The Complete Guide to the Scottsdale Greenbelt
Scottsdale may be known for its rugged desert scenery, but do you know about our little slice of grassy green paradise that stretches across the city? Scottsdale's Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt is more than an impressive architectural feat - it's also a community gathering site packed with opportunities for relaxation and fun.
You can find a beautiful area to lounge for an afternoon, sweat it out playing your sport of choice or rent an e-bike at the path’s start near McCormick Ranch to see the entire greenbelt without wasting any energy. How far you venture and what sights you enjoy within this expansive park system is up to you - so here is everything you need to know about Scottsdale’s Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt and bike path!
What is the Scottsdale Greenbelt?
The Scottsdale Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt is a manufactured park and trail system that covers more than 11 miles of land, stretching from Scottsdale's Shea Boulevard to Tempe Town Lake. This popular recreational space is home to many of Scottsdale's public parks, fields, pools, golf courses and more - all with well-paved walking and biking trails cross-crossing through the fun.
When you venture out on the trails that snake their way through the Scottsdale Greenbelt, you can pass through vastly distinctive terrains that keep the trek interesting and keep you wondering what's around the corner.
Where most describe Scottsdale's nature as rugged and sandy, many parts of the Scottsdale Greenbelt are lush, manicured and vibrant. At one moment, you can pass by towering Saguaros and sagebrush scattered about a rocky floor. At another moment, you could enjoy the breeze passing through some towering trees lining the perimeter of a pristine pond.
What is the History of the Scottsdale Greenbelt?
The Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt is Scottsdale's shining example of how a group of creative and determined citizens can change the course of history
Following a threat of dangerous and costly flooding in the Scottsdale area in the 1960s, the City of Scottsdale almost accepted plans to create a giant concrete waterway that would split the city in half.
Many people living in Scottsdale were understandably not happy with these plans. So the community banded together to develop a new strategy and put pressure on the city's decision-makers to select the method that would bring the community together instead of creating a giant cement rift.
In the end, the city chose the plans to design a recreational area that doubles as a flood prevention tool. And thus, the development of the Indian Bend Wash Greenway was underway.
The city took significant risks in choosing this form of flood prevention and experienced a fair share of setbacks. The development of the Greenbelt took almost 20 years to complete from start to finish, and in 1985, the city finished this feat of engineering and community effort.
Visiting Scottsdale's Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt
What can you do on the Scottsdale Greenbelt?
Hundreds of thousands of Scottsdale locals and visitors use the Scottsdale Greenbelt annually. With endless activities to explore in this expansive park, you will always find something new and fun to experience.
Enjoy the trails
The well-maintained trails that cover the Greenbelt are perfect for distance running, simple biking, rollerblading or any other version of the trail-based exercise you want to enjoy. You can roll or run past miles of stunning outdoor scenes and still have more trails to explore another time.
A large portion of the Scottsdale Greenbelt is dedicated to pristine golf courses. Avid golfers from all over the world come to play on this grass, especially when the rest of the country is experiencing chilly winter weather. With the Coronado Golf Course, Continental Golf Club, Silverado Golf Course and McCormick Ranch Golf Club all on the Greenbelt, it's easy to grab a tee time.
Scottsdale's reputation as a hub for baseball does not go unnoticed on the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt! With several baseball fields on the grounds, you can find Major League Baseball talent year-round. To see some future MLBers knock them out of the park, head to the Chaparral Park Ball Field.
Scottsdale's Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt hosts both national and international Tennis tournaments, featuring some of the biggest names in Tennis. And when the pros aren't serving cannonballs, tennis players of all levels can enjoy some matches, rallying and playing pickleball on the courts. If you want to serve a few balls, you can head to Indian School Park and Tennis Center.
Scottsdale may be a desert, but Chaparral Park Aquatic Center ensures that you can take a dip any time of year. Especially around late spring and early fall, this aquatic center is a popular spot for swimming lessons and early morning laps.
Lounge by the Water
Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt has multiple ponds and waterways to picnic by with shade to enjoy and geese to watch. These ponds are well-maintained and make an excellent backdrop for spreading a blanket, eating lunch, playing yard games and enjoying a stress-free day outside.
Mckellips Lake Park is a beautiful spot to watch the sunset reflect off the water. Indian School Park Lake is also a substantial body of water to enjoy, with Schrader's Pond just a stone's throw away as well.
Scottsdale Greenbelt Map
With so much of this recreational area to enjoy, knowing what you want to take on will help you decide what area of the Greenbelt to visit.
Here is a helpful activity map of the area that points out several hot spots along the Scottsdale Greenbelt!
Where is the Scottsdale Greenbelt Parking?
Parking can vary depending on the area of the Greenbelt that you want to visit and whether any significant events are happening. However, even if you show up on a busy day, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a place to park along the Scottsdale Greenbelt.
There are several spots to find at the larger parks on the Greenbelt, like Eldorado Park and Chaparral Park. You can also find many opportunities along the streets or in small lots along the perimeter of the Greenbelt.
Biking the Scottsdale Greenbelt Bike Path
Biking is one of the most popular activities to enjoy on the Scottsdale Greenbelt. This recreational area is home to one of the longest and most well-maintained bike paths in Scottsdale, so everything from pro cycles to training wheels can enjoy the route.
Why Ride Scottsdale Greenbelt Bike Path?
Scottsdale Greenbelt Has Easy Access Points
The Scottsdale Greenbelt bike path has several entry points, so you can have a completely flexible start and end spot. You can decide whether you take on the total 11 miles of trails, start at the midpoint or turn around at your leisure. If you are renting a bike with Rides N Motion, you can hop right on the bike path near McCormick Ranch to start your adventure!
