This is a multi-use trail also frequented by hikers and horseback riders.
Offering connections both to the more difficult Ridgeback Trail
and Sidewinder Trail
and multiple opportunities to divert to West Skip Rimsza Paseo—the wide, paved multi-use path meandering alongside Dove Valley Road, Ocotillo Trail is a great choice to customize a ride to your length and difficulty preference and for beginners to become familiar with their ability.
Starting from Apache Wash Trailhead, this moderate trail heads northwest through the preserve with a series of fairly gentle ups and downs.
After briefly joining Sidewinder Trail
, Ocotillo diverges again toward the south and then west at about its midpoint, making its closest and last approach to the Paseo and Dove Valley Road at about mile 3.9. Between these points, be prepared for the trail to dip through several washes with switchbacks and short grades that can be unforgiving of a poorly timed gear shift.
After the last connection to the Paseo, the trail continues mostly northwest with a gentle, but mostly steady grade for about a mile before turning north at about mile 4.9. After this point the grade becomes more moderate for the next ¾ mile, reaching its steepest as the trail bends back eastward above and along Carefree Highway.
From the trail's highest point, you gently descend the final ½ mile to the Desert Hills Trailhead.