Scottsdale is home to a diverse array of incredible outdoor destinations perfect for adventurers and nature lovers of all ages. Whether you’re looking forward to a scenic yet challenging hike, 18 holes of golf, a fun trip to the zoo, or simply soaking in the picturesque scenery, you’re bound to find the perfect place where you can unwind and reconnect with nature.
Without further ado, here are some of the best outdoor destinations for you to check out in Scottsdale, Arizona:
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Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden is home to the largest outdoor desert plant collection on the planet. Visitors can feast their eyes on a kaleidoscope consisting of a vibrant collection of wildflowers arranged strategically to enhance their visual impact.
The garden also features an educational ethnobotanical walking trail where visitors can learn how plants were integrated by the Native Americans into their lives.
TCP at Scottsdale
If you’re an avid golfer, you can’t go wrong with TPC Scottsdale’s famous Stadium Course and Champions Course. This is the venue for the most-attended golf tournament in the world: the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which is held every winter.
Surrounded by sweeping views of the McDowell Mountains, TPC Scottsdale offers golfers the opportunity to play on a golf course considered one of the best in the world by many top professionals. In addition, TPC Scottsdale is the only PGA Tour facility in Arizona, offering world-class service and standards typically reserved only for professional players.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Protecting over 30,000 acres of serene desert, North Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a hiker’s dream destination, featuring a network of over 115 miles of trails including approximately 60 miles of mixed-use trails.
One of the best spots to start your adventure is at The Gateway, the main trailhead that leads to most of the preserve’s best trails, like the Bajada Nature Trail, which features interpretive exhibits.
If you love horseback riding, then MacDonald’s Ranch is definitely the place for you. Nestled in the scenic Sonoran Desert in North Scottsdale, MacDonald’s Ranch offers guided horseback trips, stagecoach rides, hayrides, live performances, cowboy cookouts, and so much more.
This is the perfect destination for all ages, as the place offers activities for any skill level as well as options for single riders and small to large groups. During the fall, MacDonald’s Ranch also features a giant maze and a great pumpkin patch.
Pinnacle Peak Park
Pinnacle Peak Park is where outdoor enthusiasts can experience a desert adventure unlike any other. Considered one of the valley’s most famous natural landmarks, the sprawling 150-acre park is visited by countless visitors and local hikers every year.
Rated “moderate” by The Sierra Club, the hike at Pinnacle Peak Park features an elevation gain of roughly 1,300 feet, treating hikers to panoramic views of the stunning desert landscape. Those looking for a more relaxing experience can try the 1.75-mile trail which is less technical, yet offers equally gorgeous views of the valley.