McDowell Sonoran Preserve Adventures

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The McDowell Mountains rise above the city of Scottsdale, four thousand foot peaks nestled on over 30,000 acres of protected land called the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The REI Co-op’s Adventure Center in Arizona, home to tour operations and bike rental shop, is just a short distance away from the Gateway Trailhead, making it a favorite start for hiking adventures and or advanced mountain biking excursions. The preserve boasts more trailheads a short drive away from the Adventure Center that offer better beginner and moderate mountain bike options.

The Preserve is a great place to go see the iconic giant saguaro cactus and to experience the desert up close and personal. Most of the trails in the preserve are multi-use trails where you are likely to see hikers, bikers, and even equestrians using the s ame trail. No visit to Scottsdale is complete without experiencing this incredible wilderness right within the city limits. There are numerous trailheads, and the main access points have first-class facilities with interpretive volunteers, bathrooms, signage, and ADA accessible trails at Gateway Trailhead and Lost Dog Trailhead. The Brown’s Ranch Trailhead offers sweeping views of Arizona’s 7,000 ft tall Four Peaks as well as easy and moderate hikes and mountain bike routes for adventurers with less experience.