Spring is the perfect time to get outside or pick up a new hobby. An easy thing to do on vacation in a place that’s as scenic as Arizona is hiking. Scottsdale is not short of hiking trails; there’s a variety to choose from depending on your ability and comfort level.
Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is home to over 200 miles of trails in an assortment of difficulties. If you’re not an avid hiker and a scenic walk is more your speed, the Gateway Loop Trail is a great fit. It’s a four-and-a-half-mile trail that loops around to your starting point.
Tom’s Thumb Trail is the most challenging on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve grounds, but it’s one of Scottsdale’s most popular hikes. It offers a scenic view of the trail’s namesake, Tom’s Thumb. If you’re a rock climber, this is a favored spot.
Lost Dog Wash is of moderate difficulty. This trail offers picturesque views of Frank Lloyd’s house, Taliesin West, along with the Camelback Mountains and Pinnacle Peak. This spot has a low elevation, and it’s just over a five-mile trek.
Papago Park has a little bit of something for everyone. There are hiking trails, some of which are accessible by bike; there’s the Desert Botanical Garden and Frank Lloyd Wright’s house, Taliesin West, both of which are not too far off from the park.
One of Papago Park’s most recognizable landmarks can be seen at Hole-in-the-Rock Trail. These uniquely formed buttes that the trail is named after are made out of red sandstone. At the end of the hike, you’ll be able to stand inside one of these buttes and overlook the city through one of the holes. These buttes were initially used by the Hohokam Tribe to track the sun and mark the summer and winter solstices.
The botanical garden is decorated with glass sculptures made by famous artist Dale Chihuly. The exhibit, Chihuly in the Desert, was set up in 2021, and the striking yellows, oranges and reds of the blown glass stand out against the saguaros and desert land.
Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, and it was built in 1937. It was constructed out of local materials and blends into the sandy surroundings. There is an array of events that are hosted at Taliesin West, so there’s a little something for everyone. These range from sunset happy hours to Friday night movie showings to yoga to member only events.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just want to take in all the sights that Scottsdale has to offer, come stay at Scottsdale Park Suites and go exploring at your leisure.