McDowell Mountain Regional Park Hiking- Is It Good?
No… in my opinion, McDowell Mountain Regional Park hiking is not good.
That being said, before I dive into the reasons why I don’t like this park, and I will briefly describe why you might actually enjoy hiking here.
Why You Might Like McDowell Mountain Regional Park Hiking
(1) There aren’t a ton of desert parks across the region that allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of the valley floor. Most have mountains, and mountains can have very different plant and animal communities.
(2) McDowell Mountain Regional Park hiking is perfect for beginners. There isn’t a lot of elevation gain in the park, so it’s a great place to build strength and trail experience.
(3) There are AMAZING views from the park! Even hiking through a wash, you can see some of the most iconic mountains in Maricopa county. This includes Weaver’s Needle and Four Peaks.
(4) There is plenty of very nice birding that you can do from Stoneman’s Wash, which isn’t a prohibitively long hike from the Pemberton trailhead.
(5) When the season is right, McDowell Mountain Regional Park hiking can provide a reprieve from the foot-traffic crowds. For instance, if I try to go to Dreamy Draw at 11am on a Sat in winter, I will struggle to find parking. The trails are absolutely full of people. In McDowell, you won’t need to fight for a parking spot and you can have some true solitude.
What’s So Bad About McDowell Mountain Regional Park Hiking?
Ok, so if there are all those reasons that someone might really enjoy hiking in this particular park, why do I dislike it? Let me give you some of my thoughts.