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  1. #1
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    Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve

    The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is starting to get on more people's radar, there is a lot of misinformation floating around, so I thought I'd give good information about it.

    170 miles of trails, almost all open to mountain biking. What is the Preserve? Mission and Vision

    The citizens of Scottsdale voted to set aside 1/4 of the area of the City, 47 square miles, as a Preserve for native wildlife and plants. History

    The City expects all visitors to act in a respectful manner, meaning for us to ride only when the Preserve is open (generally between sunrise and sunset, except when closured due to rain softening the trails), as the native wildlife needs adequate time to rest, hunt and etc. without people around. About a week ago, some climbers were harassing a nesting pair of Prairie Falcons at the summit of Tom's Thumb. Because of that action, the City has closed the north side to climbing until the falcon chicks are old enough to leave the nest. That is how serious they are about people acting responsibly in the Preserve. City of Scottsdale - McDowell Sonoran Preserve

    The City is very concerned about everyone staying on-trail to minimize the impact on the desert varnish, and to other plants which prevent erosion from destroying this unique Preserve. We need to act as a community, letting other riders know how to act and follow the rules, so that the Preserve can be sustainable. If riders are on trails when the Preserve is closed, riding with dogs off leash, riding off-trail and etc. I expect the City would also close trails to riding. Frequently Asked Questions The Preserve is not a place for typical high speed DH riding, or for trail racing. McDowell Mountain County Park in Fountain Hills does have competitive tracks where you can ride full-out. Don't expect to see competitive races in the Preserve.

    Here's an overview of the main areas of the Preserve: Guided Mountain Biking

    Here's a link for maps of the main areas: Visit the Preserve
    Last edited by 4slomo; 05-07-2016 at 05:57 PM. Reason: Clarifying typos
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  2. #2
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    I don't agree with the whole "no riding at night" thing... I seriously doubt that has any affect on wildlife and I am sure you have no proof to back that up...

    one more thing I would like to add... Climbing bikes have the right of way over descending bikes... I am going to call this violation from now on "Brown's Disease"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is starting to get on more people's radar, there is a lot of misinformation floating around, so I thought I'd give good information about it.
    The City of Scottsdale closed the north face of Tom's Thumb to climbing due to nesting birds. Apparently there were some nimrods that were getting too close to the top of the north face a week ago, so they reiterated on the local climbing forum that climbers should stay away from even the top of the north face. As with any activity, there are selfish meatheads who just have to jack it up for everyone else. If the City of Scottsdale has taken the step of closing ALL of Tom's Thumb, then that has not been communicated to the climbing community, OR posted on the preserve web site (I just looked at it).

    Also, I'm pretty sure they said the nesting birds are Prairie Falcons.

  4. #4
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    4slomo, thanks so much for your information...but c'mon, get your effing panties out of a bunch. Sure, we need to be good trail users, but thanks to the evil Strava, EVERY DAY IS RACE DAY...got it?
    We just need to be careful and cautious as to not be *****...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RajunCajun44 View Post
    I don't agree with the whole "no riding at night" thing... I seriously doubt that has any affect on wildlife and I am sure you have no proof to back that up...

    one more thing I would like to add... Climbing bikes have the right of way over descending bikes... I am going to call this violation from now on "Brown's Disease"
    the no night riding is more to appease butthurt residents who don't like seeing lights on their mountain. on my night right last week (with my offleash dog) I passed 8 hikers. I've never seen another rider on my night rides.

    4slomo - what size is your blue shirt?

    Cajun - I would caveat the blame on Brown's in that some of the trails are so swoopy and change so fast, its not always clear by the time you are passing who is going up or down, and in those situations if there is room I will pass regardless, and if there isnt I yield or communicate regardless. I also find a higher percentage of new and unskilled riders out there who dont have the skill so fall back on giving you passive aggressive comments when there is plenty of room to pass. Not directing this last criticism at you...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    4slomo, thanks so much for your information...but c'mon, get your effing panties out of a bunch. Sure, we need to be good trail users, but thanks to the evil Strava, EVERY DAY IS RACE DAY...got it?
    We just need to be careful and cautious as to not be *****...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    4slomo - what size is your blue shirt?
    Ha ha ha. Nail on the head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    to dont have the skill so fall back on giving you passive aggressive comments when there is plenty of room to pass. Not directing this last criticism at you...
    Aggressive aggressive comments are the way to go: Scottsdale sucks d!ck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    Aggressive aggressive comments are the way to go: Scottsdale sucks d!ck!
    ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    ...
    b!tch
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    b!tch
    This is a nice TL;DR for your posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    the no night riding is more to appease butthurt residents who don't like seeing lights on their mountain. on my night right last week (with my offleash dog) I passed 8 hikers. I've never seen another rider on my night rides.

    4slomo - what size is your blue shirt?

