17 Incredible Hiking Spots In & Around Phoenix

Hiking is an easy pastime that a lot of people enjoy doing. There is a wide range of hiking paths that suit all levels.

Whether you are a beginner to hiking or a professional, there will be hikes to suit all levels.

17 Breathtaking Hikes In & Near Phoenix For All Levels

In and around Phoenix, there are lots of hiking trails to choose from, which offer you jaw-dropping views of the beautiful landscape.

This article will give you the 17 most breathtaking hikes in and near Phoenix that all levels can complete.

Hiking Checklist

Before you go on any hiking trail, there are a couple of things that you need to make sure that you have.

These will make your hiking experience a lot more enjoyable and easier.

Hiking Clothes And Footwear

What you wear while hiking is really important. You want clothing that is breathable if you are hiking in hot weather.

However, if you are hiking in cold weather you will want to make sure that you are wearing plenty of layers that will keep you warm and protected.

The shoes you decide to wear are really critical. For easy hiking trails, you don’t need to have the proper hiking boots, but you still want to wear some kind of footwear that will protect your feet.

The footwear you choose should also have a good grip on them, especially when walking on more uneven terrain.

When you start facing rockier terrain, then you should be wearing proper hiking boots. As these will help you manage the uneven terrain easier than other kinds of shoes.

They will also make the uneven terrain feel more comfortable to walk on. Also, when it comes to scrambling, hiking boots make the job a lot easier too.

They are sturdy and very durable for wedging your foot in between rocks and mountain sides.

Water

Phoenix is known for its warm weather, therefore when you are out hiking you need to make sure that you bring plenty of water with you.

Having water available is a must because you can’t always be certain that you’ll be able to find water while out hiking.

Especially when completing the more difficult and longer trails, you will want to make sure that you have more enough water to keep you going.

The last thing you want is to become dehydrated, which could then lead to illness.

Sunscreen And Sun Hat

Like water, you want to make sure that you have plenty of sunscreen on hand. Also, you should be reapplying sunscreen every couple of hours to make sure that you don’t get burnt.

A lot of the hikes that we are about to mention don’t offer much shade. Therefore, a hat or cap will protect you from the sun and sun stroke.

You want to do everything you can to make sure that you protect yourself from the intense heat from the sun. Which could make you really ill after you have completed your hike.

First Aid Kit

Always prepare for the worst but hope for the best. As long as you are careful and watch where you are walking, then you shouldn’t need your first aid kit.

However, it doesn’t hurt to have it on your person in case you do need it. You can easily throw your first aid kit into your rucksack along with her water and sunscreen, and you won’t even notice that it is there.

However, you will be thankful that you brought it if you do need it at any point.

Now you know the key things you need to bring when going on any type of hike. Below, we have the 17 most breathtaking hiking trails that you can do in or near Phoenix right now.

Double Butte Loop Trail

The Double Butte Loop takes place at Papago Park.it is an easy and accessible hiking trail that lets you explore breathtaking natural landmarks and pretty wildflowers.

This is a very scenic hike, considering it is in a very urban area. The trail surface is very natural and soft as it is formed from sand, dirt, and rocks.

There is a lot to look out for, including the famous hold in the rock view.

  • Hiking Level: Easy
  • Location: Papago Park
  • Distance: 2.3 miles
Lost Dog Wash Trailhead

Lost Dog Wash Trailhead

The Lost Dog Wash Trailhead is found on the southern side of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The hiking trail is only 4.4 miles long and is an easier trail.

The trail is very flat, but you can look out at the beautiful desert landscape. There are a couple of rocky areas, so you will need to watch your step.

Along the edge of the trail, there is wildlife to explore, cacti, and wildflowers to look at. This is a beautiful and easy hike that all the family can take part in, including any pet dogs.

  • Hiking Level: Easy
  • Location: McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Distance: 4.4 miles
Granite Mountain Loop Trail

Granite Mountain Loop Trail

The Granite Mountain Loop Trail takes place in the northern area around the Granite Mountain.

This is an easy hike, but it is 5.1 miles long, so make sure you give yourself enough time to complete it.

The Granite Mountain hiking trail will lead you around fascinating rock formations, gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and landscape.

