Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve

As with all things, education has opened my mind, and exploration has opened my eyes. Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve has taught this Oregonian snowbird a lot about something I once only considered barren, dusty and dangerous: the desert. Thanks to two accessible nature trails, a brave new world has seeped into my soul. Where I formally saw only prickly cacti, countless shades of dirt, and a playground to rattlesnakes, tarantulas and javelina, I now marvel at a wildlife habitat that is both wondrous and exceedingly beautiful.

On every scooter ride to and through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, I notice something different: a dash of color here, a jackrabbit there, the song of indigenous bird spiriting from a saguaro to the thicket of pungent sage, or the wind gently rustling the dried pods of yet another plant I’ve never seen before. I feel peaceful, alive, and a strong sense of gratitude for the stewards of this landscape.

So far, my favourite wheelchair/scooter accessible nature trails are the Jane Rau Trail (located at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead) and the Bajada Nature Trail (located at the Gateway Trailhead). Both nature trails have hard packed surfaces and informational signage.


Making Accessibility Happen

Every city wants your business. Let them know what you need, want and appreciate in order to make that business happen.

The above post was sent to:

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and

City of Scottsdale – Mayor and City Council
Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Official Responses:

Dear Mrs. Szabo-Cassella,

Mayor Lane and the City Councilmembers have asked that I thank you for your email and for sharing your blog.  I have additional staff copied who are involved with the Preserve so they can also see your comments.


Kelli Kuester
Management Assistant to the Mayor
3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ  85251
(480) 312-7977

Thank you for your email and your insight about the Preserve’s accessible trails.
I’m glad you have had the opportunity to enjoy our beautiful Sonoran desert.

Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield


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