McDowell Sonoran Preserve
GRANITE MOUNTAIN TRAILHEAD - CLOSED APRIL 29 TO MAY 9, 2019
The Granite Mountain Trailhead will be closed to all public access from April 29 - May 9, 2019 for construction of the main entrance. To improve access to this area of the Preserve, the Fraesfield Trailhead will go back to operating 7 days per week on April 29. During the Granite Mountain closure, you can access the northern region of the Preserve at the Brown’s Ranch, Pima Dynamite, and Fraesfield Trailheads. The trails in the vicinity of the Granite Mountain Trailhead will remain open for those traversing the trail system in the area, but the trailhead will be closed to all public access and parking.
FRAESFIELD TRAILHEAD - OPEN WEEKENDS ONLY THROUGH APRIL 29, 2019
The Fraesfield Trailhead at the City of Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve will be open only on weekends through the spring of 2019. The trailhead will be closed on weekdays for construction of restrooms and other trailhead support amenities. During the weekday closure, visitors may access the Preserve from a variety of other Preserve trailheads. The City of Scottsdale thanks you for your patience.
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.
New Trailhead Improvements
The City of Scottsdale is moving forward with design and construction of improvements to three trailheads in the northern region of the Preserve.
Construction of restrooms, paved parking, equestrian staging areas and other support amenities is currently underway at the Granite Mountain and Fraesfield Trailheads. The Granite Mountain Trailhead will remain open for public use during most of the construction period, however a short duration closure is anticipated in the spring of 2019. Details will be posted at the top of this page when they are available. Please observe all posted signs, as access routes and parking areas may be temporarily redirected. The Fraesfield Trailhead will be closed to public access on weekdays and open on weekends through the spring of 2019. Construction of both trailheads is anticipated to be complete in summer 2019.
The City of Scottsdale is also moving forward with design and construction of the Pima Dynamite Trailhead located on the northeast corner of Pima Road and Dynamite Boulevard. This trailhead will provide parking and support amenities for public recreational access to the extensive network of trails in the northern region of the Preserve for hiking, biking, trail running, and horseback riding. Construction is expected to begin in 2019, and completed in early 2020.
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
Lost Dog Wash TrailheadDetails
|Introduction||Gateway||Tom's Thumb||Brown's Ranch|
|Preserve Introduction||Gateway Trailhead||Tom's Thumb Trailhead||Brown's Ranch Trailhead|
|Southern Mountain Region||Gateway Loop Trail||Marcus Landslide||Jane Rau Trail|
|Bajada Nature Trail|
|Saguaro Loop Trail|
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:
- 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.
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
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
A Special Use Permit is required for special activities and organized events including professional photography and filming, special events, weddings and other ceremonies, and community club activities such as group hikes and rides. Please fill out a special use permit request form to begin the process. It typically takes 7 to 10 business days for a permit to be issued. Call 480-312-7013 for more information or read the Preserve's Special Use Guidelines. (PDF)
Guiding is allowed in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with a permit. The application for the 2019-20 guiding season is now available. Applications will be due by May 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.
Upon approval of an application, a permit fee of $150 must be paid, plus pre-paid use days equal to $3.50 per client and a $10 Administrative Fee. Permits will be valid from Aug. 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020. Please read the Preserve's Guidelines for Guiding Permits (PDF) for more information.
For information on guided hikes of Scottsdale's Preserve, visit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.