Paths & Trails
Map & Resources
Scottsdale is a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community. The city received this prestigious designation in 2019 from the League of American Bicyclists and is one of only 35 gold-level cities in the U.S. Bicycle friendly communities are recognized for providing safe accommodations for cycling and encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation.
Scottsdale’s Annual Cycle the Arts event
Every spring Scottsdale hosts Cycle the Arts, a bike tour of the city’s public art collection, the event is held during Bike Month. If you were unable to attend this year’s event, consider heading out on your own or with a group of friends on a self-guided tour of Scottsdale’s public art. The 2023 event featured 10 art installations and two bike routes: a four-mile ride for beginning-level cyclists and families, and a 13-mile ride for advanced-level cyclists. Participants will need to sign an online waiver, once complete you will be sent an interactive tour map via email. You can find out more about the artwork on the tour by downloading the Hoverlay App, or by visiting the Scottsdale Public Arts information page.
Mountain Vista Self-Guided Bike Tour
The City of Scottsdale's Mountain Vista bike route is a 2.3-mile loop tour that begins and ends at Main St. and Brown Avenue in Old Town. The route includes two stops where mountain views are framed with interpretive panels that tell stories of the mountains on display. The McDowell Mountains are framed alongside the south bank of the Arizona Canal; the Camelback Mountain frame is at 68th St. and the Arizona Canal. Look for green-colored bike route signs along the route. The project was a collaboration between the city's Transportation & Streets, Tourism & Events, and Economic Development departments, and the Scottsdale Police Bicycle Unit.
Shared Use Paths
Scottsdale's Indian Bend Wash (IBW), Crosscut and Arizona Canal network of shared use paths provide fully accessible local and regional connectivity.
- Indian Bend Wash (IBW) - Greenbelt
- The IBW - Greenbelt was built in 1974 as a flood control basin, however, most of the year it serves as a gathering place hosting more than 1.4 M annual visitors. The lushly-landscaped greenbelt connects parks, lakes, golf courses, city libraries, and more. The path includes 24 grade-separated crossings allowing users to enjoy uninterrupted travel by avoiding major street crossings. The 11-mile path runs from Scottsdale's WestWorld to Tempe's Town Lake.
- Arizona Canal Paths
- At almost 70 miles long, the Arizona Canal path is one of the longest multi-use paths in Maricopa County. The path runs along both sides of the Arizona Canal and connects Scottsdale to Peoria, Glendale, Phoenix, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. One of the highlights of this path is Scottsdale's Soleri Bridge and Canal Plaza entertainment and event venue.
- Crosscut Canal
- The Crosscut Canal path intersects with the Arizona Canal path near Indian School Rd. and 64th St. in southern Scottsdale. At 4.5-miles, the path runs along the canal bank through residential areas and offers connections to Scottsdale's popular Old Town shopping and entertainment area. The path ultimately winds its way through the Papago Park recreation area and ends in Tempe.
Neighborhood Trail System
Scottsdale's neighborhood trail system provides valuable recreation and transportation opportunities for city residents and visitors. The city's unpaved trail system connects equestrians, hikers and bicyclists to schools, neighborhoods, city parks, and McDowell Sonoran Preserve trailheads. The city has 160 miles of unpaved trails with an additional 150 miles of trailways planned for future construction.
List of Unpaved Trails:
- Florence Ely Nelson Desert Park - a desert botanical nature trail
- George "Doc" Cavalliere Park - a ¾ mile loop trail
- Mescal Park - a 1 mile loop trail for hikers and horseback riders
- Nature Park - a nature trail that runs along the Arizona Canal
- Stonegate Equestrian Park - a nature trail
Trail Etiquette and Maintenance
Scottsdale residents and visitors use the city's trail system for the same reason - to enjoy the outdoors and beauty of the Sonoran desert. Please help the city maintain our trail system by obeying all signs and acting responsibly when traveling on the trails.
The universal rule of trail courtesy is for all trail users to yield the right-of-way to horses, and for bicycle riders to yield to all other types of users. When approaching a person on horseback, speak in a soft voice to alert the horse and rider of your presence.
You can be fined up to $250 for driving a motorized vehicle on an unpaved trail in the city of Scottsdale. The city prohibits the use of motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, on Scottsdale's trails and in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Information on Trail Maintenance, Property Owner Responsibility and to Request Maintenance or Report a Trail Issue can be found on the Trail Maintenance page.