Surrounded by mountains, Phoenix is a prime spot for outdoor activities including hiking. In fact, National Geographic even voted it one of the Best U.S. Hiking Cities. From easy to challenging and short to long, there’s a trail here for everyone, with many offering scenic payoffs.
For those looking for an easy hike, give one of these destinations a try. And if you find yourself wanting more of a challenge, many of these parks also have longer, more strenuous trails as well.
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
This Northeast Valley park offers more than 40 miles of trails, including the beginner-friendly North Trail. A total of three miles, this easy loop trail is mostly flat and free of rocks but still full of desert wildlife and scenery. It’s also a great chance to catch sight of the Phoenix and Scottsdale skylines. Click here for more info.
16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr. Fountain Hills, AZ 85264
Centrally located in the middle of Phoenix, Papago Park is great for a fairly easy hike. With mostly flat, smooth trails, you’ll easily be able to focus on the variety of views you’ll get here. Peer out at golf courses, caves, the city and cool rock formations. The trails here are also great for those looking to explore on wheels. For an easy trip, set out on the 2.3 mile Double Butte Loop. Afterwards, find the hole-in-the-rock formation, located on the east side of the park with views of downtown. Click here for more info.
625 N. Galvin Pkwy. Phoenix, AZ 85008
Pinnacle Peak Park
The Pinnacle Peak Trail in North Scottsdale is a wide, smooth trail with a roundtrip distance of 3.5 miles. The desert landscape lends to the stunning views of the Valley that you’ll be able to catch while on your way up to the iconic Pinnacle Peak formation. While you can’t climb to the top of the actual peak, you’ll still be rewarded with great views and a moderate workout. Click here for more info.
26802 N. 102nd Way. Scottsdale, AZ 85262
South Mountain Park
This 16,000-acre park has something for everyone, with more than 51 miles of trails ranging from easy to difficult. For a short and easy experience, the Judith Tunnell Accessible Trail is a paved trail of two half-mile loops with benches and shade along the way. If you’re wanting more of a challenge, set out on Holbert Trail which will take you to Dobbins Lookout, the highest accessible point in the park. The 2.5 mile hike to the top is a steady climb but worth the panoramic views of Phoenix. Click here for more info.
10919 S. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85042 (main entrance)
Lookout Mountain Park
For a less crowded and challenging alternative to popular Camelback and Piestewa, climb Lookout Mountain. While it’s smaller, Lookout provides the ability to hike to a peak without the strenuous workout that its neighboring counterparts require. The Lookout Mountain Summit Trail is just under a mile to the top and views from the top stretch out south over the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and beyond. Click here for more info.
15600 N. 16th St. Phoenix, AZ 85022