Phoenix Desert Preserves Again Earn National Recognition

Dec. 17, 2013

Parks Mission Graphic for WebThe City of Phoenix’s vast desert preserve system has again earned national recognition. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recently included Phoenix in an online travel article as one of “6 Places to Experience Big City Wilderness.”

“As a city, we are fortunate to have the Phoenix Mountain Preserves in our community,” Vice Mayor Bill Gates said. “Wherever you live or visit in Phoenix, the preserves are never far and offer both physical and educational enjoyment. From flat trails through desert landscape for the nature walker to steep inclines and hills for the mountain biker, the preserves offer something for pedestrians, bikers, and equestrians alike.”

The online article listed Phoenix as one of the few large metropolitan areas “…lucky enough to have undeveloped tracts of nature so large, they can offer a taste of wilderness within their city limits.” The piece, which can be viewed online at:, highlighted South Mountain Park/Preserve which, at more than 16,000 acres, is the largest municipally operated park in the country.

With the growth of the city’s Sonoran Preserve, South Mountain’s vast acreage doesn’t even represent half of the city’s desert preserve acreage, which has grown to more than 33,000 acres.

In other national recognition, National Geographic recently named Phoenix as one of the nation’s best hiking cities. That article is online at: and online travel site TravelNerd named Phoenix as one of the Top 10 Urban Destinations for Nature Lovers: Information on Phoenix desert preserves is available online at

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