Also, you will hike around the beautiful desert plants including cacti. The elevation of the trail remains quite constant all the way around. This breathtaking hike is suitable for all levels and will make a great day out.

  • Hiking Level: Easy
  • Location: McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Distance: 5.1 miles
Tom Thumb Trail

Tom Thumb Trail

The Tom Thumb trail takes place on the north side of the McDowell Mountains. The trail itself is quite smooth, therefore it is suitable for hikers of any level.

You walk through the Sonoran Desert to the strange yet spectacular thumb-shaped rock formation on top of a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you can see pleasing views of the Phoenix skyline.

If you want to have a go at this trail, you should bring plenty of water with you and start early to avoid large crowds and the harsh sun.

  • Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Location: McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Distance: 4.0 miles.
Treasure Loop Trail

Treasure Loop Trail

The Treasure Loop Trail is a very popular easy trail that offers jaw dropping views. The area surrounds an interesting gold mining history and the lost buried treasure of the Dutchman.

The treasure loop trail is one of the scenic hiking trails that you can complete in Phoenix. This trail consists of a 2.4 mile loop of the west base of the Superstition Mountains.

The ground is quite flat, but there is a slight elevation. Once you reach the Green Boulder, it is up to you whether you keep going up or go back down, but in a loop.

This trail is recommended from October to May because the summer heat can be too much during June to August.

During March and April, you will notice beautiful wildflowers including globemallow, lupines and poppies.

  • Hiking Level: Easy
  • Location: Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Distance: 2.4 miles
Massacre Falls Trail

Massacre Falls Trail

Who doesn’t love a waterfall? A waterfall in the middle of a desert that surrounds lots of intriguing legends and gold mining.

The Massacre Falls trail is a moderate hiking trail through the Superstition Mountains that will give you pleasing views of the rock formations.

The trail is quite easy to hike on, but the incline is what makes this trail a little bit more difficult.

To see a fuller waterfall, try this hike during the spring or after any rainfall. The waterfall is the highlight of this hike.

  • Hiking Level: Moderate
  • Location: Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Distance: 5.4 miles
Holbert Trail

Holbert Trail

The Holbert trail is found in the South Mountain Preserve. You will be walking around beautiful wildflowers, giant cactuses and rock formations.

The historic ruins and the sunrise/sunset views are particular highlights of this trail. This trail is a bit more of a challenge than the previous hiking trails we have mentioned so far.

This trail has a moderate difficulty, and this is due to the incline that appears along the route that some beginners might struggle with.

Try this route after sunset, and at Dobbins lookout, the view over the city will take your breath away.

  • Hiking Level: Moderate
  • Location: South Mountain Preserve
  • Distance: 3.8 miles
Pinnacle Peak Trail

Pinnacle Peak Trail

The Pinnacle Peak is one of the most popular hiking trails in Phoenix. You hike around the Sonoran Desert environment. This trail is accessible all year round.

The majority of the trail is quite easy and great for beginners. However, at the end there are parts that are quite steep, which is suited for more comfortable hikers.

This trail offers you views of nearby rock formations and boulders. You can also look out over Scottsdale’s golf course, and there is an array of beautiful wildflowers to look at.

  • Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Location: Pinnacle Peak Park
  • Distance: 4.0 miles
Wind Cave Trail

Wind Cave Trail

The Wind Cave Trail is a short hike that has some challenging areas. The most challenging sports are the steep climbs near the end of the hike itself.

However, the beginning section of the trail is quite flat. During the hike, you will pass massive rock overhangs, which are also known as wind caves.

These give you the opportunity to look out over the Phoenix area and the surrounding terrain. The views are beautiful.

The trail doesn’t have to end once you reach the wind cave, you can carry on but scrambling will be involved. Also, it is important to note that there is a parking fee.

  • Hiking Level: Moderate to difficult.
  • Location: Usery Mountain Regional Park
  • Distance: 2.9 miles
Butcher Jones Trail

Butcher Jones Trail

The Butcher Jones Trail is 5.8 miles long in the Tonto National Forest. This hike offers you a beautiful waterfront view of the Saguaro Lake.

