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    Sidewinder and Ocotillo Loop

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    8.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    162 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Sidewinder and Ocotillo Loop is a heavily trafficked 8.4 km loop hike in the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve. This hike doesn’t offer big sightlines, but when the ocotillo is blooming, it becomes the star of the show. This route is shared by hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers. It’s mostly undulating. Remember to share the trail and look out for one another.

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    Route Description for Sidewinder and Ocotillo Loop

    The Sidewinder and Ocotillo Loop is a route in the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve that is used by hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers. This route doesn’t have huge sightlines, but it’s got lots of cholla and ocotillo beside the trail. When the ocotillo is in bloom, the trail is at its best.

    Due to the mixed traffic on this route, remember to keep dogs on a leash close by and watch out for bikes and runners. Bring water with you (there is none at the trailhead) and avoid hiking in the heat of the day.

    The hike begins near Carefree Hwy and 7th Ave. Go left to connect to Sidewinder Trail, which has more elevation changes than Ocotillo, meaning the second part of your hike will be the most relaxed. Stay left at the fork and then make your way along the hills, climbing up and then descending gradually. At the fork with Ocotillo, take this trail by taking a sharp right.

    Follow Ocotillo Trail as it draws near Dove Valley Road and then pulls away back into the desert. You’ll come around the hill near the trailhead and fund yourself back at the starting point.

    Getting to the Sidewinder and Ocotillo Loop Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Sidewinder and Ocotillo Loop is near the intersection of N 7th Ave and W Carefree Highway.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Sidewinder and Ocotillo Loop Elevation Graph

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