Best hikes in Phoenix with impressive and beautiful scenery
If you’re looking for gorgeous hiking trails near Phoenix, you don’t even need to go outside the city boundaries. From some of the high ridgelines, you can look down at the entire metropolitan area, which includes many of the well-know rock formation, like those in Papagayo Park, as well as Camalack Mountain and Pinnacle Peak, among others.
Some of the best hikes are definitely some of the easiest ones. You can also find easier trails that meandered through the beautiful landscape of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.
Walking amid the saguaroes or blooms of wild flowers brings its own kind of peace and wonder.
Whether you’re looking for an easy walk or a challenging climb up a mountain, you can enjoy these trails in Phoenix.
Best hikes in Phoenix
Tom’s Thumb Trail
From the trailhead, this hike appears daunting. You can see Tom’s Thumb peeking out from the ridge high above, and the rocky slope of the mountainside seems difficult.
As you continue up the trail, you may get so caught up in the scenery that you forget to keep track of your effort level.
And the reward is well worth the effort for the amazing view from the top and a closer-than-ever view of Tom’s Thumb. There are also some small caves to visit up there.
Done as an out and back hiking trip, this trail is 4 miles long, with an approximate altitude of 1,000 ft. If you really want to test your endurance, you can add the East End Loop for an even longer (11 mile) trek, and at least double the overall altitude gain.
When you will go to Tom’s Thumb Trail don’t forget to take pictures of the impressive views with the best camera for hiking.
This hike is one the most popular and busiest hikes in Scottsdale. It offers stunning views and relatively easy access.
A difficult climb up a steep mountain path lined with rocks takes you to a beautiful view at the top.
You can see Tom’s Thumb from the Four Seasons Resort and over the Troon north golf club. The green fairway is a stark contrast to the desert.
It’s a 3.5 mile, out-and-return hiking trip with an elevation gain of approximately 1,300 feet. Hikers come here from all walks of life, including those who are running marathons, doing yoga, and walking slowly in their flip flops.
You might also see some rock climbers scaling the mountain during certain times of the year.
Papago Park Trails
Located just inside the town, this park provides an easy and interesting place for hiking.
The Eliot Ramada Trail is a 2.5 mile roundtrip trail that takes hikers through beautiful scenery at the foot of some of the distinctive sandstone butte formations that give this park its name.
If you’re looking for an easy hike, you can start at the trail head near Papago Park and go up to Papago Buttes. From there, you can either continue hiking back down to the park or take a different route back.
Lost Dog Wash Trailhead Trails
The Lost Dog Wash trailhead, part of the Mcdowell Sonoran Conservancy, has several relatively easy but scenic trails which can be combined into loops of various lengths.
Each trail offers a unique view, but some of them are better than others.
The main attractions on this hike are the seclusion and desert scenery. The deserts here are lush compared to most parts of Arizona, with saguaroes, chollas, and various other plants from the Sonoran Desert.
You may also see lots of different types of birds, and maybe even some wild animal species.
Flatiron Summit via Siphon Draw
The Flatiron Summit Via Siphon Draw is an intermediate hike through New York City’s High Line Park.
It’s a long, strenuous, five-to-six-hours’ walk. At first, you might think this is an easy walk, but later on, the walk becomes quite steep and there’s some scrambling involved near the top.
Before you decide whether to go for this hike, remember that it involves a 6.2-mileround trip, with an ascent of almost 3,000ft, and most of it is in full sunlight. At the top, there are stunning 360-degree vistas and a deeply satisfying sense satisfaction.
Mormon Loop Trail
One of the easiest hikes to reach is the Mormon Trail or its longer version, the Mormon Loop Trail
The Mormon Mountain Loop Trail is a 1.2-mileround hike with an elevation gain of approximately 700 ft. It begins at the trailhead and ends back at the trailhead.
As you climb up into the sky, you can look down at Phoenix and see its signature natural landmarks, including the rock butte of Papago Park, Camelback Mountain, and Mount Lemmon.
The Mormon Trail joins up with another trail called the Mormon Loop Trail. It’s a 4.7 mile round trip hike, and the elevation gain for the entire hike is over 1,150 ft.
Camelback Mountain, Echo Trail
This short but scenic hiking trail in Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most famous hikes in the Phoenix area and ridiculously popular. It’s also way harder than it seems at first glance.
It’s only 1 mile to the top, but it has an elevation gain of nearly 1,300 ft., and is infamous for wrecking hikers.
This is a trail designed for experienced hiker. It’s steep and there are parts where you will definitely need to use your hands and feet. There are hand rails at some points, but they don’t make it easier.
There are several trails at Piestewa Peak park, and you can choose from challenging or easier ones, but serious hikers go for Piestewa peak. Casual hikers can take the Nature trail.
It’s located almost in the middle of Phoenix and can be viewed from most parts of the city.
Because of this, the hike up to the top of Mount Everest is very popular, so prepare yourself for lots of people walking, running, and climbing their way up.
If you’re able to hike up the mountain for 1.9 miles, then you’ll get a 360-view from the top.
Sightseeing includes Camelback Mountain, Superstition Mountain, White Tank Mountains, and the red hills of Papagayo Park.
The trail is well maintained with handrailed sections to help with the steep inclines. Be prepared for a series of jolting steps back up when returning from the summit.
Wind Cave Trail
The Wind Cave Trail, which lies at the southeast edge of the Phoenix area beyond the city of Mesa offers some spectacular scenery. At the trail’s conclusion, there is a small cave.
You can see the trail snaked up the wall of rock before you from the trail head. Don’t be discouraged by the workout ahead, because this trail offers a good reward for moderate efforts.
You start out relatively easy but climb steadily until you reach the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain there is a cave which is about 12 feet tall and offers some relief from the heat.
Brown’s Ranch Trail System
If you’re looking for a nice stroll through the desert rather than a challenging hike up a mountain, this might be the perfect spot for you. The Brown’s Ranch Area offers beautiful Sonoran Desert scenery, historic buildings, and in the early summer, a lovely show of wildflower displays.
The Brown’s Ranch Trail is an out-and back trail that is 3.1 miles in length and has 100 ft of elevation gain. It is ideal for larger group sizes and is flat and smooth.
You’ll find relics of old ranches at the former site, where they used to raise cattle. There are good amenities here, including bathrooms and even a ground level drinking fountains for your four-legged friends.
Where to Stay in the Phoenix Area for Hiking?
If you’re interested in combining the ultimate in luxurious living with the best in outdoor recreation, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale atTroonNorth offers a private access trail toPinnacle Peak, as wellas guided fitness hikes or aZen hike, where you stopalong the trailto enjoya yin posehere andthere.
At the bottom of Camelback Mountain, including both the Cholla Trail (which leads up to the top) and the Echo Trail (which goes down), is the Phoenician Hotel, Scottsdale, Arizona, where you can lounge by the pool and see people hiking along the ridgeline of the mountain.
Nearby is the famous Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, which hosts celebrities of the highest caliber; for a unique stay, combine character, luxe, and a cool vibes, the Hotel Valley Ho is just around the corner from Old Town Scottsdale and also conveniently located within easy walking distance of Papago Park.
You can choose between a lively party atmosphere or a relaxed lounge by choosing between a pool scene or a quiet louner near one of the two pools.
Budget hotel rooms tend to be located near airports, which makes them convenient locations for travelers. La Quinta Inn Phoenix Sky Harbour has large rooms, a pleasant shady courtyard, and an outdoor swimming pond.
Further south but close to the trails at Estella Mountain Regional Park is the Drury Inn & Suite Phoenix Tempe.