Mental Wellness in the Great Outdoors of Scottsdale

It is no secret that Scottsdale, Arizona has great weather and an abundance of natural beauty. From the towering Saguaro cactus to the neverending mountain ranges, there is always something in nature to marvel at, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Aside from the hottest summer months, it is pretty comfortable to spend time outdoors most of the year in Scottsdale, Arizona. For that reason, Scottsdale is the perfect place to take advantage of the outdoors in ways that directly benefit mental health and wellbeing. Whether it is getting outside for a nature walk, outdoor meditation or hike, the benefits are the same and can have a significantly positive impact on your physical, mental and emotional health.

Girl In Wilderness

Before jumping into the wide range of outdoor activities Scottsdale has to offer, it is important to first note why spending time in nature is so beneficial to our health and wellbeing in the first place. Studies show that engaging with nature increases wellbeing, positive mood, promotes positive social interactions, and fosters a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life. If you are someone who spends the majority of your week indoors or in an office setting, both your mind and body can become overwhelmed and fatigued. One of the best ways to combat this is to get outside where the mind and body are naturally at ease. Spending time in nature has also been shown to increase creativity and problem solving abilities. Getting outside in nature not only has positive effects on our mental health but our physical health and immune system as well. Immersing oneself in nature has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, and lower heart rate and blood pressure. Spending time outdoors is also a great way to engage in regular movement which has many benefits to overall wellbeing.

Cactus Blossom

Scottsdale, Arizona has an endless amount of outdoor spaces to engage and immerse yourself in. It is important to note that spending time in nature does not have to be expensive to be beneficial. There are plenty of free resources and outdoor activities to take advantage of in Scottsdale, Arizona. Here are just a few natural resources to take part in in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Pinnacle Peak trailhead is located in Scottsdale, Arizona and serves as a moderate level hike that is 3.8 miles out and back. Pinnacle Peak trailhead in Scottsdale, Arizona is a perfect hike to engage in Scottsdales natural beauty. The hike offers informational signs throughout the trail, educating visitors about the wildlife and plants in the Sonoran Desert.


Another great option in Scottsdale is Brown’s Ranch Trailhead which offers many easy to moderate trails and loops to hike, walk or bike through. Be on the lookout for wildlife and beautiful desert plants that line the trails and preserve.

Lost Dog Wash Trail offers another easy to moderate hike where you can reach a beautiful overlook of the valley without having to climb too high of an elevation.

The Desert Botanical Gardens are located close to Scottsdale and can be a great place to engage in mindfulness and marvel in the natural beauty of the unique desert plants that thrive here. This is also a great place to learn a bit about the area’s natural history and the Indigenous communities that lived off the desert land. Every second Tuesday of the month, the Desert Botanical Gardens are free for visitors.


Taking advantage of Scottsdale’s outdoor environment is a powerful and accessible way to boost well-being. Regularly spending time outdoors fulfills many needs such as recreation and leisure, as well as spiritual connection, personal growth and development. Being in nature positively affects mental and physical health by encouraging movement, mindfulness and community and social involvement. If you are someone who finds it difficult to get outdoors and does not have regular access to parks, trails or desert environments in Scottsdale, there are other ways to reap the benefits of nature at home. Studies show that having a few indoor plants, regularly opening the windows to allow sunlight in and looking at pictures and videos of biodiverse landscapes can have some of the same benefits as being in nature provides.

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About The Author

Mandy Higginbotham Owner

Mandy Higginbotham

Owner/Clinical Director

Mandy Higginbotham, owner of Ezra Counseling, has a Masters from Phoenix Seminary. She uses a mind-body approach to assist clients with various mental health issues. Formerly a college athlete and mentor, she cherishes her role as a therapist.

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