Scenic Drive: Sonoran Desert

"Saguaro Sunset" by Tom Morris

“Saguaro Sunset” by Tom Morris

The Desert Foothills 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 Desert Foothills Scenic Drive is located in the Sonoran Desert, the world’s only desert with two “rainy” seasons.

Learn About Geography, Climate, Life Zones


Plant (Flora) Guide

There are six divisions of the Sonoran Desert.  The Scenic Drive is located in the Arizona Uplands.  “Indicator” plants for the Arizona Uplands are the triangle leaf bursage, palo verde trees and the saguaro.  These and other flora that you can see along the Scenic Drive are described in our Plant Guide.

Review Plant Guide


Critter (Fauna) Guide

The foothills is rich with unusual wildlife. The cool desert nights are alive with native inhabitants of every description.

Review Critter Guide


Scenic Skies

Those of us who live in the foothills area enjoy very special benefits – spectacular sunsets lightening displays and night skies.

View Scenic Skies

Enjoy Arizona Skies

Sonoran Desert in Bloom, 2001

Every spring, it’s easy to find a beautiful saguaro bloom. But every once in awhile, after an unusually cool and wet winter we enjoy a spectacular display of desert flowers.

View Spring Flowers


Links to Informative Websites

Use this page to access a wealth of information about topics related to the home and activities of Friends of the Scenic Drive and the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association. 

See List of Websites