Refreshing Beat the Heat Activities
Exploring Scottsdale’s great outdoors isn’t off the table in summer – you just need to beat the heat! And with a variety of early morning and after-dark activities in and around the city, it’s easy to do just that.
Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert is at its summer best at sunrise. A short hike on an easy trail in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a fun way to experience the grandeur and beauty of the Sonoran Desert without overheating. Two to try are the Bajada Nature Trail Loop at Gateway Trailhead and Jane Rau Interpretive Trail at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. Both are approximately ½ mile in length and are ADA accessible. They also connect to other trails if you’re up for a longer hike.
Sun-Up Tee Times
There are few better ways to start the day than with a round on one of Scottsdale’s championship golf courses. Summer tee times start at sunrise so golfers can get in 18 holes before the heat really kicks in. Insider tip: Kierland Golf Club offers mister-cooled golf carts, while other clubs, like Boulders and Troon North, stock carts with refreshing amenities like chilled towels, cool neck wraps and insulated coolers.
Set a “chill” tone for the day with an early morning yoga session. At the Boulders Resort & Spa, paddleboard yoga in the spa pool is fun whether you stay on the board or not! Other options for getting some group Zen going include yoga in the shaded Alegria Garden at Royal Palms Resort and Spa and Spa and Sunrise Mindful Yoga at the Omni Scottdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.
There are eight rivers and lakes within a one-hour drive of Old Town Scottsdale – perfect playgrounds for warm summer days! Calm-water river rafting, kayaking, SUPing and tubing are just a few of the options for water-based recreation. If your group prefers to stay dry, charter the Desert Belle tour boat for a climate-controlled scenic journey around Saguaro Lake.
Off-Road After Dark
In summer, the Sonoran Desert is most active after dark. Cruise through the vast desert landscape after sunset with one of Scottsdale’s off-road outfitters. Your group will don high-tech night-vision gear to spot owls, coyotes, javelina, and other nocturnal creatures. As part of your tour, view the desert’s starry skies with a professional astronomer as your guide.
Dinners Under Starry Skies
Cloth + Flame specializes in gourmet dining set in the wilds of the Sonoran Desert, tucked away from city lights amid saguaros and scenic views. These chef-prepared meals are sustainably hosted in natural preserves and state parks, and 10 percent of every event’s proceeds are donated to help preserve land and migratory routes in the state.