In the cooler months of the year, locals love to take advantage of the beautiful mountains that surround the valley. Many of these hikes are either free or have a small ‘per vehicle’ fee.
- The Grand Canyon: People from all around the world travel to see the Grand Canyon. Driving to see the Grand Canyon makes a great weekend trip and hiking into the canyon is an unforgettable experience. One of the most popular and challenging hikes is Havasupai Falls. Although this hike will take more preparation and planning, it is worth it to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon.
- South Mountain: In Phoenix, South Mountain has trails that are suitable for hikers of all ages. Dobbins lookout is a popular observatory point where hikers can see the entire valley. South Mountain is a free and has water stations throughout the park. Pets are welcome, but owners are encouraged to pick up any messes their pet may make.
- San Tan Mountain: In Queen Creek, the San Tan Mountains are a local favorite. These mountains also have a variety of trails and difficulties, however there is a small ‘per vehicle’ fee to enter the park. This helps to maintain the parks cleanliness. Pets are once again welcome to the park, but owners are asked to clean any messes.
- Superstition Mountains: In Apache Junction, the Superstition Mountains have many hikes that are fun for the family. One of the more popular hikes is the Hieroglyphic trail. This hike is three miles and takes you around the base of the mountain and through a trove of Hohokam Petroglyphs. This hike is relatively mild and is great for kids and families.
- A-Mountain and Papago Park: These hikes are classic to Arizona culture. Papago park is next to the Phoenix Zoo and has picnic tables and the famous ‘hole-in-the-rock’ hike. This is an EXTREMELY mild hike, with paved paths and steps to the top. A-mountain is in Tempe and is essential for any ASU fan. Sometimes the ‘A’ gets painted different colors, and hikers get a great view of Tempe from the top of the mountain.
Hiking is a great way to experience the beauty of the Arizona desert. It is recommended to always bring a hiking buddy and to drink A LOT of water. Should you get lost or feel faint, make sure to stay in one place and call for help. Stay on the trails, drink water, and have fun exploring the mountains of Arizona.