51 5 Arizona Hikes to Try by meganemaplefirst prev 1 next last
Hiking in Arizona? Yes please! Looking forward to the fantastic views and the beauty Arizona holds! Every hike has something special. I can't wait to try these hikes out when I get home!
Phoenix, Arizona9.7 miles N of Phoenix, Arizona
North Mountain National Trail is a 2.3 mile moderate, loop trail near Phoenix. It's easy to travel on if you go up the paved sections. The inclines are steep in parts, making it a real good workout, especially if you jog or run up those steep parts, or do the trail a couple of times. It can get crowded, especially the parking lot to the paved entrance. However, there arre beautiful surrounding views, that make it worth it.
There are 2 ways to hike the mountain. Starting off in the main parking lot, following a single track to the paved road OR starting in a small, secluded parking lot which is where the paved road begins (see red and green trails in map).
This trail is a relatively easy hike even though it has quite an elevation change for its length. The road/trail winds up the hill, revealing many nice lookouts over Phoenix, all the way to the towers on top of the mountain. Courtesy of aztrailheads.com
Scottsdale, Arizona11.4 miles N of Scottsdale, Arizona
Inspiration Point is a 5.7, moderate hike located on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve near Scottsdale, Arizona.
You'll begin your hike at the Gateway area, where you can find a parking lot and bathrooms. Start on the Saguaro trail which leads to the Gateway loop trail, you can go left or right, left will be shorter, right will be longer; this trail connects with the Windgate Pass Trail, Inspiration Point can be found on this trail. It's roughly a 1,000 ft. elevation gain.
The trails are rocky, but well-maintained, and clearly marked. The path winds up to a bench overlooking the city-filled valley and around to another bench that is surrounded by other peaks and valleys filled with nature. Inspiration Point is less traveled than Gateway loop, which is always crowded and is a popular tourist/family hike, thus Inspiration is a more quiet and secluded spot to enjoy the beauty of the scenery.
Phoenix, Arizona6.8 miles NE of Phoenix, Arizona
This is a very popular trail on weekend mornings. Casual hikers can get great views of Phoenix with moderate effort. Good place to bring out of town visitorsCourtesy of hikearizona.com
The Quartz Ridge Trail is a short, although relatively strenuous hike. The trailhead at 32nd street is really easy to find, although finding parking can be a challenge due to the popularity of the trails in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The Quartz Ridge Trail is the main trail starting at this trailhead. The first half-mile is mostly flat, only gaining about 125 feet of elevation. There are huge Saguaro Cacti all along this part of the trail as you hike through the valley, which provide those classic southwest landscapes.Courtesy of outdoorproject.com
Phoenix, Arizona7.2 miles SE of Phoenix, Arizona
Coming down Javelina is fast and fun no doubt. It sure beats the crowded Pima Canyon trail back to the Pima lot if you parked there. Javelina is just one more sweet trail on South Mountain. Not a destination trail by any means, but a great warmup climb and a fun decent for just about any level rider that’s in some kind of shape.Courtesy of mtbikeaz.com
Phoenix, Arizona6.2 miles SE of Phoenix, Arizona
Hidden Valley Trail via Mormon Trail is a 2-4 mile hike, depending on the route you choose to take and how much additional exploring you do. This hike offers a natural rock tunnel, petroglyphs, dry waterfalls, Fatman's Pass, and views of South Mountain. This hike can be done year round, but is best enjoyed in the Fall and Winter months to avoid to hot, Arizona sun.
The trail is primarily flat, most of your elevation gain happens in the first mile of the hike, after that it levels out. At about 1.1 miles you'll come to the intersection with the Mormon Loop trail, which is marked and heads off to your left. Don't take that left! Just keep going straight for another few minutes where the Mormon Trail dead-ends into the National Trail. Once you get to this point, you have the options to complete the loop either clockwise or counter-clockwise. (Some suggest that going counter-clockwise is easier to navigate to Hidden Valley Trail.)
Going counter-clockwise, one of the first thing's you will encounter is Fatman's Pass; which is a rock formation that is a narrow crack in a boulder approximately 8 feet high and 15 feet long that you will have to "squeeze through". Fatman's Pass tends to go over well with younger hikers as it gives them a fun area to explore.
After you go through Fatman's Pass, you'll be led to Hidden Valley Trail.
The Valley is about 0.5 mile long and there are numerous trails going through it. You can't really get lost, so just continue down the valley and feel free to follow whichever path suits your fancy. There are lots of little caves/nooks and tunnels to explore in the valley so feel free to take your time exploring. The exit from Hidden Valley is as spectacular as the Fatman's Pass entrance. It consists of a 40 foot natural tunnel through the rock formations, and is also a fun place to spend time exploring.
After exiting the tunnel, continue 50 yards or so to the signed connection to the National Trail. Turn left (West) and follow the National Trail for 0.1 mile to the junction with the Mormon Trail, which you then follow back down to the trailhead. If you didn't enjoy the views while you were huffing and puffing up hill, make sure you enjoy them on the more leisurely descent! Courtesy of hikearizona.com