Whether this is your first visit to Scottsdale or your 100th, planning a hiking trip should be high on your travel itinerary! Offering a stunning glimpse into the sheer beauty of our natural landscape while providing a fun way to counteract all the extra calories enjoyed from the Mexican restaurants, this guide to some of our favorite Scottsdale hiking areas will give you a wonderful way to fill your vacation hours. Summer visitors may want to limit any hikes to the early morning hours or plan on returning another time of the year, but we don’t think you will mind planning a returning visit!
Gateway Trailhead-McDowell Sonoran Preserve
All hikes lead to incredible views and through stunning scenery when you start at the Gateway Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Located at 18333 N Thompson Peak Parkway, parking is free, and restrooms are provided, making it a perfect family adventure day! The trailhead is the start of many beautiful hikes, all well marked for your convenience, and some of which we will talk about next.
The hike to this breathtaking spot is not the easiest, and although it is described as moderate, its rocky paths and continuous incline makes it a difficult one for those who aren’t frequent hikers or for younger children. It is definitely worth pushing yourself a little harder than you normally would, however, and the rewards at trail’s end will make you never want the hike to end!
Fraesfield Loop Trail
This hike includes segments of some of our favorite Scottsdale hiking trails, including the Whiskey Bottle Trail, Turpentine Trail, and Black Hill Trail and will take an experienced hiker about three hours to complete, so be sure to bring plenty of water! Starting at the Black Hill Trail, the elevation gain is minimal, about 300 feet, so while you may not end up with panoramic views that look over the Sonoran Desert, hikers will enjoy being immersed in the desert landscape.
Granite Mountain Loop Trail
Another trail that takes hikers along a variety of different trails, the Granite Mountain Loop Trail is a longer hike, stretching out for about 6.1 miles and lasting about three and a half hours from start to finish. Starting at the Bootlegger Trail, a scenic viewpoint that wows is located about 1.5 miles in and the trail continues in a loop around Granite Mountain.
You Deserve to Relax
After a day of hiking in Scottsdale, AZ, nothing will feel better than relaxing and unwinding in one of our I Love Scottsdale luxurious escapes! Soak in a hot tub, wash away the grime of your adventures in spacious baths, and soak up the coolness of the air conditioning, much appreciated after a day in the desert. Reserve your favorite Scottsdale vacation home today!