Top Running Trails in Scottsdale to Get in Shape

Are you familiar with the zone? It’s a state of mind where your breathing and foot movements are perfectly in harmony, and the miles seem to pass by effortlessly. Get ready to experience the best Scottsdale jogging trails, where you can enjoy scenic views while jogging on five different routes that are sure to bring you joy. So, grab your favorite sports bra and get on the trails!

Jogging woman in grey sports bra.

Exploring the Historic District

Experience the liveliness of Scottsdale’s Old Town as you follow this urban route. Begin your run at Brown Avenue and Main Street, where you’ll come across “The Yearlings,” a bronze sculpture of a galloping horse. Heading south on Brown, you’ll pass by the Old Adobe Mission and Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop, offering a glimpse into the city’s history. Take a right on Second Street and then another right onto Scottsdale Road. As you continue north, you’ll pass by trendy new eateries, vibrant shops, and iconic landmarks such as the Sugar Bowl. Turning left on Camelback Road, you’ll see the towering twin cylinders of the Soleri Bridge on your right and the Scottsdale Fashion Square, the largest shopping mall in the Southwest. Make a left at the next traffic light, just before Nordstrom, and head south, passing by the shops and restaurants of the Scottsdale Waterfront. Cross over the Arizona Canal via the Marshall Way Bridge and turn left onto Fifth Avenue, known for its boutique stores, charming bistros, and the Bob Parks Horse Fountain. A right turn onto Scottsdale Road will bring you to the final stretch. If you’re still feeling energized when you reach Main Street, turn right to explore the Arts District and make sure to stop for a photo opportunity at Ed Mell’s “Jack Knife” in the roundabout at Main Street and Marshall Way. Otherwise, turn left on Main Street and you’ll be back to where you started. Recharge with Chef Matt Carter’s contemporary Latin cuisine at The Mission, and don’t forget to try their famous 12-ingredient tableside guacamole – you’ll thank us later.

Travel to the Pinnacle Peak Summit

For those seeking a vigorous running path in Scottsdale, Pinnacle Peak offers a challenging workout. This switchback trail provides a wide view of the North Scottsdale Sonoran Desert landscape. With a 3.5-mile distance and an elevation gain of approximately 1,300 feet, reaching the summit will take some effort but the breathtaking views make it worth it. After such a strenuous workout, a satisfying meal is well-deserved. Head over to Proof, located at the nearby Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. Enjoy the patio seating overlooking the conquered peak and indulge in one of their breakfast specialties such as the Cowboy Biscuits & Gravy, Green Chile Pork Benedict, or Matcha Smoothie Bowl.

Challenge Your Stamina

The Browns Ranch Trail located in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale offers a scenic running trail with stunning views of the Sonoran Desert. The trail has a wide path with a gradual incline and provides breaks for catching your breath and admiring the scenery. Starting from the trailhead, follow the Brown’s Ranch Trail towards the north and take a left onto the Brown’s Mountain Trail. As you continue, the trail gently rises and eventually leads to switchbacks as you make your way up the mountain to the summit. Once at the top, you can either return the way you came or extend your run by taking the Upper Ranch Trail on the opposite side (be sure to grab a map at the trailhead). After your run, treat yourself to a visit to nearby Carefree where Spotted Donkey Cantina at el Pedregal offers delicious Mexican cuisine, including their specialties such as the Mexico City Carne Asada, Surf & Turf Burrito, and Charred Avocado Tacos.

Experience the LOVE

The Scottsdale Civic Center is one of the most lush spots in the city, with bubbling fountains, soft grassy knolls, and desert gardens. To begin your run, start at the West entrance of the Civic Center in front of the Little Red Schoolhouse. As you head east, you can explore the various pathways that will take you past notable places like the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Continuing east, you will encounter the iconic “LOVE” sculpture by Robert Indiana and the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. From there, you can head south on Drinkwater Boulevard to reach Scottsdale Stadium, which is home to the San Francisco Giants during Cactus League Spring Training. After retracing your steps on Drinkwater, you will return to the Civic Center where you can dine at local favorite AZ/88, known for its spacious patio, rotating art collection, and sophisticated pub food.

Take a Jog on the Greenbelt

This is a beautiful sight to behold. It can be seen in Scottsdale, with its stunning greenery and peaceful atmosphere. The image captures the essence of the Greenbelt, showcasing its natural beauty and serenity.

The Greenbelt of Indian Bend Wash is a renowned flood control project that meanders through 11 miles of parks, lakes, and golf courses, providing an excellent route for runners in Scottsdale. There are several public parking lots along Hayden Road that serve as access points to the Greenbelt, allowing runners to choose their desired path and direction. This expansive path stretches from Shea Boulevard in the north to Tempe Town Lake in the south, catering to the needs of both joggers and long-distance runners. For those looking to incorporate some resistance training into their run, Chaparral Park offers a 10-station exercise course that encircles the lake. After completing your run, make your way to Old Town Scottsdale and relax at Olive & Ivy with some small bites and handcrafted cocktails while enjoying the picturesque Arizona Canal.