An eMagazine about wheelchair-accessible events, sports & locations in Arizona

Bajada Trail


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September 26th, 2009: Today, the City of Scottsdale and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy dedicated the grand opening of  the all new, all accessible Bajada Trail. The trail is located at the Gateway Park, which is east of Thompson Park between Bell Road and Union Hills.

Accessing Arizona was on hand for the brief ceremony. The Bajada Trail, in true Scottsdale fashion is more than just a trail. It has an information center that features some very nice architecture. Even the parking lot feels like more than just a place to park.

Denise Labrecque, ADA Coordinator for the City of Scottsdale crosses the bridge at the beginning of the Bajada Trail.

Denise Labrecque, ADA Coordinator for the City of Scottsdale crosses the bridge at the beginning of the Bajada Trail.

The main Bajada Trail is 1/4 mile long. It’s made of rammed earth and is plenty wide. The trail meanders across the foothills (aka Bajadas) that begin the base of the Sonoran Mountain range. Along the way there are observation points to observe the desert. The Information Center is a perfect place to water up, learn a little about the desert and the McDowell Mountains and prepare for the trek. Immediately you will travel across a walk way the spans over a dry creek bed. You can see that critters are plentiful around the trail. For anyone wanting to get back into nature a bit more, there is a second trail you can pick up that is much more rugged. It’s another quarter mile of loose gravel and dry creek beds that is much more challenging.

The Bajada Trail is a perfect place to get some excercise and take in the desert. The only thing thats missing is some shade. The information center is great for cooling off, but ideally the trail would benefit from shady rest spots. For people in the north valley, the Bajada Trail should be considered the first true accessible trail. We’ve covered the trail at the City of Phoenix’s  Reach 11 (Tatum north of Union Hills) and it’s poor trail head and recent lack of maintenance.

Seven year old twins, Evan and Yale Richardson, race ahead of mom on the new Bajada Trail. Both twins have cerebral palsy caused by premature births. The boys attend Copper Ridge School in Scottsdale.

Seven year old twins, Evan and Yale Richardson, race ahead of mom on the new Bajada Trail. Both twins have cerebral palsy caused by premature births. The boys attend Copper Ridge School in Scottsdale.

A Red Tail Hawk is released during the ceremony.

A Red Tail Hawk is released during the ceremony.


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6 Responses »

  1. Hello Loren-

    This addition to accessible outside recreation olooks great. I look forward to vbisiting the trail as the weather cools off. Do you know if biking the trail with my handbike would be allowed?

    Take care,
    Gene

    Gene – Nope. This one isnt a hand-bike trail. Too narrow, too short. There is a great 2-3 mile bike path on the east side of Pima just north of this. Its got a 2% incline the whole way. Killer going up, a blast coming down.

  2. Loren,

    I love the Website and your amazing photography. Keep up the great work!

    I look forward to helping out in any way I can.

    Don Price

  3. Just found your site. What a very helpful site. It can difficult to find accessible trails out in nature, and you guys have put all the information in one place.

    I have Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy; a recent broken foot has put me in a wheelchair from part-time to full time; I will enjoy many of these locations thanks to the information on this website. I thank you!

    Gary Marble

  4. This is so, so awesome to see this trail from conception to implementation!

  5. What are the exact directions? I am confused when you say “The trail is located at the Gateway Park, which is east of Thompson Park between Bell Road and Union Hills.” I looked up both of those parks in the yellow pages and had no luck finding an address.

    Thank you

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Accessing Arizona is primarily designed for people who are looking for wheelchair accessible events, locations and activities. If you have paralysis (paraplegic or quadriplegic), Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, or if you are an amputee, Accessing Arizona has information about an active lifestyle.
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