If you are looking for a place to walk, ride a bike, use a stroller, walk with your kids and see some excellent outdoor scenery, Dreamy Draw in Phoenix may be your next destination!
Dreamy Draw is located on the north side of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and the Piestewa Peak Park.
I went solo on very atypically cloudy day in the desert, and the clouds just made Piestewa Peak even more mysteriously beautiful. For a teeny bit of Phoenix history, Piestewa Peak is named in honor of the first known Native American woman to die in combat in the US Military. Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa was killed in action in 2003. Previously, the name of the peak was named “Squaw Peak”. Piestwea Peak is 2,612 feet in elevation. The Phoenix Preserve is located in the ancestral homeland of the Tohono O’odham Nation, Gila River Indian, Ak-Chin Indian and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Communities.
Dreamy Draw is its own exit off of the the 51! You will be welcomed by the sign for the dam. As for the Dam, well, if you go on Google and search about the Dam, you will find a lot of conspiracy theories on why the dam exists. That kind of makes me laugh a bit. A dam in the desert where there is no running water or any water of any kind is worth questioning!
But, questioning a dam is not why we are here! We are here for the trails! Entering by the dam you will see one of the paved walkways to your right. Unfortunately, you can’t park your car at the entrance and start enjoying the walkway right away. The drive into the park is a windy road to get to the parking lot.
The parking lot is not very large for the parks popularity, and I can see it probably getting full! Get there early on beautiful days.
A few Ramadas were available. There was also a small bathroom available as well.
A somewhat sad volleyball court without a net was near the ramadas. I’m not sure how many people are up for a volleyball game, but there is a court available!
No, this isn’t a cabin! It’s a mini ranger station. Wildlife information was posted outside of the station.
Heading up to the walkways was this sidewalk. I found the sides pretty interesting, but I am guessing they were there for water channeling during monsoon season. I can only imagine how the rains rush down this hill!
The clouds really enhanced the beauty and they mystery of the mountains! From the White Tank Mountains, these mountains really have a different appearance than those mountains.
More than just a paved bike trail, there are many different trails that go up into the mountain to the summit as well. You can find more about the trails and ratings guide here.
I personally loved the paved walkable surface. It was a beautiful trail to enjoy, and it just had its grand opening October 4th 2019!
It looked like this wash had a mosaic water basin.
Speaking of rains, can you imagine how strong the rains are to create this? Wow! Make sure you check the weather before you head out. There were a few different signs with warnings.
- Tell someone where you are planning to go and that they know what time you left and plan to be back.
- Make sure you have a fully charged cell phone
- Turn back if you are running low on water
The Park seemed to end around 28th Street and then it went into a neighborhood, but the walkway continued to 32nd Street. The sound wall between the 51 and the neighborhood helps keep out highway noise. I turned around a little while after this.The bikeway also goes east under the 51 and has a small bridge over an exit/entrance ramp to a neighborhood! The trail is approximately about 3 miles long.
People ask me about great hikes for kids all the time. Now, while I wouldn’t necessarily classify what I did as a hike, I think this was a great walk! The scenery was excellent. While a lot of the time I was walking right next to the 51 on one side, I had beautiful mountain views on the other. I personally don’t like doing really strenuous hikes by myself, but I love to go on walks and runs. I think this is a perfect place for going with kids! Plus, there is no charge to get into the park!
2421 E Northern Ave
looking for a shorter, paved trail nearby ? Check out North Mountain Park!