We’re always thrilled to spotlight attractions for our residents at Optima Kierland Apartments, including the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Nestled in the heart of Arizona’s picturesque landscape, this preserve stands as a testament to Scottsdale’s dedication to preserving the captivating beauty and wonder of the Sonoran Desert. This urban preserve offers a haven for flora, fauna, and eager adventurers alike.
The Preserve’s history began on January 1, 1994, when Scottsdale formally dedicated the initial area of the preserve, which then consisted of three parcels of land totaling approximately five square miles. Since then, this preserve has grown and flourished, now spanning 27,800 acres, and deeply intertwined with the passionate efforts of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. This non-profit organization, in collaboration with the City of Scottsdale, has been a driving force in the completion and sustainability of the preserve. Their dedication ensures that this part of the Sonoran Desert remains untouched for future generations. The Conservancy also plays a vital role in managing the land and maintaining the extensive trail network.
Apart from its breathtaking vistas, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve boasts a range of facilities designed to enhance the visitor experience. Major trailheads include the Gateway Trailhead, Tom’s Thumb, and Brown’s Ranch. These provide free parking, access to a variety of trails, and restroom facilities. With an extensive network of non-motorized, multi-use trails, visitors can indulge in activities ranging from hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The paths cater to all skill levels – from gentle terrains to challenging ascents.
The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy offers guided hikes, where knowledgeable guides share insights about the desert ecosystem, its history, and its inhabitants. But the preserve is more than just a recreational spot. Through the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, it offers a variety of educational programs designed to foster public awareness and appreciation of the desert ecosystem.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is more than a slice of “untainted desert;” it’s an experience. Its vastness captures the essence of the Sonoran Desert, providing those with a penchant for exploration an opportunity to connect with nature. With its diverse activities, rich history, and the backing of a dedicated conservancy, the preserve promises something for everyone. And for Optima Kierland Apartment residents, whether you’re an avid hiker, a curious student, or simply someone to find peace amidst nature’s splendor, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve awaits only five miles away.