Scottsdale Recreation

The foothills of the Sonoran Desert offer a perfect climate and one of the most diverse environments for enjoying a wide array of outdoor recreation.


Mirabel borders the 2.9-million-acre Tonto National Forest and there are literally hundreds of miles of excellent hiking trails minutes away. These range from leisurely nature strolls to strenuous treks only experienced outdoors enthusiasts should attempt.

Black Mountain Summit Trail

A strenuous, rock-strewn hike to the top of Black Mountain, which looms above Cave Creek. Do not attempt during warm weather and bring plenty of water. Access the trail via School House Road.

Sears-Kay Indian Ruins

This moderate hike loops up and around a small hilltop just north of Mirabel. Along the way, you’ll encounter 1,000-year-old Hohokam ruins and beautiful vistas of the unspoiled desert.

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

Located just northwest of Cave Creek on Spur Cross Road, several popular trails can be accessed from this trailhead. They range from moderate to strenuous and encompass both rugged desert foothills and beautiful riparian areas with great opportunities to view wildlife and Native American artifacts.

Tom’s Thumb

Located in the McDowell Mountains, this hike takes you past washes, ancient rock slides, caves and mountain meadows as it makes its way to the 600-foot monolith known to locals as Tom’s Thumb. The views are magnificent.

Pinnacle Peak Trail

The centerpiece to Scottsdale’s largest city park, Pinnacle Peak Trail is a moderate 1.75 mile hike that skirts along the flanks of North Scottsdale’s dominant landmark.


The area around Mirabel offers exceptional opportunities for both road bike and mountain bike enthusiasts. Check with the Mirabel Member Services staff or contact the Flat Tire Bike Shop in Cave Creek at (480) 488-5261 or for routes, events and organized rides.

Horseback Riding

MacDonald’s Ranch

Located in Scottsdale, this horse and cattle ranch has been around since the 1950s. While it is not quite the size it was back then, it still operates as a working ranch. There’s horseback riding and plenty of opportunities for children to interact with ranch animals in their natural surroundings.

OHV Excursions

Exploring the desert via Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) is one of the most popular and fastest growing sports in Arizona. For information on trails or to rent vehicles, contact Extreme Arizona in Cave Creek at (480) 488-8529 or

Water Skiing and Boating

Bartlett Lake

Located within the Tonto National Forest, this lake is the second largest in the valley and offers many recreational activities such as hiking, boating, water skiing, jet skiing and fishing. There’s plenty of room to explore the beauty of the picturesque beaches and mountain views.

Let Mirabel’s Member Services help you plan your exploration of the surrounding area and its attractions.