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Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve

October is McDowell Sonoran Preserve Month
Scottsdale is hosting a free community event from 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 18 at the Browns Ranch Trailhead, 30301 N. Alma School Pkwy. 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.


Preserve History Purchase Button

The city's official history of  the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, by Joan C. Fudala.

Purchase your copy for $21.95 through Amazon Create Spacelinks to external site

Purchases benefit the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve

(Review a copy for free here - PDF/16Mb)


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

McDowell Sonoran Preserve Update - January 2014 (pdf/268kb/2pp)
Brown's Ranch Trailhead Open for Public Use
More News...

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: