Brown’s Ranch in Scottsdale Arizona contains multiple sandy paths that have been used by the Hohokam Indians, Mid-Century Ranchers, Hikers and Mountain Bikers alike.
Archaeologist Thomas Write published data suggesting the earliest existence of human life on Brown’s Ranch date 7000 BC. Hohokam is a Pima word meaning “those who have gone”. The Hohokam indians were farmers and were successful in their adaption to the harsh desert landscape at Brown’s Ranch. Their skills for building irrigation systems from canals coined the tribe as “masters of the desert”. The Hohokam people disappeared from the Phoenix area by A.D. 1450 and there is no consensus on what happened to them.
Brown’s Ranch was later founded in 1917 by E.O. Brown and was a working cattle ranch until 1970. At its peak Brown’s Ranch encompassed 44,000 acres supporting 3,000 to 5,000 head of cattle. The ranch house, which the foundation can still be seen, is located at the northeastern base of Brown’s Mountain.
You can also see other structures that were once used as a bunkhouse, shed, chicken coup and stock tank. Cattle purchased would arrive in Phoenix by train and would often take two or three days to drive the cattle to the ranch. In fact, the exact stretch of road from Dynamite Boulevard to the parking lot is the exact route used for the cattle drive.
In 1999, the land was acquired by the City of Scottsdale for $3.8 million to further develop the McDowell Mountain Preserve.
Take AZ-101 Loop North and Exit Pima Road. Travel North and head East on Dynamite Boulevard. Turn North on Alma School Parkway which will end at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead.