Go to each trailhead to get your Family Passport stamped!

Have fun exploring the Preserve with your family!

Family Fun in the Preserve

What better way to enjoy your family fun and fitness time than by discovering nature together!  Get your family outdoors to get some fresh air with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.  Round up your kids for guided hikes, interactive learning and outdoor fun!  We have a variety of programs for everyone in your home!   

Family Passport

When you’re looking for things to do in Scottsdale, our Family Passport will enhance your visit to the Preserve by teaching you and your children about the flora, fauna and geology of the McDowell Mountains. 

You’ll search for animal tracks and special rocks.  Maybe you’ll find signs of a Gila woodpecker’s presence in a saguaro and if you look carefully, you may discover a special attraction at Lost Dog Wash Trailhead.  The scavenger hunt items in the passport will have you observing nature in ways you haven’t in the past.  Get your own passport from a Conservancy Pathfinder and start exploring. 

Visit five Preserve trailheads – Gateway, Lost Dog, Sunrise, Tom’s Thumb and Brown’s Ranch - and get your passport stamped by a Conservancy Pathfinder at each.  When you have traveled all the way around the Preserve, your five stamps earn you a Preserve bandanna.

Special thanks to APS for support of this program!

Family Sonoran Sunday Series

The Family Sonoran Sunday Series are held at the Gateway Trailhead Amphitheater and at Brown's Ranch Trailhead Amphitheater on Sunday afternoons during October, November, January, February and March.  Programs start at 3:00 p.m. and last 45 minutes to one hour.  Please check the events button on the home page for dates and descriptions of the programs. 

Gateway Trailhead is located at 18333 North Thompson Peak Parkway and Brown’s Ranch Trailhead at 30301 North Alma School Parkway. 

You will see programs like - Leapin’ Lizards! with Ranger Amy from McDowell Mountain Regional Park brings her crawling, slithering friends for a close and personal experience. Will it be snakes? Gila Monster? Desert Tortoise?  or . . .

The Beauties and the Beasts - Who likes flying, colorful, stinging, or creepy looking bugs? ASU Professor Ron Rutowski will climb steep mountains and venture into tight spots to find all kinds of bugs. Some bugs are beautiful and others should be avoided; but they all play an important part in nature. Learn about different types of bugs commonly found in the Sonoran Desert and how to identify them.