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Southwestern USA Hiking Trails including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Northern Arizona


Lost Dog Wash Trail Scottsdale, AZ


  • From Fountain Hills, take Palisades Blvd to Shea Blvd.

  • At the light, turn right towards Scottsdale until you reach 124th street.

  • At the light, turn right and continue straight until the road dead-ends at the Lost Dog Trail parking area.

About the hike: This trail goes to an overlook of Taliesin West. Start at the Ramada by following the paved sidewalk up to the signpost. The best time to do this hike is the winter and spring months. The track is well marked but offers no shade. I would rate this 4.2-mile trek with a 410-foot elevation gain as easy.

The trail's main attraction is the overlook view of Taliesin West, the winter home and school of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He resided here from 1937 until his death in 1959. Today his home is the headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Taliesin West is open to the public, and they offer tours.

Click on this picture of his home below to learn more about Taliesin West or schedule a tour today.

The home view is off in the distance; bring binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens! I was able to capture this closeup with a zoom lens.

You have seen what awaits at the end. Let us enjoy the journey to the end of the trail. You'll start out from the Ramada on pavement for a short distance and then turn left onto the dirt trail. Just a little way up the path, you'll come to a wash where you will see a sign directing you left onto Lost Dog Wash Trail.

I decided to explore this trail on a sunny Sunday morning in April 2021. Unfortunately, the drought we had most of 2020 continues into 2021, and the evidence of such little rainfall was reflected across the desert floor.

All of the smaller shrubbery was brown and very few blooming cacti and if they were blooming, they dried up quickly.

I continued along the trail enjoying the views until another hiker coming in my direction, screeched "Rattlesnake" and pointed directly down on the pathway.

What was so surprising is the way the rattlesnake blended into his surroundings. I'm not sure I would have seen him if my fellow hiker would not have shouted "rattlesnake"!

Recovering from that excitement, I continue along the trail. The trail has minimal elevation gains and mainly winds through the desert dotted with Saguaros.

I was determined to find beauty among all the dryness. I came across this fishhook barrel cactus surrounded by dry grasses. It gave me a feeling of tranquility because of the simplistic beauty from the combination of the grass and cactus.

My favorite springtime pleasure is the blooming Ocotillos. Luckily they still provided a little show this spring, splashing red here and there across the horizon.

The path twisted and turned as we made our way towards the lookout point.

I glanced backward and caught this lovely view. We were close to the lookout, just a few more steps. We turned left towards the end of the trail, where you could view Taliesin West.

I really thought this was funny seeing this sign at the top of the trail since, in the beginning, I already encountered the rattlesnake. It is time for me to break from hiking in the valley and head up north to do some hiking in the high country over the summer months.

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