Paths & Trails
Bicycling in Scottsdale
Scottsdale has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Gold Level for 2011-2019.
The Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign is an awards program that recognizes municipalities that actively support bicycling. A Bicycle-Friendly Community provides safe accommodation for cycling and encourages its residents to bike for transportation and recreation.
Bicycling is a good, clean and fun way to get around town. Riding your bike reduces pollution and eases congestion. Studies show almost half of the pollution emitted by cars occurs when the engine is cold, within the first few miles, usually the length of a short trip that could easily be taken by bike.
Bicycling is good for the environment and good for your health. Increased exercise helps reduce stress, tones the body and clears the mind. Try riding your bike to work! Even one day a week can make a big difference for yourself and for the community.
For an overview of bike paths and lanes in Scottsdale and the Valley of the Sun, go to the interactive Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Bike Map.
The Indian Bend Wash Shared-Use Path Map (PDF) shows parks and connections along the Indian Bend Wash.
The Bicycle Element (PDF) of the Transportation Master Plan contains the planned improvements for bicycle system and facilities.
For more information about specific rules and regulations related to Scottsdale's multi-use pathways, please visit the Multi-use Path Ordinance (PDF).
Mountain Vista Self-Guided Bike Tour
The City of Scottsdale recently debuted the first of several planned self-guided bicycle tours. Called the Mountain Vista route, the 2.3 mile loop begins and ends at Main Street and Brown Avenue. The route includes two stops where mountain views are framed with interpretive panels that tell stories of the mountains on display. The route was a collaborative effort between the city’s Transportation, Tourism & Events and Economic Development departments, as well as the police bicycle unit. The frame that views the McDowell Mountains was installed along the south bank of the Arizona Canal. The Camelback Mountain frame was installed at 68th Street and the Arizona Canal. Green bike route signs are installed throughout the route. Two other self-guided bike routes are under development.
Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve covers 30,000 acres with over 120 miles of trails.
Pinnacle Peak Park has a trail for hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing.
Florence Ely Nelson Desert Park has a desert botanical nature trail.
George "Doc" Cavalliere Park has a ¾ mile loop trail.
McCormick Railroad Park has a nature trail in the Arboretum at the southeast corner of the park, which displays low-water use plants.
Mescal Park has a trail for hikers and horseback riders. The path around the park is mile.
Nature Park has a nature trail that runs along the Arizona Canal.
Stonegate Equestrian Park has a nature trail.
Are you a courteous trail user? The universal rule of trail courtesy is for all trail users to yield the right-of-way to horses, and for bicycle riders to yield to all other types of users.
When approaching a person on horseback, speak in a soft voice to alert the horse and rider of your presence. Users of Scottsdale trails are reminded that all users are on the trail for the same reason—to enjoy the outdoors and the beauty of the Sonoran desert.
Did you know that you could be fined up to $250 for driving a motorized vehicle on a non-paved trail in the City of Scottsdale? Scottsdale Ordinance 17-62 prohibits the use of motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, on Scottsdale's trails and Preserve lands.
By obeying this law you will help eliminate conflicts with other trail users such as equestrians, and help reduce negative impacts on adjacent property owners. Know the rules, obey all signs, and please act responsibly!
Arizona Canal Multiuse Path Improvements
The City of Scottsdale is currently in the process of designing improvments to the Multiuse Path along the Arizona Canal between Chaparral Road and Indian Bend Wash path which is adjacent to Indian Bend Road.
The project will include a desert colored concrete path, landscape enhancements, connections to neighborhoods, pedestrian bridges over the canal at Jackrabbit Road and Silverado Golf Club, enhanced pedestrian crossings at Chaparral and McDonald roads and possible public art.
The path will enhance mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the region and provide connectivity to Papago Park, the Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Gardens, Tempe Town Lake and the Indian Bend Wash path system.
The cities of Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale have been working to complete a 17-mile regional pathway system that includes segments of the Sun Circle, Papago and Rio Salado trails and the Indian Bend Wash path. Once constructed, this project will complete Scottsdale’s portion of the 17-mile loop.
Improvements to this segment of the AZ Canal Multi-use Path are included in the City of Scottsdale Transportation Master Plan, the MAG Regional Off-Street System Plan and the Maricopa County Regional Trail System Plan. The project is utilizing both the City of Scottsdale and federal funding through the CMAQ air quality project process.
Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Trails & Trailheads
Hours & Rules
The Preserve is open everyday, sunrise to sunset, free of charge. Preserve hours information is available for your convenience. Please observe all rules and regulations, including no alcohol, smoking or fires.
Dogs are welcome in the Preserve and must be leashed at all times. Dog waste must be picked up and disposed of in a trash receptacle immediately.
Permits are required for any group larger than 34, all commercial activity including filming and photography. Call 480-312-7013 for more information.
Guided Hikes and Events
For information on guided hikes of Scottsdale's Preserve, visit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's website.
The City of Scottsdale coordinates all activities involving the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. For more information call: 480-312-7013
City of Scottsdale - Transportation
7447 E. Indian School Rd., Suite 205
Scottsdale, AZ 85251