Best Scootering in the Sonoran Desert – Apache Wash Trailhead, Phoenix

Spoiler alert: This ADA accessible desert adventure will make others pale in comparison. It has for us.

Since discovering Apache Wash Trailhead, my husband Lou and I go a couple of times a week. For spectacular spinning, it’s simply one of the most beautiful accessible trail systems we’ve encountered in the Phoenix area so far. And we’ve rolled quite a few.

Dedicated in 2013, Apache Wash Trailhead offers two paved trails suitable for mobility device users: East Skip Rimsza Paseo and West Skip Rimsza Paseo, both of which branch directly from the paved trail stemming the parking lot and entrance.

East Skip Rimsza Paseo
Running 1.9 miles with a gradual elevation change of 37 feet, this trail mostly parallels Sonoran Desert Drive. Yes, you’ll likely hear a bit of road noise, but impressive views of the distant mountain ranges as they glitter with city lights towards nightfall will soon monopolize your senses.

At various points, the trail veers inward towards the preserve where admirably-sized (and I reckon very old) cholla command the landscape.

Be sure to stop and appreciate the mosaic artwork lining the trail embankments, a three-part series of inlays entitled Desert Springs.

West Skip Rimsza Paseo
Covering 3.1 miles, this longer trail streams alongside Sonoran Desert Dr / Dove Valley Rd until steering into fabulously scenic desert landscape. Native grasses, groves of golden-needled cholla, stately saguaros, and flowering bushes all invite busy birds; half dozen hot air balloons often dot the evening horizon; and gently rolling hills open up ever changing vistas of Arizona natural beauty. Pictures don’t do it justice, but here are a few.

With an easy elevation gain of 15 feet and smooth pavement (even at bridge connectors), this trail is suitable for all wheeled mobility. The further away you roll from the trailhead though, the more gently rolling hills may require some muscle or the choice of a motorized wheelchair or scooter.

Covered rest areas provide periodic respite.


Getting there

Apache Wash Trailhead
1600 E Sonoran Desert Dr
Phoenix, AZ

Parking and entrance hours: 5 AM – 7 PM
Trail hours: 5 AM – 11 PM

ADA parking and toilet facilities are available.

Be advised: There’s no potable water, so come prepared.


Making Accessibility Happen
Accessible travel for people with disabilities is becoming big business. Speak with your dollars, your vote, and your voice to let commerce know what’s working, and what’s not.

The above post was emailed to: City of Phoenix, Parks and Recreation.