In Arizona there is no better day to hike than after a “Valley of the Sun” rain storm.  What a magical experience it is hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve after this past weekend’s much-needed heavy rainfall. The low, low hanging clouds provided a great backdrop to the spectacular Preserve landscape.  I arrived at the Preserve, 7:00 a.m. on Sunday and was the third vehicle patiently waiting for the sliding entrance gate to open.  I wasn’t sure whether rain would hamper my hike as it rained quite heavily during my drive from south Scottsdale to the Preserve. My “friend” and I canceled our scheduled Saturday hike because of the down pour.  I chose the 9 mile loop hike from Gateway to Bell Pass and then Bell Pass to Windgate and then returned to Gateway Access Area. The normally dry creeks were filled with water and music ears! McDowell Mtn 2January 27 002_edited-1 McDowell Mtn 3January 27 003_edited-1 McDowell Mtn 5January 27 005_edited-1 McDowell Mtn 7January 27 007_edited-1 McDowell Mtn 8January 27 008_edited-1 McDowell Mtn January 27 001_edited-1 McDowell Mtn0 January 27 010_edited-1 McDowell Mtn4 January 27 004_edited-1 McDowell Mtn6 January 27 006_edited-1 McDowell Mtn9 January 27 009_edited-1