Scottsdale Parks and Recreation boasts a whopping 43 first-rate parks! We get to play, plus improve our health and well-being lots of ways. Here’s a table of all parks and amenities, from North to South. Trekking miles of multi-use trails, as well as using recreation areas and facilities, including Aquatic, Fitness, Sports, and Scottsdale Dog Parks — there are countless activities — for free or small fees.
- Scottsdale Parks — Activities and Amenities
- Scottsdale Dog Parks — Whiz on Over!
- Scottsdale Paths and Trails, Wild and Tame
- Lakes, Fishing and Boating in Scottsdale
- Play by the Rules at Scottsdale Parks and Rec!
- Let’s Have a Party at Parks and Rec!
- Recreation and Activities – Scottsdale Life Catalog
Scottsdale Parks — Activities and Amenities
A sampling of the many activities and facilities available and listed on the N to S table include:
- Aquatic and fitness centers – separate table.
- Biking, inline skating, skateboarding, mini-scooters and hoverboards.
- Court sports: tennis, pickleball, volleyball, basketball.
- Dog parks, off-leash areas and dog water fountains.
- Horseback riding, and fishing.
- Playgrounds (many covered with sun shades), picnic areas and ramadas.
- Pools, lazy rivers and splash pads.
- Public restrooms and water fountains.
- Sport fields for baseball and softball, soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby.
- Skating on trails, a skate park and disc golf.
Scottsdale Dog Parks — Whiz on Over!
Read this even if you don’t have a dog* and get ready to wag your tail – Scottsdale boasts three – 3 – public dog parks! They are at Chaparral Park in Central Scottsdale, Horizon Park to the North, and Vista Del Camino Park in South Scottsdale.
Dog Park hours? Gates open at 6:30 AM and are locked at 8:30 PM daily. They are closed on holidays. Grab your leash and Rover!
Chaparral Park boasts the Best in Show dog park, with 3 acres of real grass, water fountains and play features for dogs to cavort. There are 3 play areas: 1 for active dogs, 1 for passive dogs, and 1 that is rotated and not in use during maintenance and turf repair.
Since we know it’s all fun and games until something goes wrong, there are several important rules to follow. If we all play along, everyone can have a good time laughing, barking, and other icky things dogs do.
*If you’re feeling down, the dog park is the Best Free Show in Town. Whether you’ve got a dog or not, you can be on the inside supervising canine clowns, or a spectator outside the fence, having all of the — fun dog-free!
Watch these goofballs of fancy and mixed breeds roughhouse until your sides split and you need to find the closest park restrooms — before heading home to your cat, bird, reptile, fish, book, or TV — with a big smile on your face.
There are lots of dog waste disposal stations and trash cans for citizens to do our part — keeping our parks, paths and trails beautiful, clean and healthy — for all to enjoy. It’s the law to keep dogs leashed at all times and to pick up dog waste immediately.
Scottsdale Paths and Trails, Wild and Tame
Also, here’s everything you need to know about biking, e-biking and other self-propelled modes of riding, like mini-scooters and hoverboards.
Lakes, Fishing and Boating in Scottsdale
Lakes, fishing and boating in Scottsdale? Surprising and true! The City of Scottsdale has several lakes for fishing and boating, including:
- Chaparral Lake at Chaparral Park, in Central Scottsdale
- McKellips Lake at Vista Del Camino Park in Down Town | Old Town
- Eldorado North and South Lakes at Eldorado Park in South Scottsdale
The fish stocked in Chaparral and Eldorado Lakes are trout in the winter, catfish in the summer and sunfish throughout the year, with these catch limits.
If you’re over the age of 9, you need to purchase a community fishing license online from the Arizona Department of Game and Fish.
Boating is permitted at Chaparral Lake and McKellips Lake only. The boats allowed are canoes, row boats, to include kayaks, boats with electric motors and sailboats. Neither inflatable rafts nor gas-powered boats are allowed.
You’ll see lots of Canada geese, ducks and other waterfowl at these lakes and parks. Please don’t feed them. It hurts them, is against the law and you don’t want to run afoul of the City.
Play nice and enjoy a nice, relaxing outing to our beautiful park lakes, and the miracle of water in the desert!
Other Lakes in Scottsdale
And Lake Serena is a private community lake for residents in Scottsdale Ranch. Your friendly Realtor® April, who lives in Scottsdale Ranch, can help you find a home here — then we can go to the Scottsdale Ranch Lake Serena fireworks show for the 4th of July!
Play by the Rules at Scottsdale Parks and Rec!
Here’s how to have the time of your life solo or with your human and canine companions, in the city parks and on the desert trails. It’s more fun to stay out of trouble — really!
The City provides amazing free (and mostly free) assets and activities for visitors and residents to enjoy. All they ask in return is that we play by the rules and regs.
Here’s a quick table of the basic rules, also posted on park signs. In addition, you’ll find phone numbers and links for things like getting permits to use the parks for your special events. For in-depth details, here are the City’s General Park Rules.
Tempting as it might be to go rogue and break a rule, it could come with a price. To keep our parks and recreation centers nice, safe and clean, the City might fine you if you’re caught. If you’re not caught, you still might ruffle someone’s feathers. Let’s keep the rules golden.
The Rules of Tom’s Thumb and Other Trails
Cowboying it in the desert sounds like free-spirited fun, but ‘ready, fire, aiming’ it can be unsafe in the North Scottsdale’s wild west. A little horse sense will make your treks happy. Stop and read the ‘Trail Rules.’
Trail signs are important for your safety, your dog’s and other companions, especially in the hot summer months.
If you’re going hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, or horseback riding on a Major Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Desert Preserve or Pinnacle Peak, it’s a good idea to visit their websites to get the details in advance. Here are specific rules for trails and paths.
Secure your vehicle and valuables before going out to play
Scottsdale is a safe city, but let’s be smart and aware of our surroundings.
Call the Scottsdale Police non-emergency number:
480-312-5025 or 911 if something isn’t right at your park.
Let’s Have a Party at Parks and Rec!
They built it so you will come! Scottsdale Parks and Rec takes reservations for hosting your very own indoor and outdoor events — affordably. With so many venues and possibilities, start dreaming and planning.
The City offers numerous indoor and outdoor areas you can reserve for that special birthday party, family reunion, office picnic, sporting event or your next meeting. Choose from ramadas and picnic areas at your favorite park, volleyball courts, sports fields, pools with lifeguards, and many more.
Recreation and Activities – Scottsdale Life Catalog
The top-notch City of Scottsdale Parks and Rec, Leisure and Education, Human and Senior Services teams provide an acrobatic roster of activities to keep we citizens — as well as the park facilities and grounds — in excellent condition.
There truly is something for everyone in Scottsdale to get involved and have lots of fun. C’mon, let’s play!
Source: City of Scottsdale, Parks and Recreation, et al.
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!