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Scottsdale Hiking Trails: A young woman gazes over the desert landscape near Scottsdale, Arizona.

Exploring Arizona: 3 Amazing Scottsdale Hiking Trails

With its beautiful desert landscapes and lack of rain, it’s no wonder that Arizona has always been a premier winter hiking destination. While many people may point to remote rural areas of the Grand Canyon State as the best places to go, the Scottsdale hiking trails and other nearby corridors offer a wealth of exploration for outdoor enthusiasts. So when you book your stay with Home Team Vacation Rentals at one of our Scottsdale, Mesa, or Peoria properties, you’ll have several options for hiking in some of Arizona’s most iconic spots. Here are three of our favorites!

Safety Tips for Scottsdale Hiking Trails

Before going on a hiking adventure in Arizona, planning, prioritizing preparation, self-reliance, and caution are crucial, especially when traveling solo. Efficiency is key, with recommendations to travel lightly, wear well-fitting hiking gear, and carry essential items like a map, compass, and water purification tablets. Leave no trace by disposing of waste properly, utilizing EPA-approved pack-out systems, and ensuring the trail is respected and preserved. 

Hikers should maintain a steady pace to optimize oxygen intake, take strategic breaks to recharge, stay well-hydrated, and prioritize nutrition to avoid exhaustion and potential health risks. Following these guidelines ensures a safe, enjoyable, and environmentally conscious hiking experience in the diverse landscapes. Now, on to our three favorite Scottsdale hiking trails!

Jane Rau Interpretive Trail at Brown’s Ranch

Finding an accessible trail for wheelchairs, young children, and the elderly isn’t always easy. Thankfully, the Jane Rau Interpretive Trail offers a hard surface, accessible parking, and minimal elevation gain. Visitors will find unique outcrops, informational signage, and excellent conditions amid idyllic surroundings with plenty of desert flora. This trail is only 0.6 miles, and the average time for walking is just under 15 minutes.

Tom’s Thumb and Lookout Trail at McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Unlike the Jane Rau Interpretive Trail, the Tom’s Thumb Trail to Lookout Trail is a challenging 4.6-mile out-and-back route that can take around 3 hours to complete. Because of their popularity, these trails are well-maintained and often have other hikers. The beautiful desert landscapes are the main draw to Tom’s Thumb and Lookout Trails, but there is very little shade along the way, so water and sun protection are even more crucial here than some Scottsdale hiking trails. 

Follow the Tom’s Thumb Trail south from the trailhead and go past the East End Trail until you find the marked junction with the Lookout Trail, then turn left onto it to a captivating vantage point.

Lost Dog Trail to Ringtail Trail Loop

Lost Dog Trail to Ringtail Trail Loop is a moderate 2.4-mile loop with a few gradual elevation changes and very little grade. The mostly gentle hike traverses an ancient tool-making site, so you’ll likely come across some rock shards left over from prehistoric civilizations! Kids with good hiking skills will find this trail relatively easy, but it is more challenging than the Jane Rau Interpretive Trail.

Follow the Lost Dog Wash Trail north to the Ringtail Trail and turn right. Follow the Ringtail Trail around the loop ending at the Anasazi spur, then take another right. Head north again to the Sunrise Trail, take a left, and then another quick left onto the Lost Dog Wash Trail that will take you back to the parking lot.

Arizona Vacation Rentals in Scottsdale, Mesa, and Peoria

An interior living room of a Scottsdale vacation rental.Now that you know what the Scottsdale hiking trails offer (Hint: we just scratched the surface), you’ll want to reserve your base camp for an Arizona adventure! Home Team Vacation Rentals has several Arizona vacation homes in the Scottsdale area with easy access to hiking trails and other outdoor recreation areas. To book your rental or learn more about Home Team Vacation Rentals, please visit us online or call 407-353-8415 today!

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