6.2 Miles

358 feet


A+ Views

Desert Vista Trailhead Hikes Overview

The Desert Vista Trailhead offers tons of great hiking options and mountain views. During this hike, I started on Hawk’s Nest trail, jumped over the to Valle Verde trail, checked out the Cactus Wren trail, and then headed back to the parking lot via the Desert Tortoise trail. Check out the map of this hike and create a hike that makes sense for you!  

Map & Elevation Profile

Total distance: 6.17 mi
Max elevation: 1948 ft
Min elevation: 1590 ft
Total time: 01:59:52

Map for the Desert Vista Trailhead Hikes

Snap a photo of the map at the trailhead or check out this pdf.


Put in directions for the ‘Desert Vista Trailhead’. The parking lot isn’t huge but you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot (especially when it is hot!).

Desert Vista Trailhead Hikes Notes

I’m not going to lie, this super hot Phoenix weather is killing me. I’m dying to be able to spend the whole day outside walking around in nature. When fall rolls around, hiking trails all over Arizona better be ready for me to be all over them 😊.

On this particular morning, it was cloudy and made hiking from this trailhead more bearable. 

Just like in other parts of the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, there are great views of the surrounding mountains. The Desert Vista Trailhead hikes are full of them. Check out the map above to see which trails I took. There are so many different options. Figure out something that will work for how you are feeling that day.

When turning right onto the Valle Verde Trail, the trail descends and you will enter a large flat area. This area made me wish camping was allowed here. It is flat and a perfect place to pitch a tent. Plus there are great views of the McDowells (my favorite mountains!). 

Even with the heat, it felt so good to get outside. It felt so peaceful to get out of the house!

So, should you do Desert Vista Trailhead hikes?

The Desert Vista Trailhead is another great option to get in some outdoor time and look at mountains. The views are good (although the views from the Apache Wash Trailhead are better IMO) and there are lots of easy options. Get out there and check it out! I will definitely be coming back to hike everything in this area. 

Other hikes close by

You may also consider checking out the hikes from the Apache Wash Trailhead. For something with a bit of elevation, check out the Ridgeline Trail Hike. For something more chill, check out the Sidewinder Trail Hike

Get more inspired to get outside:

PCT Trail Journal Day 37: Messenger Flats Campground to Mile 415.1

15.692762 feet up2421 feet down Mile 415.1 (the best campsite!)381.66 hours 7 minutes🌞Getting pizza delivered to the fire station👉Chatting with NOBOs is a great way to get the intel on the trailMay 18, 2023 PCT Trail Journal: Day 37 Messenger Flats Campground To Mile...

PCT Trail Journal: Day 36 Mile 440.2 to Messenger Flats Campground

10.243802 feet up699 feet down Messenger Flats Campground366.35 hours 9 minutes🌞Completing the up and ice cream trail magic👉I like not being rushed in the morningMay 17, 2023 PCT Trail Journal: Day 36 Mile 440.2 Messenger Flats Campground Day 36 on the PCT from Mile...

PCT Trail Summary: Week 5 Mile 549.0 to 49ers Saloon

PCT Trail Summary: Week 5 Mile 540.0 to 49ers Saloon Dates Hiked May 8 - May 14, 202396.012,460 feet up16,067 feet down38 Hours 21 Minutes💛Being warm again 💛Surviving the aqueduct and hiking it when it was cold(er) 💛Getting a trail family and them motivating me! 💛 So...

PCT Trail Summary Week 4: Walker Pass to Mile 549.0

PCT Trail Summary: Week  4 Walker Pass to Mile 549.0 Dates Hiked May 1 - May 7, 202397.1 19,527 feet up18,593 feet down36 Hours 04 Minutes💛The views, wildflowers, & Joshua Trees 💛Other hikers 💛Rest day in TehachapiFinally making it to Tehachapi and getting warm. I...

PCT Trail Journal Day 35: Vasquez Rocks to Mile 440.2

13.652323 feet up2172 feet down Mile 440.2356.16 hours 21 minutes🌞Coffee from the grocery store. And watching a tortoise eating salad for breakfast👉My new insoles seem pretty ok. May 16, 2023 PCT Trail Journal: Day 35 Vasquez Rocks to Mile 440.2 Day 35 on the PCT from...

PCT Trail Journal Days 33 & 34: Accidental Double Zero in Serenity Oasis & 49ers Saloon

00Serenity Oasis & 49ers Saloon342.90 minutes🌞Margaritas & chilling at the mobile 2 Foot adventures👉My feet didn't hurt at all today. Probably because I wasn't hiking. 👉Be careful when cutting insoles. You don't want to grab the wrong foot. May 14 & 15,...

PCT Trail Journal Day 32: Mile 471.4 to Serenity Oasis

16.032464 feet up3524 feet downSerenity Oasis342.96 hours 53 minutes🌞Getting to Serenity Oasis and margaritas!👉It's getting hot out! Going to have to start taking siestas during the dayMay 13, 2023 PCT Trail Journal: Day 31 Mile 471.4 to Serenity Oasis Day 31 on the...

PCT Trail Journal Day 31: Lake Hughes Road to Mile 471.4

14.872303 feet up1644 feet downMile 471.4326.2 5 hours 50 minutes🌞Late start (9:45 am), ice cream from the Green Valley Market and a long break👉Poisonous plants suckMay 12, 2023 PCT Trail Journal: Day 31 Lake Hughes Road to Mile 471.4 Mentally day 31 from Lake Hughes...

PCT Trail Journal Day 30: Bear Camp to Lake Hughes Road

19.261722 feet up4068 feet downLake Hughes Road312.07 hours 38 minutes🌞Chilling by the beautiful stream at the end of the day👉I need shorter mileage days. Today didn't feel good.May 11, 2023 PCT Trail Journal: Day 30 Bear Camp to Lake Hughes Road Let me start by...

PCT Trail Journal Day 29: Hikertown to Bear Camp

13.663937 feet up1591 feet downBear Camp (Mile 504.6)293.05 hours 59 minutes🌞Getting breakfast at Neenach market and getting up that huge hill👉Going uphill is hardMay 10, 2023  PCT Trail Journal: Day 29 Hikertown to Bear Camp On day 29 of the PCT, I slept until about...