Phoenix is home to tens of thousands of acres of untouched desert lined with majestic saguaro and cholla cactuses, home to coyotes, great horned owls and gila monsters — all just minutes from downtown Phoenix. It’s no surprise Phoenix is one of National Geographic’s best hiking cities and has been recognized by by AARP and TravelNerd as one of the Top Urban Destinations for Nature Lovers.
Dogs are allowed, however they must be on a leash at all times. In addition all waste must be picked up by the owner. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset.
Reach 11 Trail
There are approximately 18 miles of multi-use recreational trails in the Reach 11 Recreation Area. The trails run the entire length of the Recreation Area from Cave Creek Road, east to Scottsdale Road. Trail access points include: Cave Creek Road, Tatum Blvd.,
56th Street and Scottsdale Road.
All trails (except the Barrier Free Access Nature Trail) are multi-use (foot, bicycle & horseback) trails and motorized travel is prohibited. The trails are a hard, stable gravel surface and 7’-8’ wide. (except the Barrier Free Access Nature Trail) The terrain is relatively flat with minor grade changes at wash crossings.
There are 5 primary trails running east and west through the park. The trail numbers are W-211S (4.5 miles, north trailhead to HLP trail head) & W-211N (1.1 miles west of Tatum Blvd.; .7 miles – Dback facility to Hummingbird Trail) and E-211S (1.3 miles Tatum -Cottontail Tr. & 2.2 miles 56 St. – Scottsdale), E-211N (1.0 miles east of Tatum Blvd. to 56 St. & 2.2 miles -56 St & Scottsdale Rd., & E210 (1.2 miles) & W210 ( 1 mile). There are 17 connector trails that connect the north and south trails. From west to east they are; Cardinal (.2 miles), Inca Dove (.2 miles), Cactus Wren (.4 miles), Roadrunner (.2 miles), Gambel Quail (.5 miles), Great Horned Owl (.1 miles), Jackrabbit (.3 miles), Coyote (.5 miles), Javelina (.4 miles), Cottontail (.1 miles), Badger (.3 miles), and Ringtail (.3 miles). Coopers Hawk Loop (.3 miles), Kestrel (.2 miles), Red tail Hawk (.4 miles), Hummingbird (.2 miles), Meadowlark (.2 miles), Muskrat (2.2 miles). The Barrier Free trail is .75 miles.
Trails 1-17 & 19-25
Various Lengths (7 miles total from Cave Creek to Scottsdale Road). Trails open for pedestrians, bicycles and horses
Difficulty – Easy
Trails in the Reach 11 Recreation area are wide compact dirt paths that allow for easy participation of all levels of walker to athlete. Grade is consistently level with minimal dips and rises. These trails follow the CAP canal from Cave Creek Road to Scottsdale Road. No crossing area of Tatum Boulevard is provided so extreme caution must be used. Underpasses are in place for all other roads. Trail heads with parking are located North of Deer Valley Road (South of the Cemetery), East side of Tatum Boulevard (2 locations) as well as West of Tatum just off of the entrance to the Horse Lovers Park. Other walking entrances are marked with a hollow square on the trail map.
Dogs are allowed, however they must be on a leash at all times. In addition all waste must be picked up by the owner. Trails and trail parking are open sunrise to sunset.
Please don’t be a trailblazer!
Stay on designated trails only!
There is trail access on the east side of Cave Creek Road, east and west side of Tatum Blvd., east and west side of 56th Street, and the west side of Scottsdale Road. Trail parking areas are located on the east side of Cave Creek Road, near the Water Treatment Plant, at the Arizona Horse Lovers Park on the west side of Tatum Blvd., and on the east side of Tatum Blvd.
Trial 18 – Barrier Free Trail
Length: .75 mile. Walking trail only, NO BICYCLES OR HORSES.
Difficulty – Easiest
The Reach 11 Barrier Free Trail is located 1/2 mile to the East of the Tatum Trail Head off of Trail #3 (which is concrete for this 1/2 mile). While on this trail you can see various wild life including birds, fish and turtles at a pond located at the SouthEast corner of the loop. Many trees canopy over the trail creating dappled shade.
Barrier Free Access Nature Trail
Also in the recreation area is a Barrier Free Access Nature Trail. The trail is a ¾ mile long paved trail that travels through some of the most unique desert habitat in the area. Twenty different locations along the trail provide information signs on the flora and fauna that a visitor may encounter while enjoying the trail. The loop also features a small pond and picnic area. Use of this trail by horses or bicycles is prohibited. Access to the trail is from the east side of Tatum Blvd.
Keep the Preserves Safe – Observe Trail Etiquette
Phoenix mountain preserves are open, undeveloped desert areas. Hikers can encounter rocky terrain, rattlesnakes and other potential hazards native to the Sonoran Desert. Staying on trails and observing trail etiquette will help to ensure that your preserve outing is a safe one.
- ALWAYS stay on a designated trail. Phoenix city ordinances prohibit trailblazing.
Learn to share the trails with all other users.
In general, bike riders yield to both hikers and horseback riders; hikers yield to horseback riders. However, for all trail users, downhill yields to uphill. Use common sense and courtesy while on the trails.
Announce your intentions and slow your pace when passing someone on the trails.
Do not litter.
Destruction or removal of plants, animals, historical, prehistoric or geological sites are prohibited.
Do not chase or harass wildlife.
Avoid putting your hands and feet anywhere you cannot see.
Remember the 3 C’s: Courtesy, Communication and Common Sense.
Hot Weather Hiking Advisory
We have entered the hot weather season in the Sonoran Desert. Please use extra caution if you’re planning on using trails. During hot weather months, try to wait for shade when hiking as full sun temperatures can be more than 20 degrees higher than the official shade temperature. So hike in early morning or near dusk when there’s more shade and less intense heat. Remember, even if you are hydrated you can still suffer from heat-related illness on the hottest summer days. During excessive heat warnings, consider whether it’s safe to hike at all. Follow our full safety guidelines for staying safe on the trail.