Where possible we will be adhering to social distancing.

Bird Walk

Granite Mountain Trailhead 31402 N. 136th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Bird Walk at Granite Mountain Trailhead Join Kathe Anderson and Rick Pearce on this 2 hour walk for a good chance to see some of our year-round bird residents such as: cactus wren, gila woodpecker, ladder-backed woodpecker, Harris’s hawk, Verdin or Say’s Phoebe - as well as some seasonal arrivals. Bathrooms at trailhead. Bring water

Nature as Therapy

Brown's Ranch Trailhead 30301 N. Alma School Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Nature as Therapy Walk at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead  Lost your mojo?  Not as creative as you used to be?  Do you have a feeling of malaise?  Join Toni Vallee and Katy Lindberg on a 1.5 hour easy walk where we provide tools and a prescription to help you use nature to improve your happiness, creativity

Sonoran Sundays: Yvonne Massman, Scat and Skulls

Gateway Trailhead 18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy., Scottsdale, AZ

Come join Yvonne Massman for a fun and informative presentation as she gives us “the scoop on poop” and an exploration of animal skulls found in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. You’ll learn to identify various types of scat and discover key differences in the skulls of predators versus prey.

Hike with Natural Resources Coordinator

Brown's Ranch Trailhead 30301 N. Alma School Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Hike with Natural Resources Coordinator at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead  Spend about 2 hours on an easy hike with John Loleit, the Natural Resources Coordinator, as he discusses various pertinent topics while hiking in the desert.  The material will depend on the season, animals, plants, and will cover whatever is happening in this wonderful environment.  Bathrooms

Granite Mountain to Hawknest Trail Fitness Hike

Granite Mountain Trailhead 31402 N. 136th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Granite Mountain Trailhead to Hawknest Trail Fitness This Very Difficult hike will travel 11 miles over about 5-6 hours from the trailhead to the Preserve’s border with the Tonto National Forest and back. Bring plenty of water and snacks or even a trail-appropriate lunch. Experienced hikers suggested. Bathrooms available at the trailhead. No dogs please. 

Women’s Bike Ride

Granite Mountain Trailhead 31402 N. 136th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Women’s Bike Ride from Granite Mountain Trailhead.  This all woman’s bike ride is a Intermediate Skill level ride and Vigorous Cardio around the Granite mountain loop and beyond.   This is again a step up in intensity from the previous Woman’s Ride.   It is a “No Drop” ride meaning no one will be left behind.  Plan

Arthropod Educational Walk

Brown's Ranch Trailhead 30301 N. Alma School Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Arthropod Educational Walk at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead  Spiders, scorpions, bugs!  6 legged, 8 legged, and many legged!  About 84% of all animal species are arthropods. Join Dr. Rich Cochran on an easy 2 hour walk to discover the fascinating and diverse world of Arthropods and their role in the ecology of the Sonoran Desert.  Bathrooms

Bike Ride with Natural Resources Coordinator

Brown's Ranch Trailhead 30301 N. Alma School Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Bike Ride with Natural Resources Coordinator at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead.  Ride to some great places with John Loleit as he discusses the wonders of the desert preserve. This Beginner+ Skills and Moderate Cardio ride will have numerous stops but still cover 6 miles in 2 hours.  Seeing it from a bike gives you a bigger

Missions, Massacres, and Plagues

Fraesfield Trailhead 13400 East Rio Verde Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Missions, Massacres & Plagues Educational Hike at Fraesfield Trailhead. Moderate level hike. Revisit three hundred years of European-Native American contacts and conflicts, from Coronado to the Alamo (1540-1850). Join Don Meserve, expert Archaeologist and Historic Preservationist for about 3 hours covering 4 miles. Bathrooms available at the trailhead. Bring water and snacks for the trail.

