11 Best Hikes in Phoenix for 2024: A Journey of Discover

Best hikes in Phoenix
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Explore the best hikes in Phoenix We got you!! Phoenix is a place with an endless amount of hiking opportunities. Either you are a beginner or an experienced person in the field of hiking, these best hikes in Phoenix are what you are looking for. Immerse yourself in hiking in Phoenix, escape the busy life and explore these wonderful valleys and get the opportunity to see sceneric view of this wonderful place.

Top 10 best hikes in Phoenix

1. Piestewa Peak

Best hikes in Phoenix

A sunrise and sunset principle for locals in Piestewa Peak. It is the most recommended hike in Phoenix. It is just that good that the peak provides 360 degree views at the top so you’ll be able to see the sun rising and setting in any direction. Amazing. Right? Piestewa Peak makes you work for it though! It is such a difficult hike that I like to call the stair master because it literally feels like you’re climbing the Eiffel Tower. 

This hike is located in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve just 15 minutes from downtown so you can bet it gets crowded. The parking lot isn’t very big so you may find yourself putting in a few extra steps to reach the trailhead but I promise it is worth it for the views. Arrive early to snag parking and beat the sun or time it right for sunset.

Distance: 1.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,209 feet

2. Papago Park Trails

Hole in the Rock Trail is one of the most popular Phoenix hikes. It’s a super easy trail to finish and have fun as it’s basically a brief crawl up the orange rocks from the parking lot. The west-facing city views from the top of it make it a wonderful spot to enjoy the sparkling Arizona sunsets that make this hike in  Phoenix so special. Papago Park is also home to some of the Best Hikes in Phoenix and one of the best hikes in Phoenix. Don’t forget to check out the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens before ending your day with a hike to this lovely lookout. 

Distance: Various

Elevation Gain: Varies

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

3. Shaw Butte Trail

Best hikes in Phoenix

Here comes one of the best hikes in Phoenix that is Shaw Butte Trail. Shaw Butte Trail is a short but scenic loop trail located in Ahwatukee. The trail takes you through a scenic desert landscape, with views of the buttes, saguaro cacti and its surrounding mountains. 

Discover this 6.8-km out-and-back trail near Phoenix, Arizona. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 hours to complete the hike. This is a very popular area for hiking, running, and walking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring this place. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful Best Hikes in Phoenix to visit anytime. Dogs are also welcome, but must be on a leash. 

Distance: 1.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 200 feet

4. Camelback Mountain – Echo Canyon

Camelback Mountain hike in Phoenix has two popular trails: Echo Canyon (shorter, steeper, requires scrambling) and Cholla (scenic, longer). Both lead to stunning city and mountain views. Echo Canyon is known for its fun, challenging climb, often requiring handrails and scrambling. In December, ‘Camelback Santa’ decorates the top, drawing crowds for photos. The Echo Canyon Trailhead, 22 minutes from downtown, closes at dusk. Parking before sunrise is allowed, but move your car by sunset to avoid a ticket. This hike would be one of your  best hikes in Phoenix. 

Distance: 2.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,420 feet

5. South Kaibab Trail

Best hikes in Phoenix

 

If you’ve heard about a 14.3-mile hike and thought it sounded crazy, I get it. But let me explain why it’s worth considering. When you’re hiking in Phoenix, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon! The South Rim is the closest part to Phoenix, and the South Kaibab Trailhead offers stunning views, especially at sunrise. 

What makes the South Kaibab Trail so special is that you don’t have to hike the whole thing. Just go down to OOH-AAH Point, which is about 0.9 miles down the trail, making it a 1.8-mile round trip. That’s all you need to experience the grandeur of the canyon and see it from below the rim.

Sunrise on this trail is one of my absolute favourite hiking experiences—it’s incredibly beautiful! Hence making it one of the best hikes in Phoenix.

Hiking Distance | 1.8-14.3 miles

Elevation Gain | 521-4,880 feet

6. Pinnacle Peak Trail

Pinnacle Peak Trail is a popular and well-kept path that offers amazing views of North Scottsdale. It’s a good choice for beginners who want a bit of a challenge—you’ll climb more than 1,000 feet, but it’s spread out over several miles.

The best part of this trail is the beautiful desert wildflowers that bloom in March, April, and early May. It’s breathtaking to see the orange, yellow, purple, and pink flowers against the bright blue Arizona sky.

Besides enjoying the flowers and hiking, this trail is also great for running, bird watching, and hiking with kids. but there are plenty of other hikes where you can bring your furry friend!

Distance: 1.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 700 feet

7. McDowell Sonoran Preserve Loop

Best hikes in Phoenix

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve Loop is one of the toughest Best Hikes in Phoenix for a few reasons. First off, it’s a long hike—more than 14 miles of rocky trail, so be ready for a full-day trek. Plus, it’s got some serious uphill sections. You’ll climb nearly 4,000 feet from the beginning to the top. There are also some cool rock climbing routes along the way.

This trail can get a bit tricky in places. Make sure to keep an eye on the trail markers, especially when the path gets more like bushwhacking than hiking! The McDowell Sonoran Preserve Loop is a great choice for experienced hikers who want a real outdoor adventure in the Sonoran Desert.

Distance: Various

Elevation Gain: Varies

8. Flatiron Trail

The Flatiron hike is tough, especially for beginners. Experienced hikers will manage fine, but newbies should be extra careful. Some parts of the trail are almost straight up and down, and other areas are rough and rocky. Plan for a full-day hike, at least 6 hours, and bring plenty of water, good hiking shoes, and snacks.

The views from Lost Dutchman State Park are amazing Best Hikes in Phoenix and make the hard hike worth it. I think the Superstition Mountains are the most stunning thing while doing hiking in the Phoenix area. Even just doing the beginning of this trail for the views is worth it. You might want to bring camping gear too, as this is one of the best places to camp in Phoenix, Arizona and one of best hikes in Phoenix.

Distance: 2.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 700 feet

 9. Wave Cave

Best hikes in Phoenix

One of the coolest cave hikes near Phoenix is the Wave Cave. It’s in the Superstition Mountains, which are big mountains on the east side of the valley with great trails. The Wave Cave hike is a good way to start exploring these rugged mountains.

Getting to the trailhead involves a bit of driving, but it’s easy to find. You’ll drive down a dirt road, but don’t worry, you don’t need a special car for it. If you go on this hike, you’ll leave the city behind and enjoy some peace and quiet.

If you want to take the popular photo at the Wave Cave, it’s a good idea to read the full trail guide first. It’ll help you stay on track and avoid getting lost.

Hiking Distance | 3.0 miles

Elevation Gain | 890 feet

10. Battleship Mountain

If you’re looking for a challenge this one’s for you! My all time favourite hike in the Superstition Mountains is Battleship Mountain and it is not to be underestimated. Between the long mileage and strenuous scrambling your body will be depleted and craving a full meal afterwards.

If you’re looking for a challenge this one’s for you! My all time favourite hike in the Superstition Mountains is Battleship Mountain and it is not to be underestimated. Between the long mileage and strenuous scrambling your body will be depleted and craving a full meal afterwards.

Hiking Distance | 12.0 miles

Elevation Gain | 1,700 feet

Conclusion

Phoenix offers a variety of hiking trails that showcase the beauty and diversity of the Sonoran Desert in addition to adventure. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging adventurous one, you’ll find the perfect hike in this vibrant city. Remember to bring plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and be prepared for the desert heat.

Enjoy these Best Hikes in Phoenix!!

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