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Preserve Update

October 2014

Preserve MonthCelebrate Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve at free Oct. 18 event

October is McDowell Sonoran Preserve Month. To celebrate, Scottsdale is hosting a free community event from 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 18 at the Browns Ranch Trailhead, 30301 N. Alma School Parkwaylinks to external site. Learn the history of the preserve effort from local historian Joan Fudala. Walk the ½ mile long Jane Rau interpretive trail featuring interactive stations that explain the area’s ecology. For those wanting a longer adventure a guided hike will be available lead by the Executive Director of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. Come out and share a beautiful morning and enjoy your preserve.

Dogs in the PreserveKeep Your Dog Safe While Enjoying the Preserve

  • Choose a hike within your dog's ability.
  • Your dog's exertion should be minimal above 90 degrees.
  • Dogs overheat easily, the temperature at the end of your hike matters.
  • Carry enough water for both you and your dog.
  • Check for cracks, punctures, or sores on the pads of your dog's feet.
  • Keep on lead and close at all times.
  • Watch for intense panting as this could be a sign of excessive heat.
  • Always clean up after your dog and throw it in the trash

Click for detailNorthern Preserve Trail Planning

Over the last several weeks, the City of Scottsdale has been working with a group of Preserve trail users to provide feedback and share ideas on expectations for trails in the Phase 2C area (yellow area on map) of the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The group includes equestrians, hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners familiar with this area. This group has drafted a trail corridor plan for the area. The City has scheduled two open houses to share this information with the public and to get feedback on the draft plan.

Thursday October 2, 6-8 p.m.
Florence Ely Nelson Desert Park
8950 E. Pinnacle Peak Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255links to external site

Saturday October 4, 8-11 a.m.
Browns Ranch Trailhead
30301 N. Alma School Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85262links to external site


You can share your thoughts on the corridor plan at the open house or by utilizing this form.

Why did the rain close the Preserve on Sept. 8?

The Sonoran Desert is a unique place with conditions changing in minutes from dry wash channels to raging flood waters.  In order to protect our trail users and our trails the Preserve trailheads were closed on Sept. 8 and reopened Sept. 9 after staff and volunteers had a chance to assess conditions. Storm damage work assessment is still happening on the 133 miles of the Preserve trails with work projects being scheduled to address storm damage. Overall the Preserve trails held up well. Pinnacle Peak Trail was not quite so lucky:

Pinnacle Peak Trail Before      Trail Repair After 
Before     After

The storm on Sept. 8 washed out large areas of Pinnacle Peak Trail, creating some big ruts, unstable terrain and a few unsafe and precarious places.

The trail crew – two city staff supported by volunteers – spent many hours and several days making repairs and installing six steps where the trail was a complete wash out.

Their hard work that got this very popular trail back in operation by Thursday afternoon.