Adventurer Guide to Scottsdale


Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses nearly a third of the city’s land mass and offers 11 trailheads and more than 225 miles of trails. Add in eight nearby lakes and rivers, resorts surrounded by desert, and year-round sunshine, and it’s easy to see why Scottsdale is an adventurer’s paradise!

Boulders Resort & Spa
Boulders Resort & Spa, a casita-style resort, is tucked away in the high Sonoran Desert foothills of North Scottsdale. The resort offers a variety of outdoor activity options, but one you won’t want to miss is rock climbing with instructor Rico Riley on the hard-to-miss boulders surrounding the property.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Surrounded by Sonoran Desert, Four Seasons is steps away from nature. The resort holds daily guided nature walks and Zen hikes up the moderate Pinnacle Peak Trail. You’ll feel refreshed as you sit on your private terrace overlooking the lush grounds, boulders and mountain peaks in the distance.

CIVANA
Stunning panoramic views of Black Mountain are one of the first things you see when arriving at CIVANA. A wellness resort in the small town of Cave Creek just north of Scottsdale, CIVANA is surrounded by wide-open desert landscape. You’ll embark on daily nature walks and different fitness classes held inside and out.

Kayaking with Arizona Outback Adventures
Float down the Lower Salt River in a kayak with Arizona Outback Adventures, taking in the breathtaking views of four mountain ranges. While kayaking, you might even encounter wildlife in their natural habitat, including wild horses, bald eagles and bobcats. 

Hiking at McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the fourth largest urban preserve in the world. With over 225+ miles of trails, you can find one that suites everyone in your group. You’ll be up close and personal with stunning Sonoran Desert plants, including the famous Saguaro cactus.

ATV OR UTV WITH Stellar Adventures OR Green Zebra
If you’re a thrill-seeker, explore the desert’s rugged terrain in an ATV or UTV, or let someone else do the driving and take a Hummer Tour! Both Stellar Adventures and Green Zebra offer tours daily. You’ll cover many miles of desert in just two hours.

The Thumb
Housed in a gas station and featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” The Thumb is a must-stop following a sunrise hike. We promise you – gas station barbecue is a really good thing.

Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine
If hand-picked ingredients harvested daily doesn’t constitute fresh fare, we don’t know what does! At Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine in Cave Creek, Chef Brett Vibber forages in the morning for indigenous ingredients like mesquite pods, prickly pear pads and saguaro fruit, then creates his nightly menu, giving you a true taste of Arizona.

Gertrude’s
Located at the stunning Desert Botanical Gardens, Gertrude’s, named for Garden founder Gertrude Divine Webster, serves dishes made with locally harvested and native ingredients. Enjoy lunch or dinner, then stroll around the Garden to see one of the world’s best collections of arid-land plants.