Top Scenic Hikes in Arizona

Top Scenic Hikes in Arizona

One thing that Arizona is known for is great hiking trails. There’s literally something for everyone at all skill levels. These are the top scenic hikes to try in Arizona.

Double Butte Loop and Hole-in-the-Rock Trail in Papago Park
Distance: 2.3-mile loop (Double Butte) and 825 feet out and back (Hole-in-the-Rock)
Difficulty Rating: Easy

The red sandstone formations alone are worth trek to Papago Park, plus the views you get all around the different trails. You bring your bike, your kids and your pets to enjoy these trails. Many visitors enjoy the east side of the park where you can climb up rocky stairs to peek through the landmark, Hole-In-The-Rock.

Blevins Trail in Usery Mountain Regional Park
Distance: 3-mile loop
Difficulty Rating: Easy

Almost more of a stroll, the Belvein Trail is chock full of Sonoran Desert scenery. This trail does get busy, but it is also a place for families, leashed dogs and those not looking to get too sweaty (of course unless you want to run, jog or bike the course).

Waterfall Trail in White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Distance: 1.8 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Easy

This trail takes you to one of Arizona’s few waterfalls! It isn’t often that you will actually catch a glimpse of this small waterfall, but it is possible after a good rain. Along the way, enjoy saguaros, ancient petroglyph carvings, wide paths and rocky outcroppings for a beautiful piece of Sonoran Desert beauty.

Judith Tunnell Accessible Trails in South Mountain Park/Preserve
Distance: .5-mile loop
Difficulty Rating: Easy

A gorgeous hike and barrier-free trail, the Judith Tunnel Accessible Trails in South Mountain are wheelchair friendly. This is a paved trail that includes two half-mile loops. Both loops have water fountains, shaded ramadas and benches for resting and taking in the scenery.

Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail in South Mountain Park/Preserve
Distance: 4 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Medium

Step it up a notch with this medium rated trail in South Mountain. Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail is steep and sometimes challenging. You are rewarded with must-see views, desert flora and tons of interesting rock formations. Squeeze through Fat Man’s Pass if you dare and enjoy the beautiful nature of this trek.

Pinnacle Peak Trail in Pinnacle Peak Park
Distance: 3.5 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Medium

A 3.5 mile, heavily trafficked trail, Pinnacle Peak Trail is perfect for scenic views, spotting wildlife and is a well-maintained path. The incline is 2,750 feet that is gradual and comes with educational signage along the terrain. You definitely will not be hiking alone on this path.

Lookout Mountain Summit Trail in Phoenix Mountains Preserve
Distance: 1.2 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Medium

This trail might be short but will leave you short of breath. You will be climbing more than 450 feet for breathtaking views from atop the Phoenix Mountain Preserves. It should be less crowded than other more popular trails, but the views are worth the climb.

Dixie Mountain Loop in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve
Distance: 3.82-mile loop
Difficulty Rating: Medium

This is a well-marked trail that will have you starting on one side of the southern mountain and then looping around the side of the north mountain that includes gorgeous views of Dove Valley. You have access to two short summit trails to reach the tallest peaks in the Southern Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve. It is advised to bring plenty of water and sun protection as this hike is almost entirely exposed to the sun.

Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain
Distance: 2.4 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Hard

This is one of Phoenix’s highest hikes and quite possibly has the best views you can reach on your own two feet. The trail is almost always busy. It is 1.23 miles to the summit and a climb of approximately 1,280 feet. You will want to spend some time at the time absorbing the beauty of the city and catching your breath.

Tom’s Thumb Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Distance: 4.6 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Hard

Bring a ton of water and your best hiking shoes as Tom’s Thumb Trailhead is for those who seek to get the heart pumping. The views are not bad either. Enjoy upland boulder fields and desert flora as you gain elevation. Don’t forget to give this trail a thumb’s up!

Piestewa Summit Trail in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve
Distance: 2.4 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Hard

Another super popular trail and rather difficult hike is the Piestewa Summit Trail that lies in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves. This is truly a beloved trek that offers some of the best views you can get. You will end up ascending from 1,400 to 2,608 feet that includes the treacherous Devil’s Staircase.

Siphon Draw Trail to Flatiron in Lost Dutchman State Park
Distance: 6 miles out and back
Difficulty Rating: Hard

When all other hikes seem like a walk in the park, it is time to try the Siphon Draw Trail to Flatiron in the Lost Dutchman State Park. The climb is exhilarating and takes you through the Superstition Mountains. You will end up needing to use all fours to get through some parts of this hike. Once you have made it through to the top, there is yet another rugged, unmarked trail. Once you are to the flat clearing, the views await you.

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