One of the perks of living in Phoenix? Nice weather all year round. Phoenix residents can hit the trails anytime during the day, and enjoy the area’s stunning environment while they work up a sweat. Here are top five hiking trails in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Happy trails!
Perhaps Phoenix’s most iconic mountain, Camelback is a strenuous and stunning hike. Start at Echo Canyon or the Cholla trailhead (they’re both tough, but Cholla is allegedly the easier trail), and get ready to climb. Camelback is rocky and requires plenty from anyone who attempts this trail. If you make it to the top, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the entire Valley from the highest point in Phoenix at 2,707 feet. Be careful on your way up and down the 2.5 miles long (out and back) trail. Those rocks can be slippery.
Piestewa Peak is often referred to as a “StairMaster” hike because of the vertical challenge here. That being said, it’s one of the easier hikes because you don’t have to climb up any rocks—except at the summit—here. And get ready for a workout. You’ll hike up to approximately 2,610 feet in a 3.3 miles long roundtrip hike. Not to worry; there are resting points or flat places along the summit trail so you can catch your breath before you continue your climb. Best of all, this mountain is surrounded by great places to eat post-hike. Nab pies at Base Pizzeria and dig into (mostly) healthy fare at Chestnut.
The Lookout Mountain trailhead is tucked away in a North Phoenix neighborhood and makes for a short, but sweet hike. You’ll climb roughly 500 feet in one mile to capture a gorgeous view of the Valley. Be prepared to scramble (the technical term for “climb”) up rocks to get to the summit. If you’ve got the time, hike around the circumference of the mountain. This is the ideal hiking spot for a quick, mid-afternoon jaunt.
South Mountain is the largest municipal park in the entire country (take that Central Park), and the Holbert Trail is one the most well-known of this park’s many trails. Why? Because it eventually gets you to Dobbins Lookout, which is known for some the best vistas in the entire area. The five-miles long, out and back, trail starts off easy and then you’ll climb to about 1,036 feet. Soak up the view, snap some Instagram-worthy pictures, and then hike back down to your car.
This tough North Scottsdale mountain will reward hikers with incredible views of the North Valley. If you’re really feeling brave, hike in the rocks—one is named (appropriately) Tom’s Thumb—at the summit. This four-mile long trail climbs to 1,353 feet high. After some hard hiking effort, you’ll be surrounded by the McDowell Mountains, some of the most gorgeous peaks in the entire Valley of the Sun.
If you are interested in other places to get a great outdoor workout, check out these other hiking trails!