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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a large, permanently protected, sustainable desert habitat.


Maricopa County Wireless Systems is in the process of adding a new 160’ tower at the Thompson Peak Communications site located in the McDowell Mountains.  The next phase of this project included extensive helicopter flights to and from the site.  This work will happen February 9, 10th and 16th.  The helicopter will begin flying around 7:30AM and will  conclude flights around 4:30PM each day.  The helicopter will transport materials from a staging area on the east side of Thompson Peak, near Dixie Mine within the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and fly directly west to the site.  This flight path will remain the same throughout the day.  



The City of Scottsdale is seeking public input on the potential of adding a small restroom at the Lower Sunrise Trailhead located at 14505 East Via Linda. Please visit the website for more information, and to complete a brief survey. 


Trail Maps & Trailheads

The Preserve has an interconnected network of non-motorized multi-use trails (hike/bike/horse) accessed from multiple trailhead locations.


Hours & Rules

The Preserve is open everyday, sunrise to sunset, free of charge. All trailheads open and close at specific times throughout the year.

Please observe all rules and regulationslinks to external site 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 special activities and all commercial and organizational events including photography and filming. Please fill out a request form to begin the process. Call 480-312-7013 for more information or read the Preserve's Special Use Guidelines. (PDF)

Guided Hikes and Events

For information on guided hikes of Scottsdale's Preserve, visit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.links to external site

Contact Information

Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve
7447 E. Indian School Rd. Suite 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
P: 480-312-7013

Kroy Ekblaw
Preserve Director
P: 480-312-7064

Liz Hildenbrand-Crossman
Preserve Manager
P: 480-312-2778