For seven months of the year, Phoenix, Arizona, is a dream destination for so many people. Its remarkable fall, winter, and spring weather draw millions to the valley for various reasons. One of those is hiking. Here are the best Phoenix hikes and best hikes near Phoenix for those hoping to enjoy the beautiful views.
Before diving in, it’s imperative to note that drinking water is a must even though temperatures might be down from the summer highs. So make sure to carry plenty of water on your hikes, have a hat, and wear sunblock.
Best Phoenix Hikes
One of the most popular hikes in the Phoenix area. A short yet steep and arduous hike awaits those who trek up Camelback mountain. There are two ways up – Cholla Trail and Echo Canyon. The Cholla trail requires you to park on the road, while Echo Canyon has a big parking lot. This also gets crowded, so expect a full parking lot by 9 am. Do NOT do this in the middle of the summer if you’re visiting.
Another short yet challenging hike in central Phoenix. Piestewa Peak is full of steps and rocks, yet that won’t dissuade many locals from speeding up the 1.25-mile trail. This is one of the best Phoenix hikes if you’re short on time but looking for a good workout.
In the same area as Piestewa, Dreamy Draw is an assortment of moderate to easy running and biking trails that might be full of spring flowers if you play your cards right. Right off the SR-51 and Northern, the trails connect to multiple trailheads in the area. Just make sure not to get lost on the trails! It’s a fan favorite for Phoenix hiking.
In northwest Central Phoenix, this three-mile trail has a moderately steep start before a more gradual hike toward the top. You’ll have excellent views of Uptown and the valley, and it is one of the hikes in Phoenix you should attempt.
South Mountain Preserve
An entire mountain range south of Phoenix is full of great hikes and stunning sunset views of downtown. The best hikes are Fat Man’s Pass (Mormon Loop), Dobbins Lookout, and Hidden Valley Trail. There are plenty of options, and I suggest visiting AllTrails.com to see what Phoenix hiking trails you want.
Nestled in northern Scottsdale, the McDowell Mountains offer a plethora of hiking and biking options if you don’t want to go all the way out to the Supes. Tom’s Thumb is one of the most popular trails, while the Gateway, Bell Pass, Windgate Loops is a fantastic 10-mile hike for those looking to get some mileage under them. Of course, this entire area is incredible for trail running too.
Best hikes near Phoenix – Superstition Mountains
The most well-known of the Superstition Mountains hikes. This grueling hike gives you awesome views of Phoenix from the east. It’s only about 5 miles round trip, but you gain nearly 3,000 feet in elevation. Know your limits before attempting this. I will note that this is in Lost Dutchman State Park, and you’ll have to pay an entrance fee. I think it’s $8-$10 for a day.
Fremont Saddle and Weavers Needle
Another medium-length hike around six miles round trip, the Fremont Saddle hike is a beautiful trek with amazing views of Weavers Needle once you reach the top. It’s not too challenging or lengthy, though you’ll feel the burn by the end. Again, I’d say this is one of the Phoenix hikes you must do.
Lost Dutchman Trail
The Lost Dutchman Trail is a mostly flat hike through the Superstition Wilderness. Stay right at the fork and enjoy the serene views of the Arizona desert. You turn this into a longer hike by connecting it to other trails in the area. In the spring, it’s one of the best places to be and the best hikes near Phoenix.
Another six-mile round trip hike, this winds you past and through a couple of streams and next to some amazing cacti and saguaros. Eventually, you’ll land on top of Black Mesa in a forest of Cholla cacti. You’ll also be given a great view of Weaver’s Needle from the north. Finally, you can combine this with the Lost Dutchman Trail for a 9-mile loop.
If you’re looking for more information on hiking in the Superstition Mountains, here are my favorites!
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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