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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

WARNING - DANGEROUS HEAT

For your safety, avoid outdoor activities all together, or schedule them for the early morning hours. Drink plenty of water before and during your activity, and wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing.  Leave your dog at home, as they are not able to cool themselves by sweating and can quickly be overtaken by the heat.

Powerline construction underway in McDowell Sonoran Preserve's northern region. Arizona Public Service (APS) is building an overhead 69 KV powerline within the power transmission easement. Trail closures will occur at various locations this summer along the route of the new powerline. View current trail closures and access restrictions.

The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a large, permanently protected, sustainable desert habitat that includes an interconnected network of non-motorized, multi-use trails (hike/bike/horse) accessed from multiple trailhead locations.

Plan Your Visit to the Preserve

View/Download

SOUTH AREA MAP  (PDF) - Watch Video
Gateway, Tom's Thumb, Lost Dog Wash, Sunrise, Ringtail Trailheads

CENTRAL AREA MAP (PDF)
Gooseneck Trail - Fraesfield Trailhead to Tom's Thumb Trailhead

NORTH AREA MAP (PDF) - Watch Video
Brown's Ranch, Granite Mountain, Fraesfield Trailheads

Pickup Hardcopy

You can pickup hard copies at any of the trailhead locations or at:

Community Services Office
7447 E. Indian School Rd. Suite 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Brown's Ranch Trailhead - Watch Video
30301 N. Alma School Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85262
33° 45' 41.70"N, 111° 50' 32.06"W
Parking, restrooms, shade ramadas, interpretive signage, water, horse trailer parking, hitching rails, water trough, accessible Jane Rau Nature Trail
Fraesfield Trailhead
13400 East Rio Verde Dr. Scottsdale, AZ 85262
33° 44' 36.98"N, 111° 47' 35.21"W
Car and horse trailer parking, no drinking water
Planned Trailhead Improvements
Gateway Trailhead - Watch Video
18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy. Scottsdale, AZ 85255
33° 38' 56.23"N, 111° 51' 32.96"W
Parking, restrooms, shade ramadas, water, accessible Bajada Nature Trail, horse-trailer parking, hitching rails, water trough, interpretive signage
Granite Mountain Trailhead
31402 N. 136th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85262
33° 46' 12.52"N, 111° 47' 18.14"W
Car and horse trailer parking, no drinking water
Planned Trailhead Improvements
Lost Dog Wash Trailhead
12601 N. 124th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85259
33° 35' 58.75"N, 111° 48' 46.77"W
Parking, restrooms, shade ramadas, water, horse-trailer parking, hitching rails, water trough, directional signage, accessible nature trail
Quartz Trailhead
SW corner of McDowell Mountain Ranch Rd. and 104th St.
33° 37' 37.62"N, 111° 51' 23.55"W
Parking, no drinking water
Ringtail Trailhead
12300 block of N. 128th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85259
33° 35' 56.38"N, 111° 48' 17.21"W
Parking, no drinking water
Sunrise Trailhead
12101 N. 145th Way Scottsdale, AZ 85259
33° 35' 45.72"N, 111° 46' 3.9"W
Parking, water, directional signage, limited horse-trailer parking, hitching rails, water trough, shade ramada (overflow lot)
Tom's Thumb Trailhead - Watch Video
23015 N. 128th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85255
33° 41' 21.29"N, 111° 48' 5.305"W
Car and horse trailer parking, restrooms, shade ramada, interpretive signs, no drinking water
WestWorld
15939 N. 98th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85260
33° 37' 50.1"N, 111° 52' 11.57"W
Horse-trailer parking, water trough, shade ramada, restrooms, public arenas, directional signage. Access the Preserve via the WestWorld trail to the Quartz or Taliesin Trails.

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.

Rules

Dogs in the Preserve are a privilege. If you bring your dog it is your responsibility to follow the rules:

  • If it is over 90 degrees at any time in your hike, it's too hot for your dog.
  • Dogs must be on hand held leash, no longer than 6 feet at all times.
  • Waste must be pick up immediately and 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.

Heat Warning for Dog Owners

Dogs do not actually sweat. They exchange heat through panting and to a minor degree, through their feet pads. Additionally, our canine friends do not tolerate high environmental temperatures as well as humans do.

Risk groups

The risk groups are much the same as humans: Old, obese, suffer from medical conditions or take medicine. Certain breeds are more susceptible to heat emergencies than other breeds. These breeds with a broad, short skull: Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs, etc.

Causes of heat emergency in dogs:

  • Strenuous exercise in hot, humid weather
  • Elevated temperatures from atmospheric temps and hot surface contact
  • Sidewalk/natural rock surface can radiate very high temps 
  • 90 degree atmospheric temp/ potential surface temp of 135 degrees

Warning Signs

  • Begins with heavy panting/signs of difficulty breathing
  • Tongue/gums appears bright red with thick saliva
  • Skin elasticity (when pinched, does not snap back)
  • Worsens if dog vomits, becomes unsteady, lethargic, unwilling to move (Core temp in the 104 degree range)
  • Heat Stroke:
    • lips/membranes become blue/gray
    • Rapid on-set collapse, seizure, unconsciousness and death

What to do

  • Immediate cooling of body with water, cool packs to groin, where legs meet the body, neck
  • Remove from heat immediately
  • Get to Veterinarian (Consequences of heat emergency = kidney failure, heart irregularities, other system failures, death)

Prevention

  • Know your dog’s limitations/abilities
  • Assess the environmental conditions
  • Carry plenty of water for both you and your dog
  • Cool vests and trail booties for dogs are available and are very efficient

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)

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
kekblaw@ScottsdaleAz.gov

Ruth Johnson
Admin Support
P: 480-312-2304
rjohnson@ScottsdaleAz.gov