Of all the recreational pursuits that visitors can enjoy in the Preserve, rock climbing is likely the most dramatic and the least understood. Climbers follow a rock climbing plan that includes designated trails to historic climbing crags, associated parking lots and clear and accurate signage.
Preserve climbers use fixed bolts, which are safety devices drilled into the hard granite rock that provide a secure anchor for climbers’ ropes. Most of these bolts and climbing routes were placed long before the McDowell Mountains became part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Preserve climbers are wilderness advocates who promote the adoption within the Preserve of the National Parks’ regulations for rock climbing. These regulations include prohibitions against new installations of permanent climbing hardware, the intentional removal of lichen or plants from rocks and physical alterations of rock faces, among other guidelines. In addition, local climbers promote a small-group ethic. Classes and social climbs of more than eight people are discouraged.
Trails Of The
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers an array of fabulous desert trails and award-winning facilities. It is unique geologically and home to stunning geography, lush cacti forests and diverse wildlife. Now is a great time to explore the 30,000 acres of Sonoran Desert. Choose any of the 5 major trailheads to connect to more than 200 miles of trails of Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve.