Dreamy Draw Recreation Area is one of those hiking destinations that can be as easy or challenging as needed, making it a perfect option for all ages. It’s centrally located off Hwy 51 and Northern, with ample free parking (although it does fill up quickly on the weekends), picnic tables, and restrooms.
We also love this area because part of the trail is paved! If you need to bring a stroller, or prefer smooth paths, you can still explore and see a good portion of the desert landscape. The park is full of jackrabbits and roadrunners, as well as a wide variety of desert plant life and we’ve been able to see these from both the paved and unpaved trails.
We don’t have a favorite trail at Dreamy Draw. Usually the kids just wander and we follow! The paved trail is a 1.5 mile loop. We’ve also explored parts, but not all, of Trail A1 and Perl Charles Memorial Trail. (The latter loops around park of Piestewa Peak and is more difficult.) Numerous other trails connect with these, and if you’re interested in venturing further, this is a good list to consider.
You can also mountain bike on the trails! This would be a fun option for older children and teens.
As always when hiking, bring plenty of water for each person, sunscreen, hats and snacks. Close toed shoes are also a good idea when exploring rough trails. Our kids also love bringing little backpacks to put in treasures that they find! (Which would be mostly rocks for our son!) We always look them over back at the picnic tables, and then leave them for others to enjoy.
Dreamy Draw is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city, and we hope you enjoy visiting as much as we do.
Dreamy Draw Recreation Area
2421 E Northern Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85020
Interested in other easy hikes for kids? Check out our article about Hole in the Rock!