McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Picture-perfect for those who enjoy hiking, biking or just simply strolling the tranquility of the Sonoran Desert. Located in North Scottsdale and just west of the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, the Preserve protects the beauty of this natural environment for residents and vacationers alike. At the time this article was written, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve had accumulated about 24,000 acres with an ultimate target of over 34,000 acres.
Hiking, Biking and Horseback Riding
All trails in the Preserve may be used for hiking, biking and riding your horses back into this gorgeous country. Camping is prohibited. There is a ride variety of hiking trails from very easy and short to longer and more challenging treks. Trailheads are spread around the perimeter of the Preserve, but the best way into the Preserve is through its primary Gateway east of Thompson Peak Parkway between Bell Road and Union Hills Drive.McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway
18333 North Thompson Peak Parkway
There is a spacious parking lot and a visitor center and beginning trail heads including a handicap accessible trail that is conducive to wheel chairs along a very informative nature trail. Guided hikes are available for every interest and hiking level. There are two distinct regions for mountain bikers and equestrian staging areas. The visitor center will provide trail maps, information about the Preserve and info about events that may be held at the Preserve. The trails usually open at dawn.
For More Information
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is administered by the City of Scottdale and protected by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Office. Maps are available at the Preserve trailheads or at the following places.
City of Scottsdale
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Office
Map Downloads of the Preserve
McDowell Preserve Video
Tom's Thumb Hiking Trail