Spring is here, which means perfect hiking weather! Outdoors enthusiast and local influencer Andrea Blake put together a list of the top 5 best hiking trails in Phoenix for us to enjoy before the temperatures heat up.
5. Papago Park/ Hole in the Rock
Pagago Park is full of outdoor activities; from bike riding to hiking, this place is ideal for those that are looking for an easy morning adventure.
Hole in the Rock is a 0.3 mile out and back trail, made easy for any skill level. The peak is unlike any other in the area, leading you through the ‘hole in the rock’ to then perch on the edge of the summit. Expect to see views of the Phoenix Zoo on the left, downtown Tempe and the Papago Buttes towards the right.
Hole in the Rock is also a great place to have a date, picnic, or family hike.
4. Tom’s Thumb
Tom’s Thumb Trail is perfect for those who love a bit of a challenge but don’t want to feel wiped out for an entire day. This hike is a 4 mile out and back trail which offers steady uphill switchbacks for the first half, then mellows out nicely to finish. Expect excellent scenery throughout your hike, especially towards the top. Tom’s Thumb is centered around an array of sights; southern Mcdowell Mountains and urban Phoenix being just two of them.
The trail itself is very well marked and maintained by Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, ensuring you a great hike year-round.
3. Peralta Trail
Peralta Trail is located in the Superstition Mountains and is rated moderate in difficulty – though rated “moderate” the trail itself is relatively easy! This 4.9 mile out and back trail is perfect for beginner hikers or those wanting to take kids, as it offers a gradual incline and an array of beautiful views throughout the hike.
It may take anywhere from an hour or more to reach the end of Peralta Trail though the rewarding views at the top are well worth the hike. Feel free to bring a nutritious lunch or energy packed snacks to refuel with at the top – this will give you time to soak in the aweing view of Weever’s Needle and explore the surrounding valley.
2. Piestewa Peak
The Phoenix Mountain Preserve is full of easy, moderate and difficult hiking trails – you can find yourself spending all day in this natural preserve. The most well known of them all is Piestewa Peak; a 2.3 mile out and back trail that leaves you feeling absolutely accomplished every time. The incline starts almost immediately with engraved stair steps and switchbacks leading you to the summit. The trail is very well marked and offers a few rest stops for those hikers that wish to take a breather while enjoying the views along the way.
When you reach the summit be sure to watch your footing – the trail veers off, leaving you to venture the peak for yourself. Take the time to enjoy the 360 degree views, you’ve earned it!
1. Camelback Mountain
The most renowned hike in Phoenix, Arizona would have to be Camelback Mountain. This beautiful mountain is located in the center of Scottsdale near Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall and the Phoenician Resort. Camelback Mountain incorporates two separate trails that conjoin at the peak of the mountain with views of all Downtown Phoenix, North Scottsdale and Tempe. The two trails included on Camelback are Cholla Trail and Echo Canyon Trail.
Both trails have their own difficulty level:
● Echo Canyon Trail – Prepare for a challenge leading up to the summit! There will be rails to help assist and flat areas to cool down. For the average hiker this trail may take 45 minutes to 1 hour to hit the summit. This trail is considered difficult.
● Cholla Trail – Enjoy a scenic uphill hike that wraps around Camelback Mountain featuring awing views of the valley surrounding. This trail is considered moderate to difficult.
Always remember to be prepared when hiking; wear the correct shoes, take a hat or wear sunscreen, bring more than enough water and take nutritious snacks with you to refuel with at the summit. You can shop hiking gear at Globo Surf.
Follow Andrea Blake on Instagram @AndreaBlake.Online.