You’ve come to the perfect location if you’re new to the Phoenix region or simply want to try out some new trails. Hiking in Phoenix can be fun, but it can also be dangerous and even deadly if you aren’t careful, especially during the summer months when temperatures spike.
This hikes list will help you locate the greatest spots to explore the great outdoors near Phoenix, Arizona, with everything from short and easy trails to more challenging hikes that will get your heart beating and leave you feeling accomplished.
So buckle up your shoes, double knot your hiking boots, and get ready to explore!
There are numerous excellent hikes in Phoenix and the surrounding area that are ideal for spending time with friends and family, getting some exercise, and viewing the environment.
Below is our selection of the best 20+ hikes to check out in Phoenix, AZ right now.
22. Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is a stunning 2,704-foot peak located just north of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. It has stunning panoramic views of North Central and Downtown.
Ascend Camelback Mountain via Echo Canyon Trailhead, which begins at 3100 feet above sea level and ends at 1,400 feet above sea level, for a delightful hike that delivers a punch.
That may sound difficult, but don’t you worry: you probably will not be alone on the trip up to the top. Camelback Mountain is well known in the region and attracts over 800,000 visitors each year. This is a super popular spot for hiking in Phoenix!
To get to the top, either follow the Summit trail from the bottom to the top or the Cholla trail from the bottom to the halfway point, then turn around and finish the final half on the Summit Trail.
21. South Mountain Park
This popular hiking spot is only a few miles from downtown Phoenix and is ideal for running, hiking, and biking.
South Mountain Park, with its 1,300 acres, contains a little bit of everything, from lush meadows to rugged peaks. There are pathways to suit your needs, whether you’re searching for a relaxing stroll or a strenuous climb.
20. Piestewa Peak
Piestewa Peak, one of Phoenix’s top frequent hikes, is within easy driving distance of downtown and offers spectacular views of both downtown and Camelback Mountain.
This climb is ideal for beginners who want to overcome their fear of heights. It is also one of the best Phoenix hikes.
It can get very crowded on weekends as one of Phoenicians’ favorite hangouts, but if you stick around long enough and explore, some wonderful paths will take you away from everyone else. Keep your eyes peeled for some enjoyable sidewalks with spectacular sights.
19. Echo Canyon Trailhead
Echo Canyon is a great place for hiking and mountain biking, and it’s only a mile from North Mountain Park.
At 30th Avenue and Camelback Road, there is a trailhead. Parking, restrooms, water, and picnic tables are all available at the park, which is open from 7 a.m. to sunset.
This is an absolutely stunning hike that we definitely recommend! Just remember to bring lots of water because most months you’ll see temperatures of 75 degrees or (much) greater during the day.
18. Usery Pass Trailhead
Usery Pass Trailhead is one of our favorite hiking trails near Phoenix, located just west of Apache Junction, Arizona.
It not only offers a fantastic view of the Mummy and the Superstition Mountains, but it also allows hikers to visit Usery Mountain, Regional Park. Hikers will be able to observe some ancient petroglyphs left by local natives from a long time ago from the Usery Pass Trailhead.
This is a relatively simple hike that most of us can accomplish without too much sweat. We loved it!
17. Blue Ridge Loop Trailhead
Andrew Fulks, one of Tuleyome’s founders, loves this hike because it was one of the first he did in the area and the panoramic views are spectacular.
Keep in mind that this terrain is difficult to navigate and quite steep. This trail is best hiked in the spring when temperatures aren’t too hot. It’s over 10 miles long so it’s definitely a great workout and is a hike in Phoenix that you should thoroughly prepare for.
On Rayhouse Road, cross the low water bridge, then turn left and pass through the yellow gate with the sun-shaped pattern on the fencing. You’ll arrive at a little clearing through this access road. The metal sign indicating the Blue Ridge Trail will be on your right.
16. Pinnacle Peak Park
Pinnacle Peak Park is situated on Pinnacle Peak Road near Hayden Road, north of central Scottsdale AZ. This route offers stunning views of Camelback Mountain, one of Scottsdale’s most recognized attractions, and is available every day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The 1.8-mile circular track climbs 600 feet up and down hills and has a variety of landscapes, including desert plants and water features. Wildflowers will also bloom at different periods of the year.
All ages are permitted, but dogs are not permitted on paths marked as no dogs allowed (which are most paths). There are no facilities or drinking water within walking distance of these paths, so bring plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes.
