McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a large, permanently protected, sustainable desert habitat.
Tom’s Thumb Trail and area is fully open and accessible for rock climbing and hiking.
The temporary closure at Tom’s Thumb has been re-opened as the falcons have fully fledged and are no longer in the area. This year there were 5 beautiful off spring! Thank you so much for respecting the temporary closure, your commitment to the Preserve and it's wildlife is appreciated.
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 regulations including no alcohol, smoking or fires.
Dogs in the Preserve are a privilege. If you bring your dog it is your responsibility to follow the rules: Dogs must be on hand held leash, no longer than 6 feet at all times. Waste must be pick up immediately and either disposed of in a trash container or carried with you until you reach a trash container. Loose or bagged waste on the trail is prohibited. Please help us keep our trails open to our four-legged friends by following these rules. Don't forget to consider the temperature for your dog's safety. Dogs can not deal with heat as well as people. Sadly, every year we have situations where dogs die in the Preserve. The typical recommendation is if it is over 90 degrees at anytime in your hike, it's too hot for a dog. There are breeds that are even more sensitive as well as older, heavier dogs or young puppies.
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. It typically takes 2 to 3 weeks for a permit to be issued. 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.