North Mountain Visitor Center

About North Mountain Visitor Center


Welcome to the North Mountain Visitor Center

12950 NORTH 7TH STREET • PHOENIX, AZ 85022  MAP (click to view) • (602)343-5125 front desk • (602) 335-1962 back offices •

Hours of operation for the Exhibit Hall and Gift Shoppe • Winter times are Monday to Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from October to May • Summer times are Monday to Sunday 7:00 a.m. to noon from May to October • Saturdays the Center is open to 3:00 p.m.

The North Mountain Visitor Center gives guests an up-close and personal tour of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and the plants and animals that make up the beautiful area surrounding the Center.

Displays, classes, and workshops are offered to interpret and understand the Sonoran Desert found right outside the Center’s doors. Visitors to the Center will gain new insights into the richness and diversity of this landscape.

A series of trails adjacent to the center mean that desert exploration is just a step away. The Center is also a good stop for those planning a longer, more challenging hike, in this part of the Preserve.

• Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall offers interpretive information on the preservation of the Phoenix Mountains, local geology, archaeology, Sonoran Desert plants and animals, and the cycle of the Arizona sun. The Center also features exhibits from affiliated agencies, a synopsis of the tuberculosis camps in the area from the early 1900′s and work from local artists.

• North Mountain Preserve

North Mountain Preserve is rich with history. There are centuries-old Hohokam petroglyphs, evidence of turn of the century campgrounds  and abandoned local mines for a variety of minerals, mostly cinnabar.

Shaw Butte is the tallest mountain in the Preserve with an elevation of 2,149 feet. North Mountain is a close second at 2,104 feet. Throughout the North Mountain Preserve, there are over 20 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.

Visitors will be able to witness the rich desert ecosystem which includes saguaro cacti, palo verde and mesquite trees, creosote bushes, coyotes, javelinas, jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, chuckwallas, quail, cactus wrens, and roadrunners.

• Programs and Events

Be sure to check the website for upcoming programs and events at the Visitor Center. Program topics include: Wilderness First Aid, Plants and Animals of the Southwest, Geology, History of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Hohokam Culture, and more. Just view the Event Calendar located to the right of this page. Click on any date to see what events are planned for that day.

North Mountain Visitor Center
At the Center, Visitors can:

  • Find trail maps and talk to the staff for information on hikes or mountain bike rides in the area. If you have a horse, there is horse trailer parking next to the center on the south side of the parking lot. All trails are multi-use trails open to all disciplines.
  • Pick up brochures and pamphlets on a variety of topics related to the Sonoran Desert and the Mountain Preserve.
  • Take a tour through the interpretive Exhibit Hall.
  • Learn about upcoming outdoor programs, lectures, and events.
  • Find unique gifts including jewelry, field guides, educational books, hats, T-shirts, water, snacks and local artists crafts.

12950 North 7th Street • Phoenix, Arizona 85022
Located on the west side of 7th Street, just south of Thunderbird Road. From east valley, remember that Cactus Road turns into Thunderbird Road.

• Visitor Center Operators
The center was closed in April 2010, due to budget cuts. Now, thanks to the efforts of a collaboration of non-profit organizations, the facility has reopened in 2011.

North Mountain Visitor Center is operated by:
Save Our Mountains Foundation
Arizona Parks and Recreation Association
Phoenix Mountains Preservation Council, Inc.
Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association

12950 NORTH 7TH STREET • PHOENIX, AZ 85022 • (602)-343-5125 Front Desk • (602) 335-1962 Back Offices of APRA • WWW.SAVEOURMOUNTAINS.ORG