It should take roughly two hours to complete the hike round trip. It’s a fun little hike near Phoenix with gorgeous views if you don’t want to spend the whole day on a trail!
15. Cholla Trailhead
Cholla Trailhead is one of Phoenix’s oldest trailheads, located near Desert Ridge, I-17, and Loop 101. It is a fantastic first hiking experience for newbies, offering a break from urban development and a chance to escape into nature for a few hours.
It’s ideal for hikers of all abilities, with plenty of shade and breathtaking vistas.
Make sure you don’t miss out on Mother Nature’s work of art — simply keep an eye out for cactus along the road. There are wonderful sights to be viewed at every turn if you can get past these nasty little suckers (and they will pinch you, so be careful).
Cholla Trailhead is well worth visiting, especially if you’re not a super experienced hiker but want to experience some of Arizona’s natural life.
14. Ledge Loop Trailhead
The Ledge Loop Trail is a moderate climb that rewards you with spectacular vistas of Camelback Mountain, rich vegetation, and little stream-fed ponds.
If you don’t feel like doing the complete loop around both peaks, you can do an out-and-back hike that includes a portion of the Goat Camp Trail.
Within Camelback Mountain State Park, this trailhead is located shortly before sunrise point. You can also access these routes from Echo Canyon Park or Piestewa Peak, but please follow any park laws to help protect these popular hiking spots as there are a lot of conservation efforts here.
These massive boulders are well-known among hikers, but they’re also well-known among locals who enjoy photographing the dramatic rocks against sunsets and other backdrops.
13. Boyce Thompson Arboretum
One of my favorite hikes in Phoenix is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. It includes numerous routes, some of which are more difficult than others but all of which provide spectacular views and an understanding of Arizona’s plant life.
You’ll find desert-like landscapes as well as enormous swathes of forested areas in this diverse landscape.
And what if you don’t have enough time to go on a whole hike? It’s no problem. You can always take a nice drive through it— We think it’s best seen from a car because you can take it all in.
Because of its high height of over 5,000 feet, the sky is generally clear, making this one of the best hikes in Phoenix any time of year. Bring plenty of water and begin your hike early in the morning; it can get exceedingly hot in the afternoon (nearly 120 degrees Fahrenheit).
12. Hidden Valley Nature Center
This park has fantastic views of Camelback Mountain and plenty of hiking trails to explore. It’s ideal for hikers of all levels.
However, keep in mind that some of these trails are quite steep. This is definitely one of the steepest hikes in Phoenix.
On your way up, don’t forget to stop at their wildflower garden. Plan to hike for at least two hours and pack lots of water, as well as sunscreen, hats (plus points if they have a brim), bug spray, and any other essentials.
We believe you will agree that Hidden Valley Nature Center is one of the best Phoenix hikes and it should not be missed. You’ll enjoy an energizing ascent through their nature center while hiking their many trails surrounded by different vegetation, such as saguaro cactus or scrubs.
11. Lost Dutchman State Park
The Dutchman’s is popular among rock climbers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, and hikers of all kinds.
At an elevation of more than 5,200 feet, it’s an uncrowded path where you may spend as much time as you wish without running across anybody else. There are lots of spots to stop for a rest, and the views are spectacular.
It takes roughly two hours to climb either way, regardless of where you start. Multiple pathways intersect Lost Dutchman; if one becomes too busy, simply switch to another until everyone disperses. This is a great spot for varied hiking in Phoenix.
10. Lost Lake Park, Cave Creek
Another one of the great hikes in Phoenix Arizona is Lost Lake Park, and it’s open all year long. This track has a low elevation rise, making it perfect for beginner hikers who are just starting.
It’s a fun day trek to do with friends or family, or even by yourself. There are some amazing rock climbing opportunities along a wall on the right side of Lost Lake; however, if you decide to go bouldering here, make sure you have a spotter.
Cave Creek has nearly 150 miles of trails that cover a variety of terrain types such as peaks, canyons, and washes. Within Cave Creek Regional Park, there is a 91-year-old enormous sequoia tree known as Centennial Tree. This is one of the best hikes in Phoenix to view a ton of awesome nature!
9. Bell Rock Pathway
Bell Rock Pathway is a short and lovely hike located just north, northeast of downtown Scottsdale. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive up i-17.
Hikers will be awestruck by stunning views of Bell Rock and nearby sites like Camelback Mountain and Pinnacle Peak while traveling along a single trail for about one mile.