    Cajun - I would caveat the blame on Brown's in that some of the trails are so swoopy and change so fast, its not always clear by the time you are passing who is going up or down, and in those situations if there is room I will pass regardless, and if there isnt I yield or communicate regardless. I also find a higher percentage of new and unskilled riders out there who dont have the skill so fall back on giving you passive aggressive comments when there is plenty of room to pass. Not directing this last criticism at you...
    i agree and I understand where you coming from.. its just that it "seems" that there are a lot of newbies at browns who simply don't know that climbers have the right of way... It happens everywhere, but on a nice March Saturday when every walmart mt bike is out on the trail is when I seem to have issues.

    I am not referring to flat areas, areas where there is plenty of room for 2 bikes, or blind corners (all which are very common in Browns)...

  13. #13
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    Do drones have the right of way?

  14. #14
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    Back to School:

    Much of the animal life of the desert is nocturnal, one way that animals adapt to the heat and aridity, so viewing is often best in the morning or evening. - See more at: Educational Resources Educational Resources

    Scottsdale sets these Preserve "open" hours to help foster good conditions for our desert wildlife which are more active in the early dawn and evening hours. We allow the wildlife to use the Preserve undisturbed during the evening/night hours and people use it during the day. Respecting the hours is helping to maintain the diversity of wildlife in the Preserve that makes it such a special place for all. It is illegal to be in the Preserve outside of these hours. https://www.instagram.com/p/9J3DpgjRTU/

    Quote Originally Posted by RajunCajun44 View Post
    I don't agree with the whole "no riding at night" thing... I seriously doubt that has any affect on wildlife and I am sure you have no proof to back that up...

    one more thing I would like to add... Climbing bikes have the right of way over descending bikes... I am going to call this violation from now on "Brown's Disease"
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  15. #15
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    I'm sure you won't come cryin' if Scottsdale PD has your vehicle towed, from being parked in the parking lot after hours, because you'll be able to ride home on your bike...

    Nature Preserve: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_reserve

    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    the no night riding is more to appease butthurt residents who don't like seeing lights on their mountain. on my night right last week (with my offleash dog) I passed 8 hikers. I've never seen another rider on my night rides.

    4slomo - what size is your blue shirt?

    Cajun - I would caveat the blame on Brown's in that some of the trails are so swoopy and change so fast, its not always clear by the time you are passing who is going up or down, and in those situations if there is room I will pass regardless, and if there isnt I yield or communicate regardless. I also find a higher percentage of new and unskilled riders out there who dont have the skill so fall back on giving you passive aggressive comments when there is plenty of room to pass. Not directing this last criticism at you...
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  16. #16
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    I always rode to the preserve at night from my house, so no car to tow dude. But seriously....what size is your blue shirt???




  17. #17
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    4slomo, I'm guessing here that you're not just playing the "messenger" but truly believe that stuff. I mean are you really saying that the handful of people nightriding in the desert do the wildlife some harm? Moreso that quads, sidebysides, dirtbikes, etc during the day? Fugging please... Show us all some data. I don't believe that crap one bit. Get a life and a different form of recreation. Mountain biking and the MTB community isn't for you.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    I'm sure you won't come cryin' if Scottsdale PD has your vehicle towed, from being parked in the parking lot after hours, because you'll be able to ride home on your bike...

    Nature Preserve: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_reserve
    who is dumb enough to park in the lot when night riding? or i ride from home. Like most blue-shirts, you are obsessed with the idea of trailheads and parking lots. why is it so many of you are OCD about the rules but dont actually understand getting out and getting lost? Poser.

    hey I rode by one of your kind on Browns Ranch road today. He has stepped to the side of the road, with his 2 dogs, and I rolled by when he said in a snotty voice "You're welcome." I replied "Its 6 feet wide, don't need your attitude". Give him a big hug from me if you know him.
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    What I've been the most curious about over the last several years is how such an awesome hobby attracts such bitter and angry people. It's confounding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    What I've been the most curious about over the last several years is how such an awesome hobby attracts such bitter and angry people. It's confounding.
    I blame the ride of single speeds for the rise in anger.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    Back to School:

    Much of the animal life of the desert is nocturnal, one way that animals adapt to the heat and aridity, so viewing is often best in the morning or evening. - See more at: Educational Resources Educational Resources

    Scottsdale sets these Preserve "open" hours to help foster good conditions for our desert wildlife which are more active in the early dawn and evening hours. We allow the wildlife to use the Preserve undisturbed during the evening/night hours and people use it during the day. Respecting the hours is helping to maintain the diversity of wildlife in the Preserve that makes it such a special place for all. It is illegal to be in the Preserve outside of these hours. https://www.instagram.com/p/9J3DpgjRTU/
    GFYS, Vandemite!
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    hey I rode by one of your kind on Browns Ranch road today. He has stepped to the side of the road, with his 2 dogs, and I rolled by when he said in a snotty voice "You're welcome." I replied "Its 6 feet wide, don't need your attitude". Give him a big hug from me if you know him.
    Today we went past this shithead right before you I guess. Guy with 2 golden retrievers, totally stopped, already standing to the far right of a freeway lane width section of trail. Says "you're welcome" as we pass at a greatly reduced pace with many feet between us!?! What a dickknob! This is exactly why I try to avoid Scottsdale trails. A much higher concentration of douchers than anywhere else in the metro area.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    Back to School:

