Sep 7, 2023 - Things to Do

Dreamy Draw reopens after completion of renovation and pipeline projects

Two metal ramadas in a mountain desert area with a man sitting at bench.

Two of the four new Dreamy Draw ramadas, with the new restrooms in the background. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

It won't be too long — hopefully — until hiking weather is here, and once the temperatures cool down, Dreamy Draw will be open for business.

Driving the news: City officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to celebrate the grand reopening of Dreamy Draw Recreation Area in north central Phoenix.

  • The gates and parking lot have been closed since 2021 while the city worked on two projects — one to renovate the recreation area and another to install a new water pipeline.
  • Trails remained open and people who live in the area had walk-in access during the closure, but for others, the trailheads were largely inaccessible.
  • The pipeline project was completed late last year, but renovations took until this week.

Details: The park project added four new ramadas to two others, along with new picnic and grilling areas.

  • A new restroom facility with six single-use unisex bathrooms and a new septic system replaced the old restroom, which was demolished.
  • The facilities are more accessible now for people with mobility issues and the parking lot renovation added more spaces.

Meanwhile, the new 66-inch pipeline connects the northern and central parts of the city through the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, largely under the bicycle path at Dream Draw.

  • The Drought Pipeline Project will mitigate drought risks for more than 400,000 north Phoenix residents who're dependent on diminishing water from the Colorado River by allowing Salt River water to be transferred.
  • The project also rehabilitated a pre-existing 48-inch pipeline.

Why it matters: Residents have been understanding about the closure but "very eager" to see Dreamy Draw reopen, said City Council member Deb Stark, who represents the area.

  • "When I stand here I remember why I love living in the city of Phoenix," Stark tells Axios. "You just feel like you're not in a big city. It's a great place to come and forget about some of your troubles and woes."
  • Dozens of people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the paths were filled with bicyclists and hikers.

By the numbers: The pipeline project cost about $280 million and was funded by the water rate increases implemented by the City Council in 2019 and 2020.

  • The $6 million renovation project was funded through a sales tax hike voters approved in 2008 with the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative Program.

💭 Jeremy's thought bubble: I haven't been to Dreamy Draw in a few years, but I love it there and the grand reopening was a good reminder that I need to take my kids hiking when the weather cools down.

  • For those of us who like to hike but aren't necessarily prepared to tackle some of the more vigorous hikes around the Valley, Dreamy Draw is a perfect spot to get some exercise amidst beautiful scenery.
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