Tom’s Thumb to Lookout Mtn. Fitness Hike

Tom’s Thumb Trailhead 23015 N. 128th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Tom’s Thumb Trailhead to Lookout Mt. Fitness Hike This Very Difficult hike has a steep trail with amazing rock formations. For Experienced hikers.  5.8 miles including a 1,200 ft. elevation gain over about 3.5 hours. Bathrooms available at the trailhead. Bring water and snacks for the trail. No dogs please.  Arrive 15 minutes before start

Sensing the Desert Family Educational Hike

Gateway Trailhead 18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy., Scottsdale, AZ

Sensing the Desert Family Educational Hike at Gateway Trailhead  What do you see?  Can you smell that?  Did you hear something?  Use your senses to make the desert come alive on this fun and active Family Hike.  Be ready to really experience so much of what the desert has to offer.  Allow 1 1/2 to

Quartz Trail from Lost Dog Wash Fitness Hike

Lost Dog Wash Trailhead 12601 N. 124th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Quartz Trail from Lost Dog Trailhead Fitness Hike  This Very Difficult hike will visit the quartz formation that can be seen for miles all over Scottsdale. The hike covers 9 miles in about 5 hours with significant elevation gains on rocky trails. Experienced hikers suggested. Bathrooms available at the trailhead. Bring water, snacks and even

More Pie Please

Lost Dog Wash Trailhead 12601 N. 124th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

More Pie Please Fitness Hike at Lost Dog Trailhead  Join Steve Dodd on this Moderate hike to burn off some calories with family and friends and you won’t feel a bit guilty about having that second piece of pie!  2.5 miles over about 1.5 hours and some ups and downs. Bathrooms available at the trailhead.

Bike the South from Lost Dog Wash Trailhead

Lost Dog Wash Trailhead 12601 N. 124th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Bike the South from Lost Dog Wash Trailhead Come ride the southern preserve trails.  This is an Advanced Skill and Vigorous Cardio level ride of about 15 miles in 2.5 – 3 hours. We will ride over Taliesin Overlook to the Levee loop and possibly up the Quartz trail.  This is a good ride to

Lifecycle of the Saguaro

Granite Mountain Trailhead 31402 N. 136th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Lifecycle of the Saguaro Education Hike at Granite Mountain Trailhead Native only to the Sonoran Desert, these giant cacti are a sight to see! Join PastFinders Don Brockway and Chris Crum to follow the growth of a Saguaro from seed to skeleton and view multi-armed, old Saguaros. This Moderate hike covers 4 miles in about

Marcus Landslide Educational Ride

Tom’s Thumb Trailhead 23015 N. 128th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Marcus Landslide Educational Ride from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead We will ride to Marcus Landslide and into the County Park to see the landslide from various viewpoints.  This Intermediate Skills and Vigorous Cardio ride covers some significant elevation changes over 3.5 hours.  However, there will be numerous stops to discuss and observe the geology of the

Sonoran Sundays: Arthropods

Gateway Trailhead 18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy., Scottsdale, AZ

Master Steward Rich Cochran will present an in-depth talk on some of the fascinating insects and  arachnids that inhabit our Sonoran Desert. An expert on arthropods, Rich will provide an up-close look  at some fun and interesting species from his vast collection, including a Tarantula Wasp, a Giant Desert  Hairy Scorpion, and more.

Desert Origins and Adaptations Educational Hike

Brown's Ranch Trailhead 30301 N. Alma School Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Desert Origins and Adaptations Educational Hike at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. Why is the Sonoran Desert here?  Join Frank Romaglia as he examines how climate and geomorphology interact to create a desert. He’ll compare and contrast North American deserts, then focus on our Sonoran home and some adaptations necessary to survive this harsh environment. This Moderate

Hike with Natural Resources Coordinator

Granite Mountain Trailhead 31402 N. 136th Street, Scottsdale, AZ

Hike with Natural Resources Coordinator at Granite Mountain Trailhead  Spend about 2 hours on an easy hike with John Loleit, the Natural Resources Coordinator, as he discusses various pertinent topics while hiking in the desert.  The material will depend on the season, animals, plants, and will cover whatever is happening in this wonderful environment.   Bathrooms

High Desert – Broken Spoke – Hawksnest – Buckshot Trails

Brown's Ranch Trailhead 30301 N. Alma School Road, Scottsdale, AZ

High Desert, Broken Spoke, Hawknest and Buckshot Trails Fitness Hike from Brown’s Ranch Trailhead This Very Difficult hike will allow you to explore some of the remote trails in the northwest area of the Preserve. 9.3 miles for about 5 hours with rolling hills. Experience hikers suggested.  Bathrooms available at the trailhead. Bring water, snacks,