Desert Vista Trailhead
1901 W. Desert Vista Trail
Map to the trailhead
Parking lot hours: 6 a.m. to sunset or 7 p.m. (whichever comes first)
Caption: California poppies blooming in the Sonoran Preserve
This area is the newest addition to Phoenix's vast desert preserve system. Purchased with voter approved funds and state grants, the new preserve has added a whole new element to the city's expansive desert preserves -- and we're still adding land.
Much of the Sonoran Preserve is located in the transition zone to the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert, which has higher amounts of rainfall per year (up to 12.5 inches per year). This increases both the lushness and diversity of plant life. South Mountain, Camelback Mountain and Squaw Peak, on the other hand, are located in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the largest and most arid subdivision of the Sonoran Desert. With only 7.5 inches of rainfall a year, vegetation in these areas is sparser and less varied.
The Sonoran Preserve Master Plan provides a detailed look into the long-term plans for this important new desert preserve area.
For general information: (602) 262-7901.