Storm runoff – and snow – causes Scottsdale road and trail closures

The northern section of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve has received more than 7-inches of snow, and steady rainfall throughout the city is impacting several low-lying roads and areas.

Road closures

The closures include roads and low-lying areas crossing the Indian Bend Wash, a seven-mile flood control greenbelt that runs through the heart of Scottsdale. Drivers should obey traffic signs and should not cross running water or flooded areas. Current closures include:

  • Osborn Road
  • Murray Lane at 77th Street
  • Medlock Drive at Hayden Road
  • Starlight Way at Hayden
  • Jackrabbit Road at Hayden
  • Pecos Lane at Hayden
  • Safeway Plaza entrance, at Hayden, north of Chaparral Road
  • Chaparral Park Off Leash Area
  • Chaparral Road Underpass
  • Camelback Park Multiuse Path
  • Horizon Park Dog Retention Area
  • Eldorado Park

Other flood-prone streets include:

  • Roosevelt from Miller to Hayden roads
  • 87th Street, south of Thomas Road
  • 84th Place, north of Roosevelt Street
  • Granite Reef Road, south of Roosevelt
  • Gail Road at 83rd Place
  • Scottsdale Road, north of Loop 101 Freeway
  • Pima Road, north of Pinnacle Peak Road

McDowell Sonoran Preserve closures

In addition to snow already on the ground in the northern parts of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, more is falling, and it is projected to turn into rain this afternoon. Although a beautiful picture opportunity, there are significant impacts to the preserve and the trails due to the cumulative impact of the moisture from the snow and rain. The closures listed below will allow time for trails to dry out appropriately – using them while wet and muddy can cause substantial damage.

These closures will last through the weekend; Scottsdale will update the status Monday:

  • Tom’s Thumb Trailhead
  • Brown’s Ranch Trailhead
  • Granite Mountain Trailhead
  • Fraesfield Trailhead
  • Pima/Dynamite Trailhead
  • All neighborhood access points and trails north of Deer Valley road alignment.

The following preserve trailheads remain open:

  • Gateway Trailhead
  • Lost Dog Trailhead
  • Sunrise Trailhead

Service disruptions

Trash and recycling services are suspended today in the area north and south of Happy Valley Road and east of Pima Road because of the snow. The areas missed will get service on Saturday. 

Thursday’s storm also downed trees across the city. Commuters should be aware that debris could be present on streets and sidewalks.

Additional rains are expected today. Be prepared. The city offers a variety of safety tips and resources.  

If your property is at risk for flooding, the city is offering free sandbags. Both sand and bags are available 24 hours a day for Scottsdale residents on a first-come, first-served basis near the city's north Corporation Yard, 9379 E. San Salvador.

Shovels and bags will be provided by the city, but residents are required to fill their own bags. All the supplies and equipment -- sand, bags and shovels -- are in a large roll-off refuse container.

Here are additional tips to help you stay safe during this winter storm:

During heavy rains, the safest strategy is to stay in place – remain in your home or place of business. Don’t travel unless you must. Obey all signs and avoid low-lying areas. Do not cross running water.

There are several steps residents can take to prepare for potential storms:

Stay informed. 

Use caution.

  • Obey all signs and avoid low-lying areas. Do not cross running water. More car safety tips are available here: to external site.
  • Call ahead if planning to use city parks, preserve and recreation areas. The city’s call center at 480-312-3111 will have closure information.


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