City of Scottsdale

Lost Dog Trailhead

Creative Use of Environmental Elements Make Lost Dog Trailhead a Unique Experience. 


A key access point for recreational use of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve trail system, this project was extremely creative, including rammed-earth structures, composting restrooms, ramada shade, entry monument, solar lighting, rusted metal trim features, automatic access control gates, equestrian features, concrete benches and tables, native plant relocation, native area preservation and protection, trail connections to existing trails, parking, roadways, and a concrete bridge over the Lost Dog Wash. The project included culvert crossings and cement-stabilized wash fords to prevent erosion. Rock salvaged from prior construction operations was re-used for bank stabilization. At this project, Valley Rain tied the new construction into the existing desert surroundings by hand placing native rock, wood and other gathered material to restore the perimeter of the site disturbed by construction activities. Our footprint was limited by fences and barriers that limited access to native areas. Continuous trail access was maintained.


Project Details

75% Self-Performed
August 2006 | 4.4 miles

Key Elements

Native Plant Relocation | Solar Lighting
Earth Structures | Equestrian Features
Bank Stabilization | Concrete Bridge


Crescordia Award, Valley Forward Merit Award, Design Excellence, AIA
Honor Award, Sustainable Award, AIA

Valley Rain has completed many trailhead projects for the City of Scottsdale in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. They excel at completing the necessary construction, while assuring that the public has continuous safe access to the Preserve. They are innovative when it comes to construction planning and phasing, and have a proven record of safely working in close proximity to the public. They share the City’s values when it comes to placing a high priority on the public’s access
and enjoyment of the Preserve.

Scott Hamilton
Project Manager, City of Scottsdale

Capturing the natural beauty of the surrounding environment is our approach to trailhead construction.