Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Gilbert’s Urban Oasis

Located in the heart of Gilbert is the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, an oasis within the town of Gilbert with seven ponds and vegetation ranging from marshland to desert. You’ll discover native plants and wildlife as you hike the more than 4.5 miles of trails through the 110-acre preserve. The preserve features an urban lake where you can fish, an observatory that hosts stargazing events, fun play areas for kids, and more.

bird on water
trail under tree canopy
family at riparian preserve
Riparian Observatory

Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch also boasts the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory. Managed by the East Valley Astronomy Club, the observatory houses a solar telescope and a 16-inch Meade telescope controlled by computer software for nighttime viewing. Come on Saturday evenings, from sunset until 9:30 p.m., to see stars, planets, and other celestial phenomena—weather permitting. 

A Serene Escape for Wellness Enthusiasts

Visitors can engage in peaceful hikes along the 4.5 miles of trails, immerse themselves in the beauty of the ethnobotanical garden, or find tranquility while fishing in the urban lake. The preserve’s natural setting is perfect for yoga or meditation sessions amidst the sounds of wildlife. Enjoy the Hope Walk, a new feature designed to promote mental health and well-being. The walk includes positivity posts with uplifting messages, mental health tip signs in desert tones that provide strategies for mental well-being, and a desert-inspired, hand-painted Hope mural.

friends walking outdoors in riparian preserve
group exercising in park

Explore the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

bird in nature


Experience why the National Audubon Society has designated the Riparian Preserve an Important Bird Area.

riparian astronomy


Learn how the town’s commitment to combine water resource management and wildlife flourished into one of Gilbert’s most visited areas.

couple walking in riparian preserve with cactus


Explore Gilbert’s urban oasis, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, through hiking, biking, fishing, stargazing, and more.

Riparian Preserve Events

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Light festival