Conservancy guided hikes add an interpretive dimension to your outdoor experience.

Explore places you'll remember for a lifetime.


Guided Hiking

Hike with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy!  Our stewards can point out some of the Preserve’s secrets, things you may not notice on your own.  Guides explore all Preserve trails and share information about a variety of topics during hikes throughout the year. 

There are hikes for almost every interest and hiking level and there are Private Guided Interpretive Hikes for small and large groups. We take our time, stop often to talk about what we see, and admire the beauty of our surroundings.  No-cost guided hikes are scheduled from mid-October through April - you can check dates and times on the events section on our website.  Click our Events page.  We also offer private guided hikes for adult and children groups.  Please contact Kathy Dwyer for more information at 480-998-7971, ex 106.

Please note:  Dogs are welcome in the Preserve but only service dogs are permitted on guided hikes.  Please wear appropriate shoes and bring plenty of water!

Private Guided Interpretive Hikes

The McDowell Mountains and surrounding Sonoran Desert are a source of beauty and wonderment.  From the earliest hunter-gathers through the ranching era to todays modern Preserve, the region has maintained its majesty and mystery.  Those who experience Private Guided Interpretive Hikes hosted by McDowell Sonoran Conservancy stewards will see the desert in a new perspective.

Our stewards will provide information about the history of the area along with education covering unique cacti and desert vegetation, along with discussing unique adaptions of animals that make the desert their home.  We will point out seasonal blooms, migratory birds, and describe how those who settled this land thrived.

Bring your camera and your curiosity, and leave with memories and images of this majestic landscape.

Private Guided Interpretive Hikes for small to large groups range, from one-to-two hour moderate nature walks to three hour challenging mountain hikes.  Click here for the Private Guided Interpretive Hike brochure and rates. For more information contact Kathy Dwyer at (480) 998-7971 Ext. 106.

Discovery Hikes

Children, especially, need to get outdoors, for their health and for the health of our community. Take a child hiking, explore the wonders of nature, and pass on the importance of caring for the outdoors. The more children become familiar with the Preserve, the better the prospects for their support of natural areas in the future.  Don’t know where to go hiking in Scottsdale?  Join the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy on Discovery Hikes in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  These hikes are a perfect blend of fun and learning, and perfect for all ages.  Hikers enjoy stories about the ways native peoples used desert plants for their food, shelter, rituals and medicine, and are able to then picture themselves living during that time.  Some also learn how to identify animal tracks, while others participate in a treasure hunt for signs of wildlife.  Join us for free fun and bring your family and friends!

Wellness Hikes

In today’s world filled with so much time spent in front of a computer screen, it’s imperative that people get moving.  Our wellness hikes are a perfect opportunity to take that first step, with many designed for hikers who are just getting started. Tai Chi, amazing views and a great sense of well-being will also get you feeling great!  Join volunteer stewards as they lead these guided hikes throughout the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a wilderness area close to home. 

Holiday Hikes

The fall season brings many holidays and lots of delicious food. Join us in the Preserve for a little holiday-oriented fun and work off that Halloween candy or extra piece of pumpkin pie, too!  Holiday hikes are perfect for the whole family, so bring your kids and out-of-town visitors on these fun-filled desert walks.

Holiday hikes are scheduled from late November through early January.