McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Beginning on Feb. 23, 2017, maintenance work will be occurring on the portion of the Tom’s Thumb Trail from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead to Tom’s Thumb. Work will occur only on week days, and we anticipate it lasting for approximately 3 weeks. During this period, the trail will be open for public use, but you may experience delays of up to 5 minutes along the trail. Thank you for your patience.
Beginning on February 1, 2017, the northern face of Tom’s Thumb is temporarily closed to public access to protect sensitive birds of prey in that area. THE TOM’S THUMB TRAIL REMAINS OPEN. Please see the flyer for more information.
The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a large, permanently protected, sustainable desert habitat.
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.