McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trailhead
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
In 1995, Scottsdale residents voted to set aside five square miles of undeveloped city land as protected open space. Today, the 27,800-acres McDowell Sonoran Preserve is provides an opportunity for adventure. Hiking, biking, and rock climbing can be undertaken as a DIY activities, or you can take to the trails with local guides from Arizona Outback Adventures and learn all about the desert along the way. Because most of the creatures that live in this desert habitat are more active at night than during the heat of the day, the best time to view animals is on early morning or evening hikes.
By Katarina Kovacevic, AFAR Local Expert
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Sonoran Living Desert
Located just outside Phoenix and Scottsdale is this amazing landscape that represents far more than just a barren desert, and offers plenty of hiking trails for families. Take a few hours to see this incredible living wilderness. There are numerous guides options and Experience Scottsdale offers a great list of trails. The perfect starter hike for any traveler, especially families, is the half-mile Bajada Trail near the the Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway. If your group still feels like exploring, continue along the Saguaro Loop Trail!