5.4 Miles

435 feet


A+ Views

Taliesin Overlook Hike Overview

The Taliesin Overlook hike is a great easy option to get your outdoor fix. You’ll enjoy great views and beautiful desert scenery. Get out there and escape the confines of the indoors for a little bit. You’ll feel good about yourself if you do!

Map & Elevation Profile

Total distance: 5.45 mi
Max elevation: 2135 ft
Min elevation: 1703 ft
Total time: 01:58:54

Map for the Taliesin Overlook Hike

Get this map! It’s a good idea to have this guy with you in case you want to go further, explore a new trail or get turned around!

mcdowell mountains green trails map get outdoors get happy

McDowell Mountains Greentrails map

You definitely won’t regret having this map for your McDowell Sonoran Preserve hikes (affiliate link)!


For this hike, you will want to park at the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead. Just like all most of the trailheads in the McDowells, there is a great big parking lot and a nice bathroom. Thank you City of Scottsdale 😄!

Taliesin Overlook Hike Trail Notes

The south side of the McDowells is peaceful and beautiful. I don’t think there is a section in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve that isn’t great. The views, the saguaros, the teddy bear cholla, and the trail will have you feeling more clear-headed in no time!

The hike from the trailhead to the Taliesin Overlook is 2.2 miles and only ~300 feet elevation. So if you are short on time, it’s hot or don’t want to do anything too tough, this option is excellent!

One bonus of this region of the McDowell’s is that you get glimpses of the Superstitions and the San Tan Mountains. The face of the Supes is soooo beautiful!

Bring a map so you can make this hike as short or as long as you would like. Hiking around this area is worth it. You won’t regret it and will likely feel great afterward!

For a more detailed trail description, go here. 

So, should you do this hike?

Yes, you should hike to the Taliesin Overlook. Make this hike as easy or as hard as you’d like. It will make you feel spectacular!

Other hikes close by

The Gateway Trailhead isn’t too far away. Check out the Bell Pass hike for something hard, the Gateway Loop hike for something medium, and the Levee Trail hike or the Horseshoe Trail Hike for something easy. So many great options!

Photo Gallery that Will Make You Want To Go There

Get more inspired to get outside:

Hike to the Lookout, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Why hike to Tom’s Thumb with you can hike to the Lookout? The views are even better, the trail is fantasic and there are less people!

Dispersed Camping Fire Control Road (NF-64), Payson, AZ

The dispersed camping along Fire Control Road (NF-64) in Payson, AZ, is great! There are quiet sites with great views. Read more here!

Piestewa Vs Camelback? Which Should You Hike?

Piestewa vs Camelback? Not sure which one you should hike? Read this article to help you decide. Hint: they both have pros and cons!

Natural Tunnel Via Dirt Road Trail Hike, South Mountain Preserve

Hiking to the Natural Tunnel via the Dirt Road Trail starts out lame (you’re on a dirt road) but quickly turns into a sweet hike. Learn more!

Latigo Chuckwagon Loop Hike, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Latigo Chuckwagon Loop Hike is the best hike starting from the Brown’s Mountain trailhead. It is not as busy and has great views!

Sunrise Trail Hike, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Sunrise Trail Hike has a lot to offer: some elevation but not too much, SUPERB views, and not too far outside the city! Read more here.

Forest Road 2076 Hike, Tonto National Forest

The Forest Road 2076 hike starts out pretty lame but then opens up to huge views as you hike out of the wash. Plus you most likely won’t see another soul!

136th St Express Trail Hike, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The 136th St Express Trail Hike is easy, high on the solitude scale and has mountain views in all directions. Great for those more chill days!

136th St Express/Cow Poke Loop Hike, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Create a scenic 4 mile loop with the 136th St Express/Cow Poke Loop Hike. It’s beautiful over here and there are fewer people too!

15 Practical Ways to Motivate Yourself to get Outside

It happens to everyone! Sometimes our motivation to get out and enjoy nature is low. That’s ok, here are 15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside!