Even if you are not a huge fan of hiking and climbing to the top of the tallest peaks, it can be a good thing to go outside of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if you just bought your first pair of hiking shoes or trail runners, or you are a backpacking expert – there are trails for everyone, and anyone, when you visit the incredible state of Arizona.
Scottsdale offers access to numerous paths, trails, and forests that dot the outside of the city limits. It is no wonder that people flock here from all over the world to see the natural beauty, push their fitness limits, and have nice nature walks with their loved ones. Keep reading to see some of the best trails that are must-do’s during your visit here in this picturesque town in the western part of the US. Leave the dreary northeastern weather behind, or the dreaded Florida humidity, and head here to climb some of the most picturesque mountains in the entire country. Here are the Top 5 Hiking Trails in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Gateway Loop Trail
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is home to miles and miles of trails that overlook the nearby desert, town, and lush green forest. The Gateway Loop Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve has just a little bit of everything, making it the best option for those who want to see the cacti, desert landscapes, and rolling green hills.
This trail is less than five miles long, making it ideal for those who don’t want to spend their entire day on a trail. If you are looking for a quick respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, not only is McDowell Sonoran Preserve easy to get to, but the Gateway Loop Trail isn’t too busy during most parts of the year.
Plus, you won’t break too much of a sweat during your holiday here. The Gateway Loop Trail offers 655 feet in elevation gain, which is just enough to have your heart pounding without being too strenuous for those who are not interested in spending hours and hours on the trail.
Pinnacle Peak Summit Trail
If good views and amazing landscapes are what you are after, the Pinnacle Peak Summit Trail in Pinnacle Peak Park will tick all of your boxes. This trail is moderately challenging for most fit people, so you should wear your trail runners or sneakers, bring a backpack, and head out on this trail for an early morning jog or a sunset hike with your family.
This path is wide and smooth, making it good for busy days when you might run into other people on the trail. Make sure you bring your phone, or camera, and it is fully charged so you can get incredible panoramic pictures of the nearby landscape. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for the flora, fauna, and wildlife in the desert, like jackrabbits and cacti along the trail’s edges.
Lost Dog Wash
Head back to the famous McDowell Sonoran Preserve and take the Lost Dog Wash Trail this time as you head out for a day full of fun and adventure. The Lost Dog Wash Trail climbs a lower ridge than other mountains the preserve, making it one of the most popular trails for those who are beginners at getting their feet dirty.
Not only will you get incredible views of Camelback Mountain and the nearby Pinnacle Peak, but you can spend around 2-3 hours on a trail without having too much of a taxing time. Coming in at just around 5 miles and approximately 380 feet in elevation gain, this easy/moderate trail is great for beginners and family-friendly groups.
If you do this trail, try and go during a non-busy peak time! Tom’s Thumb is one of the most popular trails in the entire state – and you will see why. This fun trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers one of the best viewpoints of the incredible rock formations that dot the desert landscape.
The Tom’s Thumb Trail has more than 1,200 feet of elevation gain in just 2.3 miles, so make sure you bring tons of water, lace up your hiking shoes, and bring layers in case of any weather changes. This out-and-back trail is great for trail runners or those who want to get a short workout before exploring the other parts of Scottsdale.
Go John Trail
For desert lovers who are interested in seeing animals, flora, and fauna as they undertake a few hours out on the trail, this is the best option for you. The Go John Trail provides the perfect atmosphere to see animals, wildlife, and blossoming flowers in the spring and fall months. This moderate trail is enough to break a sweat, without being too taxing.
Pack your hiking shoes or your upcoming trip to Scottsdale this fall season!
Are you a fan of outdoor games? If so, then you might be keen on trying a hand at golfing in Scottsdale, AZ. There is so much for you to do when you head to this outdoor-centric city in Arizona. Even if you are not a huge fan of hiking, water sports, or shopping, we guarantee you can always find something to do here in this beautiful town. This is where golf comes in!
There are so many golf courses in Scottsdale, Arizona for you to explore during your time in Scottsdale. Even if you are a new golfer, we recommend heading here to test your luck at hitting off the green, using multiple clubs, and driving around in the golf cart as you gaze out at the incredibly lush green landscape. Keep reading to see the best golf courses that are must-visits during your time here in Scottsdale. Even though you might be a beginner, we know you will have a fantastic time at any one of these courses, golf clubs, and pro courses.
Kierland Golf Course
With over 200 golf courses in Scottsdale, it is hard to narrow down the selection to the best of the best. But we have done just that – and Kierland Golf Course reaches the top five due to the background views of the incredible red rock desert, challenging courses, and mountains in the backdrop of every single tee.
The Kierland Golf Club has 27 holes of a Championship layout that we love for avid golfers to try to take a ‘swing’ at. See if you can hit a birdie, or a hole-in-one, at the Acacia or Mesquite course – and then potentially sign up for a golf course tournament in the near future.
With super-fast Bermuda grass that keeps your ball rolling much faster than you would initially think, you can try to hit a putt with just a little bit of effort. Even though it is not a super tough course that is going to challenge you or push you to your limits, we love this for intermediate golfers who want to have a fun Sunday afternoon.
TPC Champions Course
Do you want to play on the same course as professionals who do this for a living? Then look no further than the TPC Championship Golf Course. This golf course in Scottsdale should be on the top of your list due to the cool layout, 18 holes for you to try your luck at hitting under par, and the desert landscape that offers a stunning backdrop to every tee.
Just a few years ago, this course was completely refurbished and revamped to ensure that all golfers have the best chance at doing well, avoiding any issues, and enjoying the views as they attempt to beat their golfing partner.
Quintero Golf Course
The main thing that you are looking for in a golf course is a challenging time, bright green fairways, blue skies and lakes, and a great time. If that rings true, then Quintero is the place for you. Quintero is a fantastic course designed by Rees Jones that reflects the desert atmosphere that makes Scottsdale so famous.
You can choose to tee off from any one of the numerous landing areas, making sure to avoid the bunkers that can challenge your score and prevent a birdie. Avoid a bogie by getting used to the longer grass, different tee boxes, and undulating course.
Don’t trust us? Don’t just take our word for it, then. This course has been consistently ranked as one of the top 50 in the entire country by Golf Digest, Golfweek, and Golf Advisor.
We-Ko-Pa Saguaro Golf Course
The We-Ko-Pa Golf Course and Resort is one of the top options for all golfers who are keen to walk the course as they attempt to get the best score possible. This infamous golf course is popular among tourists and locals alike due to the wide fairways, alternative routes, and different bunkers that surround each hole.
The Boulders Golf Club
Last but not least, we have the Boulders Golf Club in Arizona. This semi-private club is a great option for those who want to test themselves for a full 36 holes, including over 6,900 yards from the back tees and almost 7,000 yards. This area of natural beauty offers a great viewpoint of the Sonoran Desert, Black Mountains, and the surrounding town of Scottsdale.
Are you a huge golf aficionado? Scottsdale should be at the top of your list! Stay with us at Scottsdale Rentals to have the holiday of a lifetime.
Thanksgiving isn’t typically a traveling holiday, but we think it should be! Scottsdale is especially beautiful at this time of year, and you can take advantage of great temperatures and plenty of activities and attractions to make this vacation for Thanksgiving in Scottsdale, Arizona one to remember!
Before Thanksgiving Dinner Gathering
Are you keen to get Thanksgiving started but have to wait a few more days? Don’t worry, there are tons of events and celebrations leading up to the big day. Head to the Element Scottsdale at SkySon in Scottsdale to enjoy the Before Thanksgiving Dinner Gathering on the weekend of November 17th.
This inclusive dinner is great for solo travelers, couples, and families who just can’t wait to have a whole heap of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a good time. This two-day weekend affair includes a hotel room for four people, meaning that you can continue the party after dinner before heading back to your relaxing cabin from I Love Whitefish.
There is nothing better than brunch. Well, except maybe Thanksgiving brunch. Everyone loves waking up on Sunday, sleeping in, getting a cup of coffee, and then thinking of where to go for a filling and hearty brunch. We think that the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers one of the best brunches of the entire year in Scottsdale, AZ.
Head here on November 23rd to enjoy mouthwatering food, good vibes, and a friendly atmosphere. This luxurious brunch at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers fine-dining chefs, tasty plates, and a detail-oriented menu and atmosphere that will make this experience one of the most memorable events of your entire vacation.
You will enjoy the courses from over five extremely talented and gifted chefs who have come together to mix incredible ethnic cuisines and flavors, such as tasty plates from La Hacienda, Toro Latin Restaurant, and Ironwood American Kitchen.
Thanksgiving Dinner Package
If you are concerned about planning the best Thanksgiving Day dinner for you and your family this year, don’t worry – the businesses and restaurants in Scottsdale have got you covered. Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ, offers a Thanksgiving dinner package on November 21st and November 22nd that can take the stress off of your plate – literally.
Head here to enjoy a filling and tasty dinner from Chef Matt that will really blow your socks off. Just imagine plates full of pretzel bread and savory butter, traditional stuffing, roasted potatoes with crispy skin, and roasted green beans and carrots to stay healthy.
Then, for the big excitement, you can have the slow-roasted turkey with pan gravy and homemade cranberry sweet sauce to give a little extra kick. End the night in the best way possible with a huge slice of Eli’s Famous pumpkin praline cheesecake with vanilla ice cream. This will be one of the best meals of your entire trip!
Scottsdale Turkey Crawl
If you are on holiday in Scottsdale, chances are you want to see everything you can in a short amount of time. There is no way better to hit the majority of the bars in the city and the bustling spots of the downtown area than by going on a bar crawl! But where should you go?
Well, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. The Scottsdale Turkey Crawl takes care of the hard work for you and plans ahead of time. The Black Wednesday Bar Crawl offers a chance for you to visit some of the best bars and breweries in Scottsdale AND get three-penny drinks. What could be better?
Purchase tickets for this event to get three-penny drink vouchers, drink specials, and admission to tons of bars in the Scottsdale area. We guarantee that you are going to meet new people, have a great time, and see the most fun part of Scottsdale this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
Phoenix Turkey Trot
Even though you are on vacation, you might want stay up to date with your fitness and health. In that case, we have a fun-filled event for you that will keep you feeling good and motivated on your fitness journey this upcoming October and November.
Head to nearby Phoenix, AZ to enjoy a turkey trot and get in your 5,000-10,000 steps before you enjoy a huge plate full of turkey and sides. The Phoenix Turkey Trot is at the sole Sports Scottsdale center on North Scottsdale Road, so make sure you register ahead of time to get your place at the starting line.
This fun race takes you through the most scenic spots of Phenix without any repeats of the trail, ensuring you never get bored or see the same scenery twice! The course is meticulously planned so that you are always having a good time, seeing different parts of the city, and not making any huge hill climbs.
Book Your Thanksgiving Journey
As you can see, there is so much for you to do when you visit Scottsdale, AZ this upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time of year for you to spend quality moments with your loved ones, whether they are your friends or family. In the beautiful state of Arizona, you can see the breathtaking nature, explore the downtown, and spend a nice meal with your guests.
There is no reason to be intimidated by traveling alone. In fact, it can be super fun, rewarding, and motivating to go on solo travel! Leave the worries of work, school, family, and our friends behind and enjoy a personal journey by yourself as you explore the beautiful town of Scottsdale, AZ. If you are worried about planning your solo adventure to Arizona, don’t fret. There are dozens of activities for you to do every single day that are normal to do by yourself. In fact, we even think that sometimes traveling by yourself can give you the freedom and time to do everything on your itinerary without any roadblocks. Let’s check out a few things that you MUST do for a solo journey to the beautiful desert town of Scottsdale, AZ, this upcoming fall season.
Head to One of the Many Museums
You can count each museum individually or just tick this off your list one at a time. There are so many museums and cultural attractions in Scottsdale that it might be hard to hit every single one during your time here.
If your schedule allows, we really recommend going to at least the Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West during a rare rainy day in the Arizona desert. The exhibits change all of the time, so you can rest assured you will never see the same thing twice.
Another great museum that you should include on your schedule is the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, which offers changing exhibits and a low price that won’t break the bank.
Walk to the Hole in the Rock
Enjoy a day out in the sunny Arizona weather by going to the Hole in the Rock. This short and easy hike is great for people of varying fitness levels, so you can easily do this one by yourself without being worried about traveling solo. Even if you have never hiked before, this easy walk is doable for people of different ages.
We recommend heading to the Hole in the Rock for sunrise or sunset to avoid the crowds, take breathtaking pics, and get Instagram-worthy photos that will have all of your friends back home super jealous of your vacation! If you can, try and stay to enjoy the view for a little while before the crowds arrive.
Check Out the Desert Botanical Garden
For another little spurt of exercise with rewarding views and surroundings, we recommend going to the Desert Botanical Garden to go for a nice walk. We love this picturesque and atmospheric spot that offers an up-close ampersand look at the flora, fauna, and landscape that makes Scottsdale so famous.
The botanical garden offers nearly 150 acres of pure luxury and tranquility that is great for a peaceful and serene vacation. We recommend coming here as a solo travel, since you will always feel safe, relaxed, and at home in this stress-free environment.
Walk Around Old Town Scottsdale
Not sure what to do next during your vacation? We recommend just walking! Walking around and getting a feel for the city is oftentimes one of the best ways to figure out what to add to your itinerary. Plus, just seeing the vibe of the city, seeing the people that live there, and checking out the local shops and attractions is a fun thing to do during any time of the year.
When it comes to Scottsdale, Old Town Scottsdale is a picturesque and fun place to spend hours and hours of your free time. Old Town Scottsdale is pedestrian-friendly, so you never have to worry about foot traffic, cars, or getting out of the way of speeding bikes as you meander along the shops.
Grab a Coffee
To wake up in the morning and hit the ground running, coffee is paramount. Luckily for you, there is no shortage of great coffee stands, cafes, and dessert shops in Scottsdale that will give you the caffeine, or sugar, fix you are looking for. We recommend trying out the Red Canyon Cafe, Berdena’s, and Inner Circle Cafe during your stay here.
Head to the Red Canyon Cafe and sit outside in the quirky and fun exterior seating. Located right in Old Town, this is the ideal spot to stop and have a flat white or latte as you take a break from shopping.
If you want to sit inside and enjoy the air conditioning, read a book, or get some work done, then Berdena’s is the place for you. Pair a hot cup of coffee or an iced oat milk latte with a savory order of avocado toast with a poached egg to start your day in the best way possible.
Lastly, Inner Circle Cafe is a popular espresso-laden stop for tourists and locals alike. We recommend ordering the goat cheese toast with local goat cheese and jam for a small snack in the afternoon. If you are hungrier, you can’t go wrong with the large breakfast burrito with eggs, sweet potato, black beans, and cheese. Yum!
Kick back, relax, and check out the incredible scenery, weather, and atmosphere that makes Arizona so special. If you have never been to this spiritual state, now is the time to go. There is SO much for you to do in your free time at any point of the year, including going Salt River tubing during the spring, summer, and fall months.
Head to the Tonto National Forest with your bathing suit in hand to float along the river, and all of your worries just flit away. You can choose whether you want to wind and meander through the Tonto National Forest or if you would just rather stay in place, have a drink, and get a tan during the heat of the summer.
Tubing Season Passes
Staying in Scottsdale for the entire summer? The Salt River Tubing offers a tubing season pass that lasts until the end of September. Talk about a bargain! For just $200, you can get one tube rental with a shuttle ride and purchase additional tubes for your friends. Bring all of your apps to the Salt River and have a blast during a humid and hot July afternoon.
If you would rather just purchase a day pass for a short-term trip to Arizona, then we have options for you that won’t break the bank. A tube rental is just $25 for a tube and a shuttle; this is less than lunch at your favorite cafe, so why not splurge a little on a fun, adventurous afternoon?
You can also purchase a shuttle pass for only $18 if you have your own tube on hand. Plus, you have the option to rent a bucket or cooler tube to bring a few drinks. Pack a few Gatorade bottles, glasses of lemonade, or some fruit to stay hydrated and nourished during the day on the water.
Salt River Tubing offers the chance to do one of the most exciting and fun daytime adventures in the entire state. The Salt River winds through the Tonto National Forest, providing shade and a respite from the hot sun. Keep your eyes peeled to see the local wildlife, spot a few cacti, and gaze at the breathtaking landscape as you put your feet up, relax, and have a snack on the water.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? We think so, too! Salt River Tubing offers the best day out during the heat of the summer when hiking is just not in the cards.
Adrenaline junkies rejoice! You don’t have to jump out of a plane, go sky diving, test your luck with bungee jumping, or go on a bar crawl to get the adrenaline hit you’re looking for. No, instead, put your faith in the hands of true professionals who can show you a fantastic afternoon that will get your heart pounding and your hair flowing through the breeze.
For your upcoming vacation to the beautiful town and surrounding mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, there is no better way to see the mountains, desert, flora, and fauna than taking an off-roading tour in Scottsdale. We know that it can be challenging to figure out how to do this yourself, so we recommend using a professional touring and adventure company that can give you exactly what you want.
Scottsdale Adventure Tours
Scottsdale Adventure Tours provides off-roading tours in Scottsdale, AZ, and it has been consistently ranked as the #1 outdoor activity according to TripAdvisor for the past three years. We recommend booking the Sonoran Desert Jeep Daytime and Sunset Tours that bring you through the Camp Creek Was hand provides the best vantage point of the infamous Arizona sunset.
Other tours that are popular among tourists are the Scottsdale Astronomy Tour at night which offers a star-gazing option. You can also book a pirate jeep tour through the Tonto National Forest. We also recommend booking one of the off-roading tours for special events, like bachelor or bachelorette parties.
Desert Monster Tours
Desert Monster Tours offers popular ATV tours through the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas, running numerous ATV tours every single day of the week. These guided ATV Tours bring you through the Tonto National Forest, providing every guest with over 25 miles of scenic paths through the desert and nature reserves.
You can also book one of the UTV Tours for an off-roading adventure through the Sonoran Desert. These two-seat or four-seat vehicles are great for seeing the surrounding landscape around Scottsdale.
AZ ATV Adventures
AZ ATV Adventures offers Phoenix ATV Tours that take you into the beautiful desert landscape, ensuring you get pristine panoramic views of the nearby trees, rocky formations, bright blue skies, and blue lakes. The standard tour is 2-3 hours and provides you with great views of abandoned mine shafts, historical landscapes, and craggy rock walls.
Wear a helmet, buckle up, and have fun off-roading around the picturesque town of Scottsdale and the surrounding desert for your upcoming vacation.