Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brown's Ranch Trailhead

     The Valley of the Sun has a new trailhead just in time to enjoy with the arrival of autumn weather.  If you like to hike, bike or horseback ride, check out Brown's Ranch Trailhead in north Scottsdale.

    The cool mornings of October are a great time to get out and discover the newest trailhead of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve when the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead is officially dedicated at 9 am on October 19.   
    The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is proclaimed to be “like no other place in the Valley!”  Such a proclamation is due to the preserve’s unique geology, lush forests of cacti, phenomenal geography and a wide diversity of wildlife.
    With a plan first put into action in 1991, the preserve has grown to over 27,800 scenic Sonoran Desert acres on the far northeast edge of Scottsdale and has already received numerous awards for the design of its many trails and facilities.
    The Brown’s Ranch Trailhead is the fifth trailhead dedicated in the preserve which now features over 100 miles of hiking/biking/horseback riding shared-use trails.  Other trailheads already open and just waiting to be explored include the Gateway Trailhead, the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead, the Sunrise Trailhead and the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. 
    For those who love to rock climb, the preserve has over 200 named climbs among the rock splendor of the McDowell Mountains.  Difficulty of the many climbs range from easy to difficult with a few local favorites being Granite Ballroom, Sven Slab and Tom’s Thumb itself.
    Early morning bird watching is a common activity for visitors to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Over 100 species of birds have already been documented within the preserve.  And since many American songbirds from the northern regions overwinter in the Sonoran Desert, October thru February are prime months for bird watching enthusists.
    Docent led hikes, including holiday hikes, are also available on all five trails of the preserve. There are inclusive hikes for most all interests and hiking abilities.  Discovery hikes are designed especially for children and Wellness hikes are offered for anyone who needs to get up and get moving.  For more information about guided hiking within the preserve call 480-947-8814.    
     The new Brown’s Ranch Trailhead features a series of interpretive exhibits about the human history and use of the preserve.  It now also becomes the gateway to such unique mountaintop destinations as Cathedral Rock, Balanced Rock and Granite Mountain.  The Brown’s Ranch trail also makes the long awaited connection between the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the Tonto National Forest.
    Parking for over 200 passenger vehicles, shade ramadas, fresh drinking water and restrooms are all found at the trailhead’s interpretive center.  In addition, twenty-four horse trailer parking spaces, hitching rails and water troughs make this an ideal equestrian staging area.
    The City of Scottsdale has designated October to be the official McDowell Sonoran Preserve Month with October 19 being a special day for the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead.  So why not get out and discover for yourself this natural, wilderness treasure just 24 miles from Anthem?  The cost to discover this beautiful desert land is always free; only costing your time and a desire to explore the beauty of the undisturbed Sonoran Desert.

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