The Gateway Trailhead {Playdate Series}


Ristorante (1)


Welcome to our SMB Playdate Series! This series focuses on various locales throughout the city that are enjoyable for a playdate and a writer’s opinion on a particular location.

Today we profile Gateway Trailhead, an outdoor trail in Scottsdale. Kate and Renee share personal observations on their experience. 

Kate’s Perspective 

For our second playdate, we wanted to get outside and enjoy this amazing weather before it gets too hot and we start baking cookies on the sidewalk. We chose Gateway Trailhead, located on 18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy in Scottsdale.

This trail was an easy choice for us. It provided shade, water fountains and clean restrooms. Minutes into the path we encountered a beautiful nature loop. It is perfect for little ones. There are wonderful signs along the way that kids can see and learn more about the trail. If you like to run, there is a smooth jogging path too.

Kate Eschbach Photography-2

We brought my two older kids with us and my daughter taught the kids a fun activity that she likes to do on hikes. She brings a journal along and draws what she sees. These sketches become a wonderful compilation in a memory book. I love watching her drawing improve and and to see what she chooses.

Kate Eschbach Photography-6     Kate Eschbach Photography-3






This was such a perfect playdate! Renee and I were able to stroll and visit while the boys ran up ahead and got the wiggles out. Knowing the trail is designed in a loop kept our mamma hearts from worrying about them getting too far ahead.

 Renee’s Perspective

What a beautiful morning! I think we chose the perfect week to explore Gateway–not too hot and so many cactus in full bloom.

Before moving to the desert, I didn’t realize how much the desert changed season to season. I assumed all I would see were a few cacti and tumbleweeds blowing in the wind. This isn’t the case. There is an amazing beauty that appears every springtime in the desert as these hearty cacti and trees flower in a rainbow of color.

Curious about desert wildflowers that we spotted ? Click here to get more information on specific flowers that you may encounter on this trail.

Try teaching your kids about flower identification. Can they find flowers that are the same color? How many petals do they have? Can they draw a picture of them? A game of Eye Spy can get them engaged and on the hunt.
Some recommendations for this trail: Pack a couple of water bottles. You can always refill them at the trailhead water fountains. Don’t forget your sunblock and hats. The sun is strong out there year round.
But most importantly, enjoy yourself and let the kids explore the beauty of the desert.

Kate Eschbach Photography-5