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North Scottsdale’s Desert Foothills Scenic Drive enhancement continues

Scottsdale’s scenic drive, officially named the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive, was carved out in the city’s general plan as a landmark in 1963.
Residents created the 11.5 mile scenic drive along the roadside frontage on the northern most portion of Scottsdale Road, between Happy Valley Road and Cave Creek Road to create a “pleasant, non-commercial corridor” by preserving roadside vegetation and scenery for generations to come.  The scenic drive is located along both the north-bound and south-bound frontages of Scottsdale Road.

Desert Foothills Scenic Drive entry sign

Desert Foothills Scenic Drive entry sign

At that time the scenic drive was created, a 2-lane road had just been paved all the way up to Carefree, and only a half dozen houses existed north of Happy Valley Road. Area communities, volunteers and the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association have worked continuously with the City of Scottsdale to preserve, maintain and restore the natural desert landscape along this corridor.
If you’ve driven on this stretch of road, you may have noticed hand-carved, painted redwood signs along the roadway naming the desert flora near the sign. In addition, there are pull-off areas so people taking the drive can pull off the road and explore by trail and/or by plant signs.
In 2000, voters approved the issue of $27,100,000 in bonds to complete the drive and trails.  There have been some delays in the plan because of agreements on trail alignments and land easements.
Most recently, all but one utility line have been buried on the route and utility poles removed. Century Link is the last cable to be buried and that work is underway.
Utility boxes have been repainted, fences and guard rails have been repaired and roadside pull-outs are being enhanced. Trail construction is underway, but some landowners south of Jomax are not providing easements.
Once the utility line project is completed and final utility box screens placed, revegetation will begin. Intersections are also being upgraded for pedestrians, cyclists and horse-back riders.
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The trail from Jomax to Dynamite should be completed soon which will connect the existing trail to the north.  The City believes the trail issues on the south-end will be resolved and completed over the next few years.
Next time you and your family are looking for an opportunity to learn more about desert landscape, take a car ride, bike ride or walk along Scottsdale’s Desert Foothills Scenic Drive.
Rely on your Arizona golf community specialists at The Matheson Team to keep you up to date on all things “Scottsdale.”
Reach out to us any time you’re thinking about buying or selling your home.
Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
[email protected]
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