You Can't Miss These Hiking Trails in Arizona
Arizona has some of the most beautiful and distinctive landscapes on the planet. From dunes to mountains, from mesas to grasslands, you can find some of the best hikes in the world in Arizona. The mountain biking and camping areas will also entice visitors of all levels of expertise. Residents of Phoenix may choose from various excellent walking and hiking routes throughout Arizona.
Here are some of the best walking trails in Arizona for casual, more experienced, and thrill-seeking hikers alike. Of course, the arid zone's landscape poses unique challenges in addition to its stunning vistas. So, before trekking in Arizona, pack the proper equipment, carry a sufficient water supply, and study any potential dangers.
Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area
This mountain, located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area between Arcadia and Paradise Valley, offers arguably the best walking and hiking trails within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Nowadays, Camelback Mountain offers Phoenix residents two major hiking trails: Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail.
Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail are both moderate to advanced difficulty levels, with Echo Canyon offering steeper and more difficult climbs and Cholla Trail offering longer routes. Although both trails have breathtaking vistas of the mountain, the surrounding Sonoran Desert environment, and several of Arizona's unique flora and fauna, including saguaro cactus, barrel cactuses, and creosote bushes, they are different enough that you'll want to experience them on separate hikes.
Camelback Mountain visitors may also hire a skilled hiking guide to take them on a guided walk. These excursions generally include more first-aid and CPR training, water, digital photos of the trip, and low-cost Camelback Mountain apparel. Finally, hiking trails on Camelback Mountain allow hikers to record their time to the top and compare it with other visitors!
Difficulty rating: Moderate to expert
Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park, located 40 miles east of Phoenix, provides a variety of hiking trails and spectacular views of the Superstition Mountains and the surrounding Sonoran Desert. The Superstitions are one of the most beautiful natural landmarks around Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale. The park also offers numerous off-road routes for exploring the mountains and adjacent regions, with many trails built for hiking and mountain biking. Visitors to the park have access points to both the Superstition Mountains and the nearby Tonto National Forest.
Lost Dutchman State Park has miles of trails, as well as some of the most breathtaking views in all of Arizona. Aside from its spectacular vistas, the park provides several other options for hiking with various degrees of difficulty. For example, beginner hikers or those who just want to enjoy the sight may take advantage of the Native Plant Trail to get a great view of the gorgeous desert flora. The more difficult Siphon Draw Trail, for those seeking a greater challenge, is available for exploring. The challenging climb up the side of the mountain provides a stunning view from the top!
Difficulty rating: Beginner to expert.
Bright Angel Trail: Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon, perhaps the state's most famous natural feature, is also a must-see when hiking in Arizona. For as long as humans have lived in the area, this national park and UNESCO World Heritage site has inspired amazement and admiration in anyone fortunate enough to behold it.
The Grand Canyon is located near Flagstaff in Northern Arizona, about a two-hour drive from Phoenix and its neighboring communities. But, given the canyon's beauty and the high level of hiking you may encounter there, most Phoenixites will regard the journey as well worth it!
While the Grand Canyon National Park offers numerous hiking and biking trails, most visitors capable of the hike will likely find that Bright Angel Trail offers the best, most immersive canyon experience. The Bright Angel Trail, which is 9 miles long and has an elevation drop of over 4,000 feet, follows a natural fault line that takes hikers down the canyon itself, through Indian Garden Springs, and the Colorado River, before ending at Bright Angel Campground at the bottom. It is a challenging route that most hikers find to be better done over two days, camping in the canyon.
Today, the path is well-maintained and easily identifiable, allowing visitors of all skill levels to enjoy it. Hikers may view ancient picture drawings etched into the surrounding rocks by Native Americans who lived in the region hundreds of years ago.
Be aware that this is a difficult trek with a long, steep ascent back to the top. If you're searching for beginner’s hikes at the Grand Canyon, consider taking the Shoshone Point Trail on the south rim or the Cape Royal Trail on the north rim.
Difficulty rating: Expert.
Cathedral Rock Trail
The Cathedral Rock Trail offers breathtaking views of the Verde Valley and Coconino National Forest at a moderate level of difficulty, making it ideal for both casual and more advanced hikers wanting to enjoy the beauty of Arizona. Near the city of Sedona, the Cathedral Rock Trail is about 113 miles north of Phoenix, or about two hours by car.
The path is easy to follow once you've arrived. The entire trek is only a little over one mile long and takes the average hiker around an hour or so to complete. Still, the views are stunning, and hikers will see some of the region's magnificent red sandstone formations and their breathtaking natural beauty.
Hiking in Sedona is a popular pastime for many visitors, and those looking for additional excursions can try Red Rock State Park, which features another set of fantastic walking trails that cut through beautiful red sandstone formations, desert plants, and eventually to the banks of Oak Creek. Hikers may also arrange guided walks and bird-watching excursions.
Difficulty rating: Moderate.
Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument offers a variety of hiking trails with some of the most spectacular views available to anybody. Chiricahua National Monument is located in Southeastern Arizona near Willcox, and it features beautiful rock formations known as "balancing rocks" (so-named because of the presence of bigger rocks "balanced" on smaller ones or bedrock) and "hoodoos" (narrow spires of rock that form as a result of long-term wind erosion).
The Chiricahua National Monument includes a variety of walking and hiking trails of various degrees of difficulty, making it an attractive spot for hikers of all skill levels and comfort zones. The Echo Canyon Grottos and Sugarloaf Mountain Trails are both just under a mile long, making them ideal for those on a tight schedule or looking for something less strenuous. Hikers with more experience can go on the Echo Canyon Loop, Big Loop, and Chiricahua Natural Bridge Trails, which offer greater difficulty levels. Finally, those seeking a real test may take on the 6.5-mile Heart of the Rocks Loop trail or the even more difficult 15-mile Chiricahua Peak Trail, which is both challenging and beautiful. All routes provide spectacular vistas of the region's natural beauty.
From Phoenix, it's a 230-mile trek to Willcox, which should take around three hours. Most tourists claim that Chiricahua National Monument is a must-see since it offers a landscape unlike any other on Earth.
Difficulty rating: Beginner to expert.
Liv MultiFamily's Upscale Arizona Communities
If these hikes pique your outdoor spirit, why not incorporate them into your daily routine by settling in the Phoenix area? Liv MultiFamily has various high-end apartment buildings throughout Arizona, all of which are only a day's drive from these great walking trails. LivMultiFamily’s Arizona properties include Liv Avenida, Liv Northgate, Liv Ahwatukee, and Liv Crossroads, all of which provide residents with the best in luxurious apartment living and access to some of Arizona's finest trekking routes. Check out Liv MultiFamily's great living communities now if you're searching for the greatest in luxury living and value simple access to some of the United States' greatest hikes!