stretches that made for a great ride. The trailhead facilities are nice and the entire system is very clean. Loved the desert riding!
Written 15 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Davidsquash
Kingston, Canada283 contributions
Mar 2022
McDowell Mountain has great trails. More so the Browns Ranch section, which is the best mountain biking I have ever done; if you enjoy long undulating flowing trails, where you can go hard and fast without a lot of technical stuff to slow you down.

There are technical areas.... but to do a 40km lap of nice hard packed desert riding is bliss.

Great for bikers, hikers and horses. Gravel bikes and single speeds can also work at Browns Ranch
Written 24 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

T9-Orca
Seattle, WA635 contributions
Feb 2022
This isn't a national park, but it does have lots of trails, many suitable for mountain bikes and people, and it does have a large open desert area replete with cactuses and desert shrubs. It's a pleasant place to walk, and readily accessible from Fountain Hills or Rio Verde (just northeast of Scottsdale). The mountain biking includes a competitive loop ... and while not difficult, it is pretty and rewarding, assuming the temperatures are reasonable (generally great in February, not so desirable by June).

The park also includes some mountains an a few mountain trails (not so much for summits as circuits with some elevation gain and loss). The facilities are limited, but of good quality, and there is plenty to do there. Many of the people who use the park are locals, there either for outdoor exercise or just to get outside somewhere in a natural environment, but still close to town.

Well worth a trip if you're in the area -- not dramatic, but consistently good
Written 28 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CraftBeers
Plano, TX25 293 contributions
May 2021
I didn't really like this park. I can't say there is anything wrong with it. I just am not a desert fan. The day after we hiked this park, we visited Jewel of the Creek Preserve in Cave Creek. What a difference.

The desert setting here has rolling hills with pleasant hiking. We found the trails to be easy to moderate depending on what trails we selected. A nice pair of hiking boots, sunscreen (including lip balm) and lots of water are absolutely necessary. Start at 7:00 AM. If you are heading out at 9:00 AM, that's too late. You will be hiking in 100 degree weather with no shade on the way back.

My main reason for disliking this park is the low number and density of cacti and arid plant life. Walk through Jewel of the Creek Preserve to see what I mean. There was a self-pay station with a cost of entrance for hiking of $2 per person. See Dixie Mine Trail for parking and hiking.
Written 25 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

wc9828
Boulder CO48 contributions
Mar 2021
The campground is well-constructed and well-equipped. It is a campground clearly geared for RVs. Our one complaint, and it is a big one, is the noise of pilot training. Each and every afternoon, a flight instructor and his tutee take off from a nearby airport (assume Scottsdale), fly out to McDowell, and then fly circles above the campground. It is a loud, obnoxious drone that ruins the peace and quiet of the area. I am told that the issue has been raised but the park was stiff-armed by the airport. We can't see going back.
Written 31 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nathan Sorenson
173 contributions
Mar 2021
The campground is reasonably spaced out and numerous trails to keep you busy. We especially like the North Loop for the variety of plants.
Written 25 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

valinreallife
Silver City, NM128 contributions
Jan 2020
McDowell Mountain is a phenomenal park, as are all Maricopa County parks. This particular one is popular for its bicycle offerings. It's a stunning park and the views from camp never disappoint. There's a cute little playground in the campground for the wee ones as well as lots of trails to chose from.

It's consistent with the other Maricopa parks in that the partial hookups were reliable and the restrooms and showers always clean. The camp hosts are top-notch and turn the sites around quickly for the next occupant with their efficient system of cleaning and raking.

Like many other visitors, we pieced together our 12-night stay at 3 different campsites due to the nature of the reservation system. It tends to work out since we need to dump tanks from time-to-time anyway so we simply timed that activity with move days. The dump station was often very busy but everyone is always friendly and it just turns into a social event since most of us are doing the same thing by dumping on "move" days.

All 3 of the sites we stayed in (10, 11, and 26) were level and easy to navigate with plenty of room to unhook the truck and unload the sidecar from the toy hauler. They were typically too short to park the front in front of the trailer so it got parked off to the side.

Verizon cell signal was frustrating without having our signal booster installed yet. Just enough connection to make us think we could use it but really we just spent the whole time trying unsuccessfully to connect. I suspect with the booster running we would have been fine to keep working without that frustration.

The nearby town of Fountain Hills is known for its fountain that spouts on the hour. It was once the tallest in the world and you can see it from many places in the park. 

Non-park tip: We found the nearby town, Fountain Hills, to be crowded and unpleasant, and the residents notably snobby. There are no laundromats, only laundry services so you'll need to look elsewhere to do the wash. We chose the Spin Doctor in Mesa and it was the best laundromat I've ever been in, and I've been in lots all over the country in my travels. 
Written 3 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

wallyreidjr
West Hollywood, CA141 contributions
Jun 2020
Our 1st trip to the park after moving from MA, beautiful, clean facilities at the start of the trail, maps, info (which I recommend your read) we went up the scenic trail 3.5 miles and well laid out, clearly marked, only thing is the bike riders that seem to come out of nowhere some are courteous and others just blow by you, you get to the part of the trail where they can't go and that's the best part. It was a clear day, the temperature in our favor and we look forward to going again soon
Written 7 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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