The Best Running Trails in the Valley


It can be difficult to switch up a habit. You wake up early, lace up your running shoes, and hit the same trail you run every day. To make your workouts more exciting and challenging, think about changing it up, at least every once in a while. Whether you enjoy being in nature, reaching the summit of a mountain, or running in a city center, the Phoenix Valley offers many options for runners looking for a new trail. So, let’s lace up our running shoes and get moving!

One With Nature
For those looking for the tranquility of desert landscapes during your run.

Hidden Valley Trail
South Mountain Preserve
Moderate | 3.4 Miles | Type: Loop | Elevation Gain: ~918 FT

This trail is a top-rated trail in the South Mountain Preserve for runners. You can expect traffic from other hikers and runners on this popular trail. Take in desert views, natural tunnels, and even a section where you’ll need to squeeze yourself through large rock formations. Dogs are welcomed on a leash.

Gateway Loop
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Moderate | 4.3 Miles | Type: Loop | Elevation Gain: ~685 FT

Dogs are welcomed on a leash and wildflowers — if you go during the season — are visible along with desert vistas.

Double Butte Loop Trail
Papago Park
Easy | 2.3 Miles | Type: Loop | Elevation Gain: ~98 FT

Because the elevation gain on this trail isn’t significant, this trail is great for beginner to advanced runners. If you visit during the wildflower season, expect to see colorful desert flowers. Dogs on a leash are allowed.

Climb a Mountain
It’s hard to compare the feeling of reaching the summit of a mountain during a run.

“A” Mountain Trail
Hayden Butte
Easy | .9 Miles | Type: Out-and-Back | Elevation Gain: ~252 FT

A great option if you’re needing a quick run or for beginning runners. Go up multiple times if you’re up for the challenge. Take in scenic views of Tempe at the top.
 

Piestewa Peak Summit Trail
Phoenix Mountain Preserve
Hard | 1.9 Miles | Type: Out-and-Back | Elevation Gain: ~1138 FT

This trail is popular for a reason, it’s rewarding to reach the top. Weekend parking lots are usually full. Weather permitting, the weekday afternoons are the best in terms of crowds.

Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain Park
Hard | 2.4 Miles | Type: Out-and-Back | Elevation Gain: ~1423 FT

Arguably the most iconic trail in the Valley. Crowds are a given. But, every runner needs to complete the trail, at least once.  

In the City
Take on a trail located in the heart of a Phoenix Valley city.

Tempe Town Lake Trail
Tempe Beach Park
Easy | 5.7 Miles | Type: Loop | Elevation Gain: ~45 FT

A great option for all skill levels. Enjoy lake views in the heart of Tempe. Your dog is welcomed on a leash.

Chaparral Park
Easy | 1.5 Miles | Type: Loop | Elevation Gain: ~0 FT

Run around a pond and green space at this park located in the heart of Scottsdale.

Steele Indian School Park
Easy | 3.12 Miles | Type: Loop | Elevation Gain: ~163 FT

A large park located off Central Ave. in Uptown Phoenix. Afterward, you reward yourself with a pint at George’s Dragon Pub across Central.

What are you waiting for? There are so many trails in the Valley to enjoy a run; grab those running shoes and hit the trail! If you find yourself with a running injury that won’t subside after a few days, schedule an appointment with us.


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