Enjoy Scenic Drive

Grand Prize Winner, 2014 Summer Fun Tony Nelssen Photo Contest, "A Special Evening" by Howard Myers

Grand Prize Winner, 2014 Summer Fun Tony Nelssen Photo Contest, “A Special Evening” by Howard Myers

When the drive was established in 1963, the northern part of Scottsdale Road had just been paved for the first time. Today, it’s a modern, safe, four lane highway that connects “downtown” Scottsdale, located 21 miles to the south, with Carefree/Cave Creek and a variety of enjoyment opportunities that include:

  • Resorts, shopping, golf, horseback riding, hiking
  • Restaurants and art galleries
  • Attractions such as  el Pedregal, the Boulders, Mac Donald’s Ranch, Pinnacle Peak Park, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Bartlett and Horseshoe Lakes
  • Hiking and outdoor activities at Pinnacle Peak Park, Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Desert Foothills Land Trust Preserves, and McDowell Mountain Regional Park
  • Suburban homes, rural  equestrian neighborhoods, and planned communities

Sonoran Desert Environment

It’s the natural environment that makes the area special. The drive was created because the northern part of Scottsdale “is a special place where the desert gradually rises to the mountains, creating slightly cooler temperatures and a lush landscape dotted by saguaro, palo verde, mesquite and cholla. A landscape where the fertile floor covers the forgotten footprints of Apaches, prospectors and pioneers.” “Discovering the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive”, Scottsdale Magazine, Summer 1996. The following pages provide information about

  • Climate
  • Plants (flora)
  • Wildlife (fauna)
  • Photographs of Sunsets and Flowers
  • Informative Websites
Review Sonoran Desert Information and Photos

Upcoming Community Events and Entertainment Venues

If you live here or are planning a visit in the near future and are looking for things to do, check A Peek at the Peak magazine’s community events calendar. You’ll find information about upcoming theater performances, festivals, western events, and a variety of other types of home-grown events.

Review Events & Venues

Attractions & Shopping Near Drive

In addition to scenery, plants and animals, north Scottsdale and the foothills are dotted with places to see and things to do.  Attractions include horseback riding, unique restaurants and a museum.   Shopping includes the very special el Pedregal and local shopping areas.

Review List of Attractions and Shopping

Neighborhoods, Churches & Schools

Most of the volunteers who help with the Scenic Drive first came to the area as visitors and decided to move here permanently or at least during the winter months.

Adjacent to the Scenic Drive there are older equestrian properties off dirt roads, gated master planned communities with golf, tennis, pools, and fitness centers, and traditional family-style neighborhoods.   There are churches and schools nearby.

Review Neighborhoods, and More …