Home To Scottsdale's Greenest Views
Scottsdale is packed with stunning natural beauty, most akin to the surrounding desert. So if you are craving more lush and vibrant green views on your bike ride, the Scottsdale Greenbelt is one of the best areas to visit. With several ponds, streams and fountains along the pathway, the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt breaks up the desert views with pockets of vibrant green foliage and manicured lawns.
The Paths Are Great For All Levels
The Scottsdale Greenbelt bike path is incredibly flat and even slightly declines if you decide to ride from the north to the south end. The flat terrain and widely paved trails make a bike path welcoming to all levels.
The Route is Safe
When the Scottsdale Greenbelt bike path was designed, the architects kept bike safety and convenience in mind by including bridges and tunnels for bikes to pass without crossing a busy street. This level of protection makes this bike path perfect for families with children learning the ropes of handling a bike.
What You'll See on the Scottsdale Greenbelt Bike Path
Taking the Scottsdale Greenbelt bike path from the north end to the south end? Here is what you'll see along the way!
Mountain View Park and McCormick Ranch
If you start at Shea Boulevard, a popular spot for people who want to bike the entirety of the belt, the first scenic areas you'll see are Mountain View Park and McCormick Ranch. Mountain View Park has classic Scottsdale beauty, with rock gardens and sagebrush. McCormick Ranch has upscale waterway, golf club and resort views that throw you into the immaculate greenery of the Greenbelt.
Water Mark Public Art
Don't miss your chance to see the Water Mark sculpture, a stunning art installation at the bottom of McCormick Ranch. This giant display will impress everyone who witnesses it but will be extra special for equestrians.
Scottsdale Nature Area
Just a little farther down the Greenbelt, you can explore a lovely riverside nature area on Hayden Road. The paved path winds through overhanging trees and denser foliage than the desert cacti found around the rest of the city.
The First major park to pedal through is Chaparral Park, home t, baseball fields, playgrounds, ponds, an aquatic center and several spots for rest and fun. After you pass through Chaparral, you'll enjoy the views of both Camelback Park and Indian School Park and Tennis Center.
Thomas Road Bike Stop
Right after the Continental Golf Club, you can hop off your saddle for a rest at the Thomas Road Bike Stop. This one-acre rest stop has water fountains, bathrooms, and shady spots to sit - everything you need to recharge and get back on the path with a new burst of energy.
After you pass the Coronado Golf Course, Eldorado Park is the next major park to explore. Like Chaparral, this Southern park has an aquatic center, playgrounds, and several ponds and waterways to take in as you wind your way through the grassy expanse. You can cycle past the teens trying their best tricks at Wedge Skate Park and pedal along the glistening river for a long while, enjoying the sunlight bouncing off the rolling water.
As you pass the Vista Del Camino softball fields, you'll be greeted with a substantial body of water on the Greenbelt - McKellips Lake. A popular spot for bird-watching, boating, lounging and enjoying the lovely park scenery, you'll finish your trek through the Greenbelt with dozens of other park visitors enjoying their day.
Safety Guidelines To Follow on the Scottsdale Greenbelt Bike Path
The Scottsdale Greenbelt is an easy ride, but we still highly recommend following standard safety when enjoying the bike path.
Wear the Proper Gear
Wear helmets and ensure that any children biking the path with you are also equipped with the protection and tools they need to minimize accidents.
Be Aware of Weather Limitations
The bike path is great to use for much of the year, but engaging in outdoor cardio during summer heat can be dangerous. So stick to early morning or late evening rides during the hottest times of the year.
Follow Biking Safety Etiquette
While there aren't major streets to navigate, bikers should still follow biking etiquette while enjoying the bike path. Pass other groups safely, announce your presence when necessary and stay on the correct side of the trail.
Popular Stops Along the Scottsdale Greenbelt Bike Path
One of the best parts of planning a casual biking trip is choosing the foods and drinks you want to enjoy along the way! Here are our favorite spots along the Scottsdale Greenbelt that you can visit without straying too far from the bike path.
Butters Pancakes & Cafe
Located in the McCormick Ranch area of the Greenbelt, this local favorite brunch spot serves up some of the biggest and most decadent brunch plates you can find in the city. End (or start, if your stomach can handle it) your bike trek with one of many creative pancake options or one of their delectable egg dishes.
Head to Uncle Sal's for a post-cycle wine and plate of pasta! This award-winning Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar is right off the Continental Golf Club and will surely meet your standards for a beautiful evening on the Greenbelt.
Dilla Libre Dos
After a long pedal, nothing tastes as good as a meal full of melted cheese and crunchy Tortillas. So when you want an extended break on your bike ride through the Greenbelt, stop at Dilla Libre, right near Eldorado Park. These quesadillas have a long list of rewards backing them up, and when you taste them, you'll see why.
Beers on Mill Avenue
When you finish your north-to-south ride, you'll land conveniently near many spots for a cold beer in Tempe! Try one of the brew spots on Mill Avenue, like Pedal Haus Brewery or Varsity Tavern.
With so many opportunities for fun, adventure and relaxation in this lush paradise that snakes through Scottsdale, you can see something new every time you visit the Scottsdale Greenbelt.
Exploring the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt with an e-bike means seeing more, doing more and experiencing more without breaking a sweat. Do you have the bike to make the most of our city's favorite recreational area? Stop by Rides N Motion or visit our website for demos, rentals and sales of the most current e-bikes!