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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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

IMPORTANT!  The Tom’s Thumb Trailhead will be closed on Tuesday, December 1 for a helicopter airlift of rock on to the Tom’s Thumb Trail. All trails accessed from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead will also be closed, including Caballo Trail, Marcus Landslide Trail west of the ML7 junction, Feldspar Trail, Mesquite Canyon Trail, and the Tom’s Thumb Trail from the trailhead building south to the EE1 junction.  The Tom’s Thumb Trailhead and associated trails will re-open on Wednesday, December 2 at 6:44am.  We appreciate your patience during this short closure.


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