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Wendy Walker

McDowell Mountain Ranch

As the name suggests, McDowell Mountain Ranch is located in the foothills of the scenic McDowell Mountains of Scottsdale. The 26 neighborhoods and more than 4,000 homes offer the type of variety and quality that appeals to a wide range of homeowners. McDowell Mountain Ranch was built on 3,200 acres of extraordinary Sonoran Desert loaded with stately Saguaros, Mesquites, Palo Verdes and a host of other native plants and animals. For those looking for quite tranquility of the desert while still staying close to the action, McDowell Mountain is a great choice. McDowell Sonoran Desert Preserve The McDowell Sonoran Desert Preserve sits right next door to McDowell Mountain Ranch. This 16,000-acre preserve offers hundreds of miles of trails that weave through shady desert arroyos and around steep mountain peaks. The visitor’s center educates and enriches hikers about the park as well as the wonders of the Sonoran Desert in general. There’s even a paved loop that allows those with mobility challenges to strike out on an adventure of their own.

Lifestyle Amenities

Residents of McDowell Mountain can also step outside their doors to enjoy paved and natural walking/hiking/biking trails that crisscross the neighborhood. And the McDowell Center – the community’s recreation hub – offers a host of amenities such as basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, playgrounds for the little ones, picnic ramadas, swimming pools, spas and much more. Indeed, nearly $120 million was spent to make McDowell Mountain Ranch one of the most amenity-rich communities in the Valley of the Sun. Engagement with others comes easy at McDowell Mountain Ranch. From hiking clubs to youth sports, there’s always something going on. And the nearness to the Loop 101 provides residents with a convenient way to reach restaurants, shops and other attractions Valley-wide. But they won’t need to venture far to enjoy the many activities offered in their back yards. The City of Scottsdale, for example, has invested in a number of nearby amenities such as the Aquatic Center with its theme-park-style pools and slides. Others include WestWorld, the Arabian Library and Horizon Park.


The crown jewel of the community is its public championship golf course – McDowell Mountain Golf Club. Randy Heckenkemper designed the par-71, 7,072-yard course decades ago and he recently led a complete renovation alongside Phil Mickelson and “Coach” Steve Loy. The result is a much-improved experience with wider corridors, reshaped fairways, tees and greens.


The schools in McDowell Mountain Ranch are within the Scottsdale Unified School District. Desert Canyon Elementary and Desert Canyon Middle School are both linked to the community’s walking paths which allows students to go to and from school without crossing streets. Desert Mountain High School is located just off of Via Linda Rd for the older kids.  

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