If you’re looking to enjoy nature and get some exercise, there are plenty of Scottsdale hiking trails to choose from. From serene walks to challenging terrain, Scottsdale hiking trails have something to offer every type of visitor and ability.
Lost Dog Wash Trailhead
Located in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Lost Dog Wash is one of the most popular Scottsdale hiking trails that follows an old Jeep route. What draws so many visitors is the spectacular views of Pinnacle Peak and the Camelback Mountains, but also Taliesin West - the famous winter home and school of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. As a moderately difficult trail, you can expect less than 400 feet total elevation but the out-and-back length of 5 miles can be a challenge to see the remarkable views.
The Fraesfield Trailhead offers plenty of fun for hikers, horse riding, and mountain bikers. Enjoy scenic views of the untamed nature that makes up the McDowell Sonoran Preserve’ northern area.
There are two options for trails to hike: a 4.7 mile loop hike or a Three Trails Hike of only 3 miles. Both trails feature a 300 ft. elevation gain, so this can be a perfect challenge for inexperienced hikers. Be forewarned that there are no services, so bring plenty of water during the warmer months.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Loop Trail
Looking to enjoy solitude and serenity in Scottsdale? Then the Gateway Loop Trail is an ideal choice to get away from it all while getting some exercise. The desert trail is only 4.5 miles with a moderate elevation gain of 655 ft., but the true attraction is enjoying the restorative nature. Services are available half a mile from the start of the loop trail with abundant parking.
Go John Trail
The 6 miles that comprise the Go John Trail are a nature-lovers delight. Located within Cave Creek Regional Park, enjoy jasper-studded hills with views of Spur Cross Ranch. Bring a camera to snap sightings of the trails’s varied fauna, like hummingbirds, desert tortoises, and scorpions. Camping is available within the park and has full services, like showers and clean bathrooms.