10 Best Scottsdale Parks: Explore the City's Open Spaces

Scottsdale is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, and the city's roster of well-maintained parks and recreation destinations is more than impressive.

One of the city's biggest municipal parks is Chaparral Park and Community Center, boasting 100 acres of open space. This popular neighborhood park features a 10 acre lake, perfect for boating and fishing in the desert.

For families, nothing beats the history and adventure of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, located north of Scottsdale's busy city center. Kids and their parents will delight in the traditional carousel, train exhibitions and museum, gift shop and ice cream counter, and of course, the one-mile train ride around the park.

If your visit to Scottsdale coincides with the blazing heat of summer, head to one of the region's popular public aquatic centers. For sheer excitement and amenities, nothing beats  McDowell Mountain Ranch Park and Aquatic Center. This megapark features an eight lane lap pool, 600-foot lazy river, and a large tube water slide. Interactive water features keep the kiddies entertained, while a comfortable veranda provides great views of the pool.

For a true taste of natural Southwestern beauty, head to Pinnacle Peak Park, an iconic 150 acre desert sanctuary that offers stunning views of the Valley.



This specialty park is a mega oasis for Scottsdale residents and visitors, featuring 35 acres of recreational amenities. The park is home to an aquatic center, skate park, soccer fields, ball fields, and even a 600-foot lazy river. McDowell...  Read More



When you want an up-close experience with the majestic beauty of the desert, head to Pinnacle Peak Park in Scottsdale. Pinnacle Peak is one of the Valley's most iconic natural landmarks and a popular destination for local hikers and visitors....  Read More



George "Doc" Cavalliere Park is an award-winning nature lover's oasis in Scottsdale. The 34 acre park features a shaded playground, two lighted full basketball courts, picnic areas, two drop-in ramadas, and a one-mile looping hiking trail. This...  Read More



Vistal del Camino Park and Recreational Center offers 71 acres of recreational space in the heart of Scottsdale. The park features two lakes, a sand volleyball court, full basketball court, two playgrounds, three softball fields, horse shoes,...  Read More



Walking, running, biking and rollerblading are the activities of choice at Chaparral Park and Community Center, one of Scottsdale's largest and most popular community parks. The 100 acre park features a range of recreational opportunities and...  Read More



El Dorado Park is one of the biggest municipal parks in Scottsdale, featuring 60 acres of green space and two lakes. This is a popular weekend destination, with four reservable ramadas, seven drop-in ramadas, three reservable picnic areas, and...  Read More



Scottsdale Sports Complex is a jock's paradise. But thankfully, you don't have to be a seasoned athlete to enjoy this public sport field complex. The 71-acre facility offers state of the art amenities to the public, all designed to offer...  Read More

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park


McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a train-lover's haven located in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona. The park offers train and carousel rides for all ages, open green space for family picnics, historic Arizona railroad artifacts, model...  Read More



The McDowell Sonoran Preserve protects more than 30,000 acres of pristine desert in north Scottsdale. This is a hiker's paradise, with more than 115 miles of trails, including more than 60 miles of shared-use trails. Trailhead gates are open...  Read More



Scottsdale Civic Center Mall features almost three acres of pristine open public space. The park is located in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, running eastward from Brown Avenue to 75th Street, and then southward from 1st Avenue to 2nd Street....  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia