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Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Temporary Trailhead Closure
The 136th Street Trailhead, located on the south side of the McDowell Mountains, will be closed until late 2015.

The city of Scottsdale Water Resources Division is working to upgrade a water pump station located at the 136th Street Trailhead. The trailhead will be closed during the construction project, which is expected to continue through late 2015.

As part of the water pump station upgrade, the city will be adding additional parking spaces at the trailhead, ultimately improving access for trail users when the project is complete.

During this closure, you can access the Preserve at the Sunrise, Lost Dog Wash, or Ringtail Trailheads.

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