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Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Gateway Trailhead Delayed Opening
On Tuesday July 28, Gateway Trailhead will not open until 8 a.m. because of construction activity. The Gateway will reopen for your use at 8 a.m. We apologize for any inconvenience during this short closure. Thank you for your support of the Preserve.

Parking is currently limited at the Gateway Trailhead due to resurfacing of the parking lot. You may want to consider accessing the Preserve at alternate locations such as the Brown’s Ranch or Tom’s Thumb Trailheads. You can find alternate trailhead locations here.

Rezoning in the Preserve
The City Council recently initiated a rezoning application to change the zoning designations to Conservation Open Space in the Environmentally Sensitive Land district (COS/ESL) on all residentially zoned properties within the Preserve. Read more

The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a permanently protected 30,200-acre sustainable desert habitat open for non-motorized trail use.


Trails & Trailheads

The Preserve currently contains approximately 120 miles of non-motorized, multi-use trails (hike/bike/horse) accessed from multiple trailheads.

Hours & Rules

The Preserve is open everyday, sunrise to sunset, free of charge. A trailhead gate schedule (pdf/82kb/1p) is available for your convenience. Please observe all rules and regulations (pdf/124kb/4pp), 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.

Latest News

Final Phase 2C Area Report

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