    Much of the animal life of the desert is nocturnal, one way that animals adapt to the heat and aridity, so viewing is often best in the morning or evening. - See more at: Educational Resources Educational Resources

    Scottsdale sets these Preserve "open" hours to help foster good conditions for our desert wildlife which are more active in the early dawn and evening hours. We allow the wildlife to use the Preserve undisturbed during the evening/night hours and people use it during the day. Respecting the hours is helping to maintain the diversity of wildlife in the Preserve that makes it such a special place for all. It is illegal to be in the Preserve outside of these hours. https://www.instagram.com/p/9J3DpgjRTU/
    how is that proof ??

    explain to me how I see more wildlife in residential areas than in non residential areas... if in fact wildlife are scared of humans, why do they make their presence more in residential areas than otherwise ?? there is no hunting (except archery) in Brown's ranch, so the wildlife will adapt quickly to know that humans are much less of a threat than the predators there (fox, coyote, cougar, bobcat etc.. )..
    Last edited by RajunCajun44; 05-08-2016 at 09:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RajunCajun44 View Post
    how is that proof ??

    explain to me how I see more wildlife in residential areas than in non residential areas... if in fact wildlife are scared of humans, why do they make their presence more in residential areas than otherwise ?? there is no hunting (except archery) in Brown's ranch, so the wildlife will adapt quickly to know that humans are much less of a threat than the predators there (fox, coyote, cougar, bobcat etc.. ).. if in fact i decide to break out my bow to bag some animals in the preserve it will be in spite of your bs
    there is a korean family in my neighborhood that lured and trapped and ate a javalina. I've never seen much more than a gila monster or a jackrabbit at Brown's. The McDs I see deer and small animals all the time, the vast majority of coyotes and javalina I've seen are west of the mountains where the water settles and where they can dabble off of the neighborhoods.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    there is a korean family in my neighborhood that lured and trapped and ate a javalina. I've never seen much more than a gila monster or a jackrabbit at Brown's. The McDs I see deer and small animals all the time, the vast majority of coyotes and javalina I've seen are west of the mountains where the water settles and where they can dabble off of the neighborhoods.
    There's tons of wildlife out there, especially at sunrise. I've seen tons of deer, javelina, bobcats, a cotamundi and even a mtn lion cub on the west side of cholla. I do understand the OP's concern, but many times when I have rolled into GM parking lot at sunrise I have encountered stewards hiking in groups. So I am not sure if the rules only apply to us mtn bikers or what?

    Reminds me of the signs at the parking lots after it rains saying to refrain, yet the horseback riders think that means it's time to go wild out there.

  27. #27
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    Lots of scientific investigation is being conducted in the Preserve:

    Large Mammal Population Survey: The helicopter survey flown in January, 2013 was
    the first since 2006. The survey team counted a total of 65 mule deer and 70 collared peccaries.

    Small Mammal Survey: The small mammal survey team documented 25
    mammal species on the MSP.

    Birds: In total, the team documented 128 bird species on the MSP. Breeding was confirmed for 24 of these species.

    Reptiles and amphibians: A total of 194 separate animals were located on the MSP between January, 2011 and November, 2013, comprising 35 distinct species.

    The Flora and Fauna of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve: https://s3.amazonaws.com/McDowellSon...4029545229.pdf

    The Sonoran Desert is one of the most diverse environments with over 100 species of reptiles, 60 mammals, 350 birds, and 2,000 plants making a home in the desert Gateway to the Sonoran Desert ? McDowell Sonoran Preserve | Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona

    Preserve Hours: City of Scottsdale - Preserve Hours
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by seandm View Post
    There's tons of wildlife out there, especially at sunrise. I've seen tons of deer, javelina, bobcats, a cotamundi and even a mtn lion cub on the west side of cholla. I do understand the OP's concern, but many times when I have rolled into GM parking lot at sunrise I have encountered stewards hiking in groups. So I am not sure if the rules only apply to us mtn bikers or what?
    that's cool! thanks!
    When Brown's first opened, at one of the planning meetings, I asked one of the planners and they had no prohibition against NR because no homes were disturbed, this was 6 years ago before Brown's TH was even built. This is definitely a new policy. In the mtns, no NR is a joke and total NIMBY nonsense cause the trails cover such a tiny fraction of the land and like i said most of them except the deer come down to the neighborhoods all the time.

    Mr. BlueShirt why it is that the MSC and the Stewards have refused to take a position on the Desert Discovery Center, going so far to delete comments on the FB page taking a position against it. hypocrisy...yup. You just can't be in the Preserve at night, unless the MSC blesses it.
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