Locals advocate hiking early or late to avoid crowds, as this is a popular tourist destination. We highly recommend this one even if you have to come mid-day!
8. The Trans-Canyon Trail
The Trans-Canyon Trail, which runs from Grand Canyon Village’s North Gateway Trailhead to Hermit’s Rest on the South Rim near Mather Point, is more than 50 miles long. Bring some water.
The Trans-Canyon Trail runs through lush foliage. Having been built by US Forest Service volunteers over years of hard work, be prepared to enjoy the seasonal wildflowers and unspoiled wilderness territory that is absolutely spectacular, yet relatively unfamiliar to most visitors. We hope you enjoy it!
7. Mescal Mountain Loop Trail
Mescal Mountain Loop Trail is the best hiking trail around Phoenix, Arizona. We highly recommend it! With about a 2-hour drive north on i-17 from Phoenix, you should be here in no time.
The hike itself is about a 6.4-mile out-and-back trip with a 1,335-foot elevation gain. It’s one of the best intermediate hikes in Phoenix.
Just outside of Fountain Hills, Arizona, the Mescal Mountain Loop Trail takes you on an excellent journey through magnificent pine forests and along gorgeous rolling hills. Mescal Mountain is a terrific place to visit if you want to enjoy great views on one of your favorite hikes in Phoenix.
6. Roosevelt Lake
Take a picnic at Roosevelt Dam Overlook where the views are definitely worth the trek. Situated about 2 hours east of Phoenix AZ, you won’t want to miss this stunning view.
This climb reaches a height of 2,704 feet, making it one of Arizona’s highest spots! However, we recommend hiking this one on a weekday because on weekends you should expect to see a lot of people.
Lastly, as a bonus, you’ll have plenty of fun burning off some hard-earned calories by shopping or dining at Kierland Commons in North Scottsdale or Old Town Scottsdale on your way out from Roosevelt Dam Overlook. Here you will find more than 250 art galleries and boutique shops that we absolutely enjoyed!
4. Western Ave
Views of Camelback Mountain and McDowell Mountain can be found on this climb. Although Western Ave. is rated as easy, there are numerous ups and downs along the way that can make it appear more difficult than anticipated.
Even though most of Western Ave. has a broad, gravel trail, hikers frequently see horseback riders on their way up or down. We consider this one of the best Phoenix hikes!
Western Ave. is one of Arizona’s most popular hiking paths for novices and veterans alike due to its easiness and accessibility. In fact, it’s one of the best easy hikes in Phoenix that still has some variety, so it’ll be enjoyable for all levels.
Both sides of Western Ave. are bordered by two of Phoenix’s most well-known communities, Arcadia and Biltmore, making hiking en route simple from various sections of the city.
3. Tonto National Forest, AZ – Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park is home to one of my favorite walks. This park takes you on a journey through a natural beauty filled with high hills and deep canyons.
The hike is scenic and includes an old gold mine to explore if you have time. I recommend keeping on the route because there are rattlesnakes in some areas that off-trail hikers may encounter. But don’t worry – you’ll still see incredible views right from the trail!
This is a moderate hike (not too difficult) that’s really fun because it’s filled with both culture and adventure.
2. Tempe Town Lake Walking Path
Tempe Town Lake is one of Tempe’s most popular attractions. There are numerous attractions and sports you can try, including canoeing and paddleboarding, as well as rowing, fishing, and kayaking. The lake also attracts a variety of birds and serves as year-round habitat for ducks.
The Tempe Town Lake Trail is a one-mile stroll around the lake, which also features cycling routes. It’s a popular hangout for college students and young professionals, but it’s also bustling with joggers and dog walkers throughout the day.
If you want to enjoy some peace while hiking, go on weekdays or early in the morning. This is a perfect hiking route in Phoenix for beginners or anyone who is looking for more of a casual stroll.
1. Papago Park
Papago Park is a wonderfully unique location that is ideal for hikers in Phoenix. And it’s located right in the city!
It’s also one of America’s largest urban parks, with 4,210 acres dedicated to some of Arizona’s best trails and natural monuments (including some fantastic hiking). While exploring you’ll find the Papago Amphitheater, the William C Elliot Memorial, and if you have time you could even check out the Phoenix Zoo!
If you’re planning on hiking in the Phoenix area, make sure to stop at Papago Park. It’s a classic for a reason!