Paths & Trails
Bicycling in Scottsdale
Scottsdale has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Gold Level for 2011-2023.
The Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign is an awards program that recognizes municipalities that actively support bicycling. A Bicycle-Friendly Community provides safe accommodation for cycling and encourages its residents to bike for transportation and recreation.
Bicycling is a good, clean and fun way to get around town. Riding your bike reduces pollution and eases congestion. Studies show almost half of the pollution emitted by cars occurs when the engine is cold, within the first few miles, usually the length of a short trip that could easily be taken by bike.
Bicycling is good for the environment and good for your health. Increased exercise helps reduce stress, tones the body and clears the mind. Try riding your bike to work! Even one day a week can make a big difference for yourself and for the community.
For an overview of bike paths and lanes in Scottsdale and the Valley of the Sun, go to the interactive Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Bike Map.
The Indian Bend Wash Shared-Use Path Map (PDF) shows parks and connections along the Indian Bend Wash.
The Bicycle Element (PDF) of the Transportation Master Plan contains the planned improvements for bicycle system and facilities.
Scottsdale Transportation submitted its application for “bike friendly” status in August to the League of American Bicyclists. The Transportation Department held two public meetings over the summer to gather input for the application and to share more about current and upcoming projects and programs related to biking in Scottsdale. The league is now asking for more input via a follow-up online survey to gain a better understanding of local bicyclists’ experiences.
For more information about specific rules and regulations related to Scottsdale's multi-use pathways, please visit the Multi-use Path Ordinance (PDF).
For more information on biking safely and comfortably, check out the League of American Bicyclists' "Smart Cycling" videos.
For information specific to bicycle commuting in Scottsdale, please see our Bike Commuting Tips information sheet.
Friend of Bicycles Program
The Friend of Bicycles Program helps businesses become more bike friendly and attract more bike riders to their businesses. To enroll in the program, please fill out an assessment.
Valley Bike Month
April, with its typically beautiful biking weather, is Valley Bike Month. As part of the festivities, Scottsdale provides a guided "Cycle the Arts" tour and participates in the valley-wide Bike to Work Day.
Cycle the Arts
As part of Valley Bike Month, Scottsdale Transportation and Scottsdale Public Art team up for a bicycle tour of public art around Scottsdale. Designed for bike riders and art enthusiasts of varied experience levels, volunteers lead small groups of cyclists on a public art tour around the city. The ride routes and art featured are different every year, so the event is fun for Cycle the Arts newbies and veterans alike.
This year's ride will begin at the Museum of the West at 9 a.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.), and the ride will be between five and seven miles. Check back soon for more information.
Bike to Work Day
Join hundreds of others across the Valley for Bike to Work. Stations are set up around Scottsdale 6:30 to 9 a.m. with free water, drinks, snacks, bike maps and free T-shirts for Bike to Work Day participants. Station locations will be listed closer to the event date. Interested in sponsoring a station? Email Susan Conklu or call her at 480-312-2308 for more information.
Mountain Vista Self-Guided Bike Tour
The City of Scottsdale recently debuted the first of several planned self-guided bicycle tours. Called the Mountain Vista route, the 2.3 mile loop begins and ends at Main Street and Brown Avenue. The route includes two stops where mountain views are framed with interpretive panels that tell stories of the mountains on display. The route was a collaborative effort between the city’s Transportation, Tourism & Events and Economic Development departments, as well as the police bicycle unit. The frame that views the McDowell Mountains was installed along the south bank of the Arizona Canal. The Camelback Mountain frame was installed at 68th Street and the Arizona Canal. Green bike route signs are installed throughout the route. Two other self-guided bike routes are under development.
Bicycle and Related Devices Ordinance
The Scottsdale City Council voted 6 - 1 to adopt changes to the bicycle ordinance. The changes took effect Dec. 13, 2018 and include guidelines for riding and parking private and dockless bicycles, electric bicycles and stand-up electric mini-scooters.
Scottsdale Bicycle Station Study
The city of Scottsdale is conducted a study to evaluate and recommend locations and amenities for bicycle parking options south of Indian Bend Road. Please see our bicycle station study webpage for more information.
Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve covers 30,000 acres with over 120 miles of trails.
Pinnacle Peak Park has a trail for hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing.
Florence Ely Nelson Desert Park has a desert botanical nature trail.
George "Doc" Cavalliere Park has a ¾ mile loop trail.
McCormick Railroad Park has a nature trail in the Arboretum at the southeast corner of the park, which displays low-water use plants.
Mescal Park has a trail for hikers and horseback riders. The path around the park is mile.
Nature Park has a nature trail that runs along the Arizona Canal.
Stonegate Equestrian Park has a nature trail.
Trails Master Plan
Are you a courteous trail user? 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. Users of Scottsdale trails are reminded that all users are on the trail for the same reason—to enjoy the outdoors and the beauty of the Sonoran desert.
Did you know that you could be fined up to $250 for driving a motorized vehicle on a non-paved trail in the City of Scottsdale? Scottsdale Ordinance 17-62 prohibits the use of motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, on Scottsdale's trails and Preserve lands.
By obeying this law you will help eliminate conflicts with other trail users such as equestrians, and help reduce negative impacts on adjacent property owners. Know the rules, obey all signs, and please act responsibly!
Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Trails & Trailheads
Hours & Rules
The Preserve is open everyday, sunrise to sunset, free of charge. Preserve hours information is available for your convenience. Please observe all rules and regulations, including no alcohol, smoking or fires.
Dogs are welcome in the Preserve and must be leashed at all times with a leash length of 6 feet or less. Dog waste must be picked up and disposed of in a trash receptacle immediately.
Permits are required for any group larger than 34, all commercial activity including filming and photography. Call 480-312-7013 for more information.
Guided Hikes and Events
For information on guided hikes of Scottsdale's Preserve, visit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's website.
The City of Scottsdale coordinates all activities involving the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. For more information call: 480-312-7013
City of Scottsdale - Transportation
7447 E. Indian School Rd., Suite 205
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Active Transportation Map
Scottsdale’s Active Transportation Map showcases the city’s trails and bikeways. The waterproof, tear-proof map can be found at Scottsdale libraries, bike shops and community centers, or it can also be delivered to your home for free. Contact Jennifer Banks at email@example.com or 480-312-7517 to order your copy now.