Sonoran Preserve


Proboscidea althaeifolia

Clematis drummondii

Summer rain in Apache Wash

Cylindropuntia bigelovii



Coordinating Botanist:  Kathy Darrow


Status:  In Progress


Started:  March 2014


Taxa List




The Sonoran Preserve is a natural area managed by the City of Phoenix currently comprising more than 9,400 acres of land and a network of over 30 miles of trails. The preserve includes two major “islands” within the boundaries of I-17 to the west, Carefree Highway to the north, Cave Creek Road to the east, and Happy Valley Road to the south. A third island is north of Carefree Highway at Tramonto between 19th Avenue and 27th Avenue.


The primary plant community in Sonoran Preserve is Arizona Uplands and associated seasonal riparian communities. The area includes portions of four major washes: Cave Creek, Apache Wash, Skunk Creek and Bobcat Wash, plus minor tributaries. The washes drain desert hills with exposed bedrock of granite, basalt and metamorphic rocks. Elevations range from ~540-600 meters.


For a map of trails and instructions to trailheads, consult the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation website: