10 Best Hiking And Trekking Spots In Phoenix, Arizona

hiking in phoenix
| 4 min read

Phoenix in Arizona is famous for five things: cattle, cotton, citrus, copper, and climate. The last–giving Phoenix dry and sunny days owing mostly to its place in the Sonoran Desert–has earned it the title of Valley of the Sun. While this city, of one most populous in the States, is well-known for its desert landscapes, there is actually so much more to it. Phoenix is also rich in natural features that make it great for outdoor adventures. When city life gets exhausting and you need to get away, spending time surrounded by nature is a fine way to rejuvenate yourself. Hiking and trekking are wonderful ways of doing just that. Phoenix has several great spots for these activities. Check out these best hiking and trekking spots in Phoenix, Arizona.

1. Desert Vista Trailhead

hiking in phoenix | desert vista trailhead
Source: instagram

Desert Vista Trailhead is a great family-friendly trek. It has plenty of markers, making it easy to traverse. It also has a great parking lot, with a clean washroom and drinking water. There are a number of trails to choose from here such as Hawk’s Nest Trail and Dixie Mountain Loop Trail. This is an easy trek to do. It is a great option for beginners and for people who do not want anything strenuous or challenging. You can even use a bicycle on this trail.

Desert Vista Trailhead

Address: 1901 W Desert Vista Trail, Phoenix, AZ 85085, United States

Website: Desert Vista Trailhead

Opening hours: 5am - 7pm (daily)

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2. South Mountain Park

Cell Towers in South Mountain Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Visitor7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

South Mountain Park has many different hiking trails. You can visit this park if you want to determine how challenging you want it to be. It has both easy and difficult trails that you can go through. You get to see beautiful views of Phoenix City from the trails in this park. You can even go biking here. It is also pet-friendly. You can take your four-legged friends with you. Some trails you can consider are Pima Canyon Trail, Mormon Trail, National Trail, and so on.

South Mountain Park

Address: 10919 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85042, United States

Website: South Mountain Park

Opening hours: 5am - 7pm (daily)

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3. Echo Canyon Trailhead

Echo Canyon Park Sign
Source: Photo by user Tom Woodward used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Echo Canyon Trailhead is a difficult trail and is not for everyone. Make sure that your fitness levels are up to the mark before undertaking this trek. The terrain can be steep and hard to traverse and does provide you with beautiful views. Choose this trek if you want to challenge yourself. There are two levels of parking available, one is at the entrance and the other is a little higher up. This trail does not allow pets. If you do decide to embark upon this trek, make sure you are in good physical shape.

Echo Canyon Trailhead

Address: Unnamed Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018, United States

Website: Echo Canyon Trailhead

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4. Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Phoenix Mountains Preserve
Source: Photo by user Loren Javier used under CC BY-ND 2.0

There are a number of trails you can pick in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, such as the Quartz Ridge Trail. The hikes here are of moderate difficulty, with a couple of advanced options as well. It is pet-friendly as well. This park is never much crowded which makes it a good option if you are looking for someplace that is quiet. This park is popular for the spectacular sunset views it provides.

Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Address: 2701 E Squaw Peak Dr, Phoenix,

Website: Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Opening hours: 5am - 7pm (daily)

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5. North Mountain Park

North Mountain Park is open seven days a week, allowing you to explore the beauty of the place throughout the week. This park has many hiking trails to pick from. Based on the level of difficulty, you can pick this trail as it gives you many great views. This is a pet-friendly park as well. The treks here are not very difficult. It has a great parking lot, scattered with picnic tables. The main trail is easy to trek and it is very well-marked.

North Mountain Park

Address: 10608 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020, United States

Website: North Mountain Park

Opening hours: 5am - 7pm (daily)

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6. Papago Park

Papago Park
Source: Photo by user John Fowler used under CC BY 2.0

Papago Park has a private parking lot; it has bike parking also. Be sure to check out Hole In The Rock when you visit this place. It is an archaeological site. This park is child-friendly and pet-friendly as well. This is a great option to go trekking with your family. It has a number of easy treks and hikes for you to take. It also has a number of picnic spots. You can carry a nice picnic basket and revel in the natural beauty. Overall, this is a great option for beginners and has amazing views, too.

Papago Park

Address: 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, United State

Website: Papago Park

Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)

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7. Shaw Butte Trailhead

Shaw Butte Trailhead is an easy hike and is not very crowded. It is a good place to go for some peace and quiet. Be sure to carry plenty of water though, as it does not have too many shady areas. There is free parking, too, which makes it an ideal destination for all the trekkers. This trail is about a 4-mile (about 6 kilometers) trek. The trail can be a little rocky but is quite wide, making it easy to walk on. It offers trekkers beautiful views of the valley. This trail does not have too many markers so ensure that you remember which path you came from to avoid getting lost.

Shaw Butte Trailhead

Address: 12950 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85022, United States

Website: Shaw Butte Trailhead

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8. Piestewa Peak Park

Piestewa Peak Park is an amazing park, offering many beautiful views of the city. It is a great option for an early morning or a late evening stroll and has a spectacular parking lot, clean washrooms, and so on. This trail gives you beautiful views for all the people who want to explore the beautiful nature. The difficulty level is moderate. It does have a fair bit of incline.

Piestewa Peak Park

Address: Maricopa County, Arizona, U.S.

Website: Piestewa Peak Park

Opening hours: 5am - 11pm (daily)

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9. Shadow Mountain

Amazing! A few times a year the shadow on Superstition Mountain looks like a cougar attacking its prey. Thanks to Jeff Downey for capturing a picture of the giant cat!

Posted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Monday, 27 March 2017

Shadow Mountain trail is about 2 miles (roughly 4 kilometers) long. It is suitable for everyone. It is easy to moderate in terms of difficulty. You can take your pets along with you as this destination is pet-friendly as well. It is a good trek to go on throughout the year and offers many trekkers an opportunity to even see the wildlife of the area. It is a preferred trek for hiking or running and even activities such as bird-watching.

Shadow Mountain

Address: Phoenix, AZ, USA

Website: Shadow Mountain

Opening hours: 5am - 11pm (daily)

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10. Phoenix Sonoran Preserve

Phoenix Sonoran Preserve trail is about 36 miles (57 kilometers) away from the undeveloped Sonoran Desert. It features some breathtaking sceneries as you climb up the Dixie Mountain. The trail is also suitable for all the bikers as it’s quite moderate to climb. The preserve system has about 15 trails that range between 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) to about 13.9 miles (22 kilometers), each mountain standing about 1,591 feet (485 meters) to about 2,286 feet (697 meters) above the sea level. So, plan a trip to this preserve system and get an opportunity to explore some beautiful unexplored places.

Phoenix Sonoran Preserve

Address: 1600 E Sonoran Desert Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85085, United States

Website: Phoenix Sonoran Preserve

Opening hours: 5am - 7pm (daily)

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Enjoy your stay at Phoenix

The above trails are some excellent choices when planning a trek in Phoenix. Now you know which one to pick based on the information provided above. Allow yourself to be surrounded by Mother Nature and let all the stress of everyday life just slip away. Don’t forget to capture some beautiful and spectacular pictures when visiting these trails.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Hi, I am Anurag Paul Gummadi, residing in Bangalore, India.

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