Hike of the Week: Corral Loop in Scottsdale

Mare CzinarNovember 30, 2023
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Corral Loop, Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve 

This hike explores the relics of Scottsdale’s Brown’s Ranch.  Established in 1916, the 44,000 acre operation ran cattle in the mountainous desert space before being abandoned in mid-century.  The ranch site can be reached by following Brown’s Ranch Road north to the Corral Trail.  The 2.3-mile path swings through gorgeous Sonoran Desert vegetation and the disintegrating footprints of the ranch. Even with encroaching cacti, catclaw, frothy turpentine bushes and stray twigs poking through cracked stonework, the old west character of the place endures. 

  •  LENGTH: 5.5 mile loop
  • RATING: easy
  • ELEVATION: 2,645 – 2,763 feet
  • BEST SEASON: October – April
  • FACILITIES: restrooms, water 


Browns Ranch Trailhead
30301 N. Alma School Pkwy., Scottsdale.  

  • From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Pima/Princess exit 36, travel 6.5 miles north on Pima to Dynamite Road. 
  • Turn right and continue 2.7 miles to Alma School, turn left and drive 1 mile to the trailhead.
  • The preserve is open sunrise to sunset daily.