Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve is like no other place in the Valley. It is unique geologically. It is home to stunning geography, lush cacti forests and diverse wildlife. It features award-winning trails and facilities.
See for yourself. Now is a great time to explore the preserve, stretched across roughly 27,800 scenic acres of Scottsdale.
The Preserve encompasses the McDowell Mountains, where recent discoveries are causing geologists to rethink how this region formed and evolved. New trails and amenities are bringing Scottsdale’s “mountains of discovery” closer to residents and visitors. Check them out!
Frequently Requested Information
Many questions about the Preserve can be answered in this guide.
Trail MapsLarge Map
-Tom's Thumb Trailhead
Pickup a map/Have a map mailed
-Sunrise to Sunset
How Do I Get There?Location and amenity information
FeesEntry into the Preserve is free
for non-commerical use.
DogsMust remain on a leash at all times
and waste must be picked up.
-Tom's Thumb Trailhead is NOW OPEN!
-McDowell Sonoran Preserve Update - September 2012
-Major Acquisitions in November 2012 Add to Preserve
-Brown's Ranch Trailhead Update
-Temporary Closure in Northern Preserve
How to Get to the Preserve
You can access the trails in the Preserve from multiple trailheads around the Preserve's perimeter.
You can pickup trail maps at the trailheads or the following locations:
|City of Scottsdale
Community Services Office
7447 E. Indian School Rd. Ste 300
|McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Office
16435 N. Scottsdale Rd. Ste 110
The maps can also be mailed to you by calling (480) 312-7013.
For information on guided tours of Scottsdale's Preserve, visit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's website at www.mcdowellsonoran.org.
From the south, take Pima Road north to Happy Valley Road east for approximately 4.25 miles, turn right (east) onto Ranch Gate Road, turn right (south) onto 128th Street, and travel for one mile to Tom’s Thumb Trailhead.
From the north, take Pima Road south to Dynamite Rd / Rio Verde Dr and and turn left (east). Turn right on 128th St and travel 3 miles south to Tom's Thumb Trailhead.
The City of Scottsdale coordinates all activities involving the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. For more information call: