The weather has finally cooled off in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas and that means hiking season is upon us! Owning a piece of Scottsdale real estate means close access to some of the best hiking trails, so your luxury Scottsdale real estate team, MoJo Scottsdale, is here to highlight some of our favorite spots around the Valley of the Sun. 

Tips for Hiking in Scottsdale and Around the Valley

Even if the weather is cooling off, Arizona hiking still presents some unique challenges, so let’s start with some of the best tips for a safe and enjoyable hike!

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Dehydration can happen even in these cooler temps, so it’s always a good idea to bring more water than you’ll think you need. Proper hydration ensures you’ll have enough energy to last your hike, combats muscle cramps, and reduces the risk of heatstroke. Also, in Scottsdale, salt is not just for post-hike margaritas. Salt means electrolytes which are critical to body function and will keep your nerves, muscles, heart, and brain in good shape during your hike. Pack salty snacks and some sports drinks (in addition to your water) to help you replace those lost electrolytes.
  • Be a Lightweight. When hiking, the less you have to carry, the better – so travel as lightly as possible. Water and food should always be the heaviest items in your pack. Other items to pack for even the shortest hikes include sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, a hat, and a flashlight. One of the best parts of hiking is disconnecting from the world, but always bring your cell phone in case you get lost or injured. If you’re bringing your fur baby along, make sure you have enough water for them and a collapsible dish, as well as some waste bags to clean up their mess and treats to keep their energy up. 
  • Stay Alert. The desert has two things that are a bit intimidating: spikes and snakes. Experienced hikers keep pliers and a fine-toothed comb in their packs to help remove spikes and cactus needles. As for snakes, it’s imperative to stay aware of your surroundings. Rattlesnakes are common in the desert, so watch where you’re stepping, stay on trails, and when you do encounter a rattler, give it plenty of space. It’s okay to listen to some tunes while you hike, but keep the volume low and leave one earbud out so you can hear the warning of a rattlesnake.









Hiking Trails to Check Out in Scottsdale and Beyond

Scottsdale is home to some of the most beautiful desert scenery imaginable, and you can catch exclusive views of desert landscapes and wildlife on any of these favorite trails. 

    • Gateway Loop Trail: In Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the Gateway Loop Trail is a local favorite for anyone seeking a bit of peace and solitude away from bustling city life. It’s a 4.5-mile trail that gains only 655 feet in elevation, so it’s a leisurely hike through the desert that’ll loop you back to your starting point. We love this one because dogs are welcome, as long as they’re on a leash. For hikers looking for more challenging trails, this loop connects with many other hiking trails in the area, so you can keep going to get in more steps and incline if you’re up for a more hardcore outing.
    • Pinnacle Peak Trail: Located in Scottsdale, this is a moderately easy trail that’s about 4 miles out and back, offering beautiful views of Scottsdale and McDowell Mountains. It’s pretty kid-friendly, however, there are no pups are allowed. There’s not much shade on this trail, so be sure to bring plenty of water, wear a hat, and slather on sunscreen.
    • Camelback Echo Canyon Trail: Hiking Camelback is definitely a must-do and is definitely a bragging point for hikers around the Valley. This out-and-back trail is only 2.4 miles, BUT the 1,423 ft elevation gain to 2,704 feet above sea level makes this trail a bit challenging and is not for the faint of heart. The half-mile of rock scrambling keeps the hike interesting and is a great full-body workout!
    • Cholla Trail at Camelback: Camelback’s other trail, Cholla, isn’t as steep as Echo Canyon, but is a bit longer. It gains about 1250 feet over 1.42 miles to the summit and is an amazing spot to watch the sunrise. You have a good chance of seeing some wildlife on Cholla during the right time of year, ranging from Harris Antelope Squirrels, Quail, Road Runners, Hawks, Chuckwallas, and the occasional rattlesnake, so be on the lookout.
    • Tom’s Thumb: This is one of the most popular Scottsdale hikes, as it’s a wonderland of huge boulders within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and will give you excellent views of Tom’s Thumb, the most recognizable feature of the Preserve and a hotspot for rock climbers. It is a steep and challenging track of switchbacks in which you’ll gain more than 1,200 feet of elevation in 2.3 miles and absolutely stunning views.

MoJo Scottsdale, Your Luxury Real Estate Team

If you check out any of the above-mentioned trails, we’d love to hear about it! If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Scottsdale area, we can help you close your deal with confidence. We love what we do, and we absolutely love this city we’re blessed to call home. You simply won’t find another team more familiar with real estate within the coveted zip codes of Scottsdale, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to take the stress out of buying and selling. You can also call or text us directly at 480-356-5657 or email us at