The locals agree—these are some of the best hikes in Arizona.
This time of year, we can all agree that Phoenix offers some of the most unique desert landscape hikes in the country. And we all know the best views aren’t in the city, it’s out on the hiking trails. Whether you’re a native Phoenician or you’re visiting from out of town, these are the best hikes in Arizona that should top your list if you’re looking to enjoy the view.
KIWANIS TRAIL IN SOUTH MOUNTAIN
South Mountain offers trails for all levels—If you want an easy hike with kids or you’d like to challenge your inner climber spirit, there’s a trail for that at South Mountain. Our pick is the Kiwanis Trail, particularly because if you have the time (and discipline), you can’t beat that breathtaking sunrise view over Phoenix. The 2.7 mile loop trail is a bit narrow and rugged at times, making it a moderate hike, but it has the Dobbins lookout at the top for you to sit, take a deep breath and stop to take in the view.
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TOM’S THUMB AT PIESTEWA PEAK
For more of a challenge, check out one of the best hikes in Arizona—Tom’s Thumb. Located near Scottsdale and Paradise Valley in Piestewa Peak, this 4.0 mile loop trail is somewhat steep, but you get to see the landmark that is known as Tom’s Thumb, plus amazing views of Phoenix and the McDowell Mountains. This one is our publisher’s favorite.
Grab your best hiking shoes and get ready for the most challenging hike we have on the list—Camelback Mountain. It is steep, filled with stairs and rails, and it’s best to go in the morning to guarantee cooler temps. But it offers a great workout along with panoramic views of gorgeous Paradise Valley homes Phoenix itself. Plus, it’s a local brag to say you’ve hiked up Camelback Mountain! Keep your eyes open for fast-paced locals trying to beat their times going up and down.
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WIND CAVES IN USERY PASS
Head out to the East Valley for one of the best hikes in Arizona, hike Usery Pass for miles of desert and to explore in the ICONIC Superstition Mountains. In the springtime, you can see cactus blossoms and flowers abundant on these trails, making it one of the most beautiful landscapes of all the hikes. We suggest taking on the Wind Caves trail because the end reward is a cliff overhang hollowed out by the weather, the reason behind the name Wind Cave.
Happy hiking and don’t forget to bring water!