There is only one word to describe Arizona, and that would simply be “mesmerising.” The 6th-largest state in the United States of America is filled with wonders of nature—caves, summer and winter in the mountains, petrified forests, and colourful deserts. No wonder it is home to some of the best places to hike in America. If you’re seeking to have arguably the best hiking experience in your life all the whilst exploring the many different trails that can be accessed only from backcountry camps, Arizona is truly the place to be. Read more to find out all about the best hiking and trekking spots in Arizona, USA.
1. Seven Falls Trail
You can’t talk about some of the most popular hiking spots in Tucson without mentioning the famous Seven Falls. The seven waterfalls, breathtaking scenery, and relatively easy trail make this location the first place in Tucson that you must visit! As a bonus, you will see a waterfall flowing down granite cliffs to a clear pool for you to swim in—or you can just relax and enjoy the views around. Keep in mind that this hike takes approximately three hours round-trip, so it is highly recommended that you bring at least 1 quart (946 ml) of water for each person.
Seven Falls Trail
Address: 5700 N Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson, AZ 85750, United States
Website: Seven Falls Trail
For those who want to experience layer by layer the beauty and uniqueness of a cliff without the need to stay overnight, Bright Angel Trail is the right choice for you. It is one of the best climbs in South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, and offers different difficulty levels. Visit in the spring and autumn seasons, as these are the best times to hike the trail comfortably. If you want to travel during the summer, do take note that the temperature does get hotter the farther you rise up to the cliff—and it’s 5 degrees hotter in the river than on the bank! So it is indeed wise to always check the weather in Grand Canyon when you plan to go there.
Grand Canyon: Private Day Hike on Bright Angel
Duration: 4 to 8 hours
3. Watson Lake Loop Trail
Located near Prescott is a 4.5-mile (7.24 km) loop trail overlooking the breathtaking Watson Lake—probably one of the main reasons this trail is popular and loved by many. It’s quite a unique route, as you are given the option of where to start, with each trailhead boasting unique features and hidden treasures for trekkers to enjoy. There’s undeniably so much to see during your journey here, from the picturesque lake where you can spot kayakers to the endless stretch of Granite Dells. There’s even a refreshing waterfall! And that’s only the beginning of it all.
Watson Lake Loop Trail
Address: 3101 Watson Lake Park Rd, Prescott, AZ 86301, United States
Website: Watson Lake Loop Trail
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4. Estes Canyon Loop Trail
An incredible trail with extraordinary views, Estes Canyon Loop Trail is a cult favorite among climbers. Overlooking Sonoran Desert, this intermediate track is not too complicated and far, and the view from Estes Canyon can really dazzle your eyes. Your hike will begin by climbing Ajo Mountains, and as you go up, you’ll be able to see Sonoyta Valley that extends to Mexico and Puerto Blanco Mountains. It’s considered one of the most popular trails out there, but despite being so, the spot is very quiet and peaceful. Do remember to bring water with you to stay hydrated throughout your journey in the desert!
Estes Canyon Loop Trail
Address: Ajo, AZ 85321, United States
5. Doe Mountain Trail
Located in Sedona, Doe Mountain Trail features beautiful wildflowers on a moderate to challenging trail. However, the farther you climb, the more rewarding the views get! This place is mainly used for hiking and nature tourism, and it can be accessed all year round. You can also hike with your pet here. Just try to keep your dog always on a leash! The entire climb will take you approximately two hours round-trip.
Doe Mountain Trail
Address: Doe Mountain, AZ 86336, United States
Website: Doe Mountain Trail
6. Echo Canyon Trail
When talking about the greatest hiking spots in Phoenix, you could say Echo Canyon Trail is the most famous. It is a highly preferred destination among hikers, making it a mainstay in the climbing culture of the city. The 2.4-mile (3.86 km) trail leads to a picturesque view of Phoenix’s metropolitan area. However, due to its challenging terrain, this trail is recommended only if you have considerable trekking experience. It is definitely not suitable for beginners.
Echo Canyon Trail
Address: 4925 E McDonald Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85018, United States
Website: Echo Canyon Trail
7. Tom's Thumb Trail
Beginners, don’t be discouraged. Unlike other trails, the 4-mile (6.44 km) Tom’s Thumb Trail caters to all levels, experienced or not. Although the route might seem long, it’s relatively stable and manageable, with minimal obstacles. After conquering the terrain, you will be delightfully greeted by spectacular views of the southern section of McDowell Mountains and urban Phoenix. Do take note that you must bring your own water bottle, as there is no water available along the way.
Tom's Thumb Trail
Address: 23015 N 128th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, United States
8. Lava Flow Trail
Craving for something with that extra dash of thrill? Try out Lava Flow Trail, an 0.8-mile (1.29 km) trail in Flagstaff. This is a great place to bring your children along, as the hike is relatively manageable and offers an educational experience as you explore a 900-plus-year-old volcanic landscape on the base of Sunset Crater Volcano. Stop by the visitor centre beforehand and grab a brochure to find out more about the highlights of this fascinating trail.
Lava Flow Trail
Address: Loop Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, United States
Website: Lava Flow Trail
9. The Wave
The Wave has got to be every hiker’s top bucket list destination. Why wouldn’t it be? After all, it’s one of Mother Nature’s finest works of art, a spectacular red sandstone bordering Utah and Arizona. Unlike the others, this 6.3-mile (10.14 km) trail is not entirely open to the public. Due to its overwhelming popularity, attracting massive crowds, the site has now a limit of only 20 lucky people per day, making a hike here truly a golden experience that everyone’s fighting for.
Address: 745 East, US-89, Kanab, UT 84741, United States
Website: The Wave
10. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon that truly looks something out of a Hollywood movie—perhaps Aladdin? Its breathtaking views make it a highly popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. Hiking this legendary sandstone sculpture would definitely be one for the books, an experience you won’t soon forget. You’ll be glad to know that this trail is suitable for beginners and skilled hikers alike.
Address: Antelope Canyon, AZ 86040, United States
Website: Antelope Canyon
Let Mother Nature amaze you in Arizona
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert at hiking and trekking, Arizona’s got all the best spots for you. Enjoy a workout all the whilst taking in picturesque views of Mother Nature’s finest creations. Take on the quest yourself or invite your favorite people along and visit these gorgeous hiking trails now!
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