News & Events

Wild horses galloping through the desert

The Wild Horses of the Tortolitas

Dove Mountain is a special place to live and visit. The community sits at the base of the Tortolita Mountains offering stunning views of wild desert terrain alive with wildflowers, blooming shrubs and trees, towering saguaros and a rich diversity of birds and desert wildlife, and even wild horses.

Where did they come from?

The wild horses of the Tortolita Mountains have roamed these mountains for at least the past century. The mountains were home to the Hohokam (550 to 1540 A.D.) as evidenced by the amazing petroglyphs carved into rocks throughout the range. We also know that Spanish explorers sought mineral riches for their crown in the 1540s, and there was a short-lived mining boom in the 1860s. Then, a revised “Homestead Act” of 1862 resulted in the establishment of cattle, goat and horse ranches. Remnants of these operations still remain.

Most local ranchers believe the herd has existed since at least the 1920s and likely escaped or were let loose from mountain ranches.

Where they roam now
Today a small herd of approximately a dozen wild horses roam the Tortolita’s ridges and valleys. Between the Dove Mountain Preserve and Tortolita Mountain Park, there are more than 5,000 acres of preserve land featuring rugged peaks, gullies, canyons, grasslands and washes to explore on foot, horseback and mountain bike.

Located just past the main entrance to The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, the Wild Burro Trail is the main connection to the largest network of trails throughout the park.

Wild horses galloping through the desert


An inspired lifestyle
Dove Mountain has a rich and cherished history. From prehistoric times through cowboy days and into modern times, the community is dedicated to preserving wild lands as a part of Dove Mountain’s inspired lifestyle.

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