Hike Phoenix by Foot

In United States by Katelyn3 Comments

BLM Winter Bucket List #23: Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona, for Spectacular Geologic Features and Superbowl 49Image via Flickr by Bureau of Land Management

Arizona is home to some seriously gorgeous hiking trails. Just look at the Grand Canyon! However, many visitors to Arizona end up in the metropolitan city of Phoenix for work or pleasure. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a 3.5-hour drive away, making it a difficult place to enjoy if you only have a short amount of time to get outside with your hiking boots.

Phoenix is Arizona’s largest city with over 1.5 million people. Here, you’ll find everything from delicious restaurants and lively bars and nightclubs to affordable hotels and world-class golf courses. For those who love to get outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, there are plenty of awesome hiking trails that will showcase the best of Phoenix and Arizona.

Popular Phoenix Hiking Trails

Northside Loop Trail, Tom’s Thumb Trail

[img] Phoenix hiking trails

Image via Flickr by Rick Herrmann

Located near the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Tom’s Thumb Trail Northside Loop Trail is a 3.9-mile loop trail. Named after the granite bump in the McDowell Mountain Reserve, Tom’s Thumb Trail offers great views of Phoenix and Four Peaks from the north side. The trail is moderately difficult, making it good for beginners and avid hikers alike. It’s covered with native wildflowers during the spring and summer months.

Alta Trail, South Mountain

The Alta Trail is one of the most difficult trails in the South Mountain Park, but it offers hikers incredible canyon views and a bit of history. The 4.5-mile trail was built in 1930 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It’s a steep climb up the ridgeline for an elevation gain of 1,100 feet.

Pinnacle Peak Park Trail, Pinnacle Peak Park

Pinnacle Peak Park is a popular park in Scottsdale that offers a range of activities including, hiking, rock climbing, and even astronomy talks. The Pinnacle Peak Park Trail is a 1.75-mile trail with a wide tread. It’s a great trail for seeing native plants and animals, like creosote plants, cholla cactus, and western diamond rattlesnakes.

Hole in the Rock Trail, Papago Park

The Hole in the Rock Trail is a local favorite just outside of the city. This 0.3-mile trail offers great views and is perfect for hikers of any skill level. At the top, you can view parts of the city and the South Mountains through the hole in the rock. Yes, there really is a hole in the rock, hence the descriptive name of this trail.

Echo Canyon Summit Trail, Echo Canyon Park

The Echo Canyon Summit Trail is a busy 2.5-mile out-and-back loop trail not far from the outskirts of the city. While the trail is very popular, it’s also a very challenging trail with over 1,800 feet of elevation change, so it’s not for everyone. Start early, as the park can get hot. Those who do choose to climb this steep trail will be rewarded with stunning views and lots of wildflowers.

Most people travel to Phoenix for its many golf courses, restaurants, and urban life, but Phoenix is also home to some beautiful hikes.

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  1. It’s like 120*F in Phoenix right now, (cooler at the Grand Canyon, but still probably triple digit temps). I would definitely recommend NOT hiking during the hottest summer months (May-September) because people die ALL the time doing so. There are PSA’s every day about staying inside, staying cool, etc.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the PSA! I heard you guys are getting baked out there. While living in Australia and working on a horse farm, I got to experience working in 100+ degree weather. It hit 116 degrees one day! I don’t know how ya’ll do it in Arizona! Stay cool 🙂

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