Lost Dog Wash Trailhead- Scottsdale

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Lost Dog Wash Trailhead is one of the major access points for the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

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There are several trail options to choose from depending on the desired length and difficulty of your hike.

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For a complete trail guide to the southern region of the preserve, click here.

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We hiked for quite a ways on Lost Dog Wash Trail. At the 1.5 mile mark, we turned right to continue east on the trail. We found the first part of the trail to be slightly crowded, but the people started to thin out the further we got from the trailhead.

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We absolutely loved the scenery on this trail. Desert landscape at its finest!

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This trail is also popular for mountain biking, so be sure to mind others as they pass.

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Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. We saw a few different species of birds.

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And, of course, watch out for prickly cactus along the path!

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The first 1.5 miles of the trail was rather flat with minor elevation changes.

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Once we started to head east at the fork, it became much more rocky and there were a few up-and-down sections of the trail.

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Eventually we ended up on Old Jeep Trail

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… which then took us to Ringtail Trail.

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We hardly passed anyone on this portion of the hike, which was nice. Solitude in wide open spaces is such a peaceful and desired experience for us.

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After a while, we came upon the Lost Dog Overlook (elv. 2,000 ft), which offered a beautiful vista of the preserve.

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The weather was glorious, barely reaching 70 degrees (F) on this beautiful November morning. This hike is not recommended in the summer months, and even in the cooler months, it is recommended that you bring plenty of water with you on the trail.

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 We made our way back to the trailhead, completing our 4.1 mile hike.

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To get to Lost Dog Wash Trailhead put the following address in your GPS:
12601 N. 124th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85259
(Lat: 33° 35′ 58.75″N Long: 111° 48′ 46.77″W)
Ample Parking and Restrooms Available

Download our Scottsdale/Phoenix Destination Guide for quick reference to help with planning your own Arizona getaway.


  1. Mei and Kerstin (from OpenUpNow.net)

    Wow! Fantastic photos! Thanks for this post, guys! It really makes us want to hit the road and go for a good hike in the desert! Especially now that the temperature is dropping to 0° Celsius here in Luxembourg! 🙂

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