Phoenix is a special city in that it offers many great mountains within its urban environment, perfect for hiking to enjoy the natural beauty. Hiking can be a great exercise for some, and others use it for stress relief. Getting fresh air, working out your muscles, and stretching your legs is a great way to get ahead of your pain. Here is a look at some of our nation’s best hiking trails, found in the greater Phoenix area.
Piestewa Peak: This is a long-time Phoenix favorite. It was originally constructed by a wrangler employed at the Biltmore Hotel sometime around 1930. Now it is one of the most heavily used trails in the nation with 4,000 to 10,000 hikers per week! One of the best trails is called Summit Trail, at only 2.4 miles round trip this hike can be completed in 2-3 hours. It’s a steep hike, but the view from the 2,600ft view is amazing. The address is: 2701 E. Squaw Peak Drive.
Camelback Mountain: Cholla Trail, Camelback Mountain, Phoenix. This is a trail that every person who spends time in Phoenix must hike. It gives you a great view of the city and sets the bar for what to expect from other Phoenix trails. The trail is 2.5 miles long and can be completed in 3 hours. Keep in mind that this mountain will be very busy on most weekends in winter/spring, so plan accordingly. The address is: 4925 E. McDonald Drive.
Papago Park: These mountains stand out against the Phoenix skyline for their otherworldly, soft appearance. You could easily spend an entire day here because it is adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden. There are two trails in Papago Park, Hole in the Rock and Double Butte Loop. Hole in the Rock is a very short (15 min) trail to Papago’s famous hole used by the ancient Hohokam Indians to measure the cycles of the sun. Double Butte Loop is the real trail at 2.3 miles to complete the circuit. Here you get the experience of hiking this unique mountain as well as views of the Zoo and Garden. The address is: 625 N. Galvin Pkwy.
Flatiron – If you have hiked the other trails and feel the need to push yourself harder, then look no further than Flatiron. Flatiron is a beautiful formation with narrow vertical rock columns in the Superstition Wilderness. It’s about a 45 minute drive from inner-city Phoenix, but it’s worth it. The trail itself is recommended for experienced hikers and is a 5.5 mile trip. A tip from the pros is to wear gloves as you will be on all fours at times, scrambling up the mountain. The trail begins at the Lost Dutchman’s State Park.
There are a couple other things to remember when hiking in Phoenix:
- Always bring ample amounts of water.
- Wear proper footwear.
- Sunglasses are a must.
- Always let a friend know where you will be.
Stay safe out there and have a good hike!
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