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What to do...

Scottsdale's arid climate makes it the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors all year round. Here are a few activities to experience on your next visit.


With the Sonoran Desert as its backdrop, Scottsdale boasts some of the world’s most beautiful hiking trails. Ranging from challenging treks to more leisurely routes, visitors can truly roam free and reconnect with nature. Camelback Mountain is Scottsdale’s ultimate challenge. With an elevation higher than the Empire State Building (2,704 feet!), the Echo Canyon trail is a steep climb to the summit and provides a real sense of achievement. Or, for something a little lighter, McDowell Mountain Park is home to over 51 miles of moderate trails with traditional saguaro cacti leading the way.

More outdoor activities

There is more to this city than just hiking. Scottsdale offers thrill seeking experiences in the air, on water and across land. Float 5,000 feet in the sky with Hot Air Balloon Expeditions during a breathtaking sunrise, or fly among the vibrant colours of a desert sunset on a Western Sky helicopter ride. If not, exploring on the ground is just as fun with a whole array of activities from off-road jeep tours and horse-riding lessons through the desert’s rigorous terrain and steep slopes to white water rafting along Lower Salt River, flowing through oak woodlands past red rock canyons. For a more gentle adventure, golf lovers can head to Boulders Resort and Spa to test their swing on two award-winning courses that stretch across the enchanting desert landscape. There is even a ‘Caddiemaster’ programme where certified caddie professionals who know the tricks and challenges of the courses perfect the player's tee shot.

Art and architecture

Scottsdale vibrates creative energy from its museums, UNESCO World Heritage sites and public art installations found across the city. Nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains lies Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and one of eight designs by him with a UNESCO World Heritage listing. The nation's historical landmark has recently launched a brand-new self guided audio tour which allows visitors to safely discover the history of this innovative masterpiece and its creator, featuring original audio recordings from Wright himself.

On the other side of the city, Scottsdale’s Museum of Contemporary Modern Art is dedicated to global architecture and design. Featuring some of the most compelling displays in the state, the museum will be offering its brand new exhibit ‘Urban Mapping’ until the end of January 2021, exploring urban space through the lens of contemporary Iranian artists.


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