The Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt Trail!
The Scottsdale Greenbelt, named the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, is a lush 11 mile, 2-lane paved multi-use trail through Central Scottsdale. Protected from traffic, it’s accessible from many parks. Use this table of parks N to S and the map below to hit the trail fast.
Bike, walk, jog, skateboard, or rollerblade. Ride a horse, hoverboard, or haul the kids in a wagon. It’s a wonderful place for fitness, fun and playing with kids and dogs!
Accessible from many parks, you’re always close to parking, amenities and facilities for your needs and comfort.
Why I Love the Greenbelt and You Will Too!
My spirits always lift when I hit the Scottsdale Greenbelt. Sometimes tears are streaming down my face behind my shades, but I put on a big, cheesy smile, turn on my tunes, and get moving. Soon, my soul is rejoicing in our great outdoors! And somebody always smiles back or a dog greets me, because it’s a happy trail!
It’s an outing full of miracles every time. You’ll spot colorful, exotic peachy-faced love birds or native Gamble quail and their babies. At the lake you’ll see ducks and Canada geese flying over or hanging out, as well as egrets and herons fishing.
Look up high in the eucalyptus trees and you might see a Great Horned owl or hawks. And if you get really lucky, maybe you’ll see cottontail rabbits, coyotes, javelina or raccoons.
Swoon over the scent of citrus blossoms, jasmine or acacia trees blooming in spring. Heady roses and other showy flowers attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to their pollen & nectar.
Gaze at fleeting sunrises, clouds, fountains, mountains and sunsets over the lake. Dodge the big sprinklers and watch the ballet of City workers mowing the expansive Greenbelt lawns.
Sitting sedentary at home, I’d miss this wonder. So, I kick my backside into gear, heeding my departed Mom’s command to ‘go outside and play’ in glorious, sunny Scottsdale!
I always wave or stop to thank the City’s crews for working hard to keep our parks and trails clean and manicured for our enjoyment.
Greenbelt or Desert Trail — What’s Your Right Path?
Don’t be coaxed by peers to veer from your comfort zone. A long desert adventure — with dirt, blisters, bites, stings, insects, snakes and other critters, cactus or thorns — isn’t for everybody. If risking slipping, falling, spraining or breaking something — sunburn, heatstroke, freezing, wind, rain, lightning, blowing dust and other mountainous miseries aren’t your jam — we’ve got more civilized paths afoot.
With so many path and trail options to choose from — here’s a table from N to S — pick ones that fit your desire for proximity and adventure, physical ability, season, weather and gear.
No hiking for me — photos only at Lost Dog Trailhead, McDowell Sonoran Desert Preserve.
As much as I love our desert beauty, I prefer trekking the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt trail. And, being a klutz, it’s hard to fall off a paved path or step in a varmint hole! The wilderness doesn’t call to me like it once did. And I see plenty of wildlife right here in town.
Personal Comfort on Scottsdale Greenbelt:
I like to be comfortable and protect my skin — here’s my regimen.
I adjust my walks seasonally — if it’s really hot, I walk at daybreak. If it’s cold, I walk when the day’s warmest. If it’s cool and/or windy, I wear layers. I bring a waterproof windbreaker if light rain is predicted.
If it’s sunny, I wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen — lips too, and driving gloves to protect my hands. If it’s windy or cold, I add a headband, scarf, jacket and warm gloves. This native ‘desert rat’ gal wearing a pink puffer coat is happy looking goofy and being warm!
I hydrate a lot, which is why I like to be close to park facilities.
I wear decent but un-fancy athletic shoes. It’s usually not dusty but there might be puddles, mud and unseen dog poop to step in.
Cruising the Scottsdale Greenbelt
Safety Tips, Rules and Good Judgment
Here are tips and rules to ensure a really good time on the Greenbelt.
Keep dogs leashed at all times. Scoop and dispose of poop ASAP. There are lots of bags and trash cans.
I don’t walk in heavy rain. Thunder, lightning and flash floods created by torrential desert rains are dangerous. Never stand under a tree in a storm. Lightning strikes trees and our eucalyptus trees are brittle, with wind snapping big branches.
Flood control is Job 1 of the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt. Watch floodwaters after a gully-washer from a safe distance.
I leave valuables at home. Lock your vehicle. Secure your keys on your person, so you don’t lose them.
Most people and pets are friendly, making trail use enjoyable, rewarding & a good place to meet & greet friends, new, old, young and furry.
Don’t expect everyone to know the rules or use our trails and paths responsibly. Take charge of your safety and companions needing your assistance — dogs, kids, seniors, et al.
Yes, horses are allowed on the Greenbelt! And, they always have the right of way.
Always be aware of your surroundings, especially if distracted by your phone. Step off the trail to text, talk, snap a photo, pick a tune or engage with other people and pets on the trail.
Look ahead & behind you before diverting around a puddle from sprinklers or rain, or before making turns.
Don’t assume a cyclist or other rider on wheels will yield to you — sometimes they’re going too fast to stop if you make an unexpected move.
Using the trails when it’s dark poses risks. Use good common sense and appropriate lighted and reflective gear in low light conditions.
If you encounter individuals and/or behaviors that don’t feel safe, head quickly to safety and/or call 911. The Scottsdale Police Department is very responsive.
Don’t get involved in enforcing someone else’s improper behavior — that job belongs to the police.
More Fun Just Off the Greenbelt
I’ll look for you out on our happy trails in Scottsdale!
Scottsdale Lifestyle Blogger
I’m a 5th generation native Arizona gal who loves showing and telling what makes Scottsdale an amazing place to visit and make home! I hope you enjoy our city through my lens, making your own discoveries and memories here!