Crystal blue water that surrounds a huge towering rock formation, is a must see point of the hike. This hike will also offer you other rock and mountain views as well.

The trail itself is a bit rocky and narrow, however, it is perfect for a family day out.

It is worth noting that there is a fee to enter the Tonto National Forest, but the views are definitely worth it.

  • Hiking Level: Moderate
  • Location: Tonto National Forest
  • Distance: 5.8 miles.
Peralta Canyon Trail To The Fremont Saddle

Peralta Canyon Trail To The Fremont Saddle

There are legends that say that in the shadow inside the Superstition Mountains that are near to Phoenix, there is a lost gold mine.

The origins of the shadow come from Weaver’s Needle, which is a tall rock formation. In 1890 the Dutchman would claim that he had found the mine, but he never extracted any of the gold.

The Peralta Trail is a maintained hiking trail that takes hikers to the Fremont Saddle.

From there you will be able to see Weaver’s Needle and shadow that could be containing the mine that contains the gold. You’ll walk past large fields of wildflowers and odd rock formations.

This is an uphill hike, which could be difficult for some hikers. With a few areas where loose rocks can make finding your footing difficult.

Yet, any hiker at any level should be able to complete this trail. You can carry on the trail from Fremont saddle, which makes the whole hike 12.4 miles there and back from the beginning.

  • Hiking Level: Moderate
  • Location: Superstition Mountains
  • Distance: 4.6 miles.
Siphon Draw Trail To Flatiron Summit

Siphon Draw Trail To Flatiron Summit

The Siphon Draw Trail to Flatiron Summit takes place at the Lost Dutchman State Park. This is a challenging yet fun hike that you can do in Phoenix.

The summit of Flatiron will give you breathtaking views of the desert and nearby rock formations. A great photo opportunity.

The hiking trail itself is quite steep and rocky. There are sections during this hike where you will need to use your hands and feet to climb the boulder filled parts of the trail.

There are signs to reassure you that you are on the right path. This is a tricky hike, but once you are at the summit, it will all be worth it for the view.

  • Hiking Level: Difficult
  • Location: Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Distance: 5.5 miles.
Camelback Mountain Trail Via Echo Canyon

Camelback Mountain Trail Via Echo Canyon

This hiking trail is more suited for the more experienced hiker who doesn’t have a lot of time to complete a long hike.

The Camelback Mountain Trail via Echo Canyon is only 2.5 miles long, yet you will experience a lot. During this hike, you will get to see great views of the surrounding metropolitan area.

A lot of native species that are unique to Phoenix can be seen in this desert area.

This hike makes you come face to face with steep terrain and rock scrambling for the last half mile. You must wear sturdy hiking boots because the ground is made from loose gravel and rocks.

This can make finding her footing difficult at times. It is recommended that you complete this trail at dawn to beat any crowds and to dodge the sun. As there is no shade along this route.

  • Hiking Level: Difficult
  • Location: Echo Canyon Park
  • Distance: 2.5 miles
Picketpost Mountain Trail

Picketpost Mountain Trail

This trail can be difficult. However, once you reach the summit you will see a single bench and a red mailbox. The mailbox is a strange but exciting feature.

You place a note inside your future hikers to read, or you can read notes that have already been left behind.

However, you might be lucky and discover something else in the mailbox. Some hikers have found cans of beer inside the mailbox.

Although, we can’t be certain how long they had been left there. They were probably quite warm and not very cold any more.

The starting section of the Picketpost Mountain Trail is quite easy to manage and you will slowly start to advance higher into the terrain.

You will walk past huge cacti and you have beautiful views of the Superstition Mountains and the iconic Weaver’s Needle.

As you carry on further into the hike you will have to begin to scramble and climb up areas to reach the summit.

It says dogs are allowed on this trail, but we wouldn’t recommend bringing them on this hike as the top sections of the hike will be too difficult for them to manage.

The view on the bench is definitely something you will want to see, while you think about what you will leave behind in the red mailbox.

  • Hiking Level: Difficult
  • Location: Tonto National Forest
  • Distance: 4.2 miles.
Piestewa Peak Summit Trail

Piestewa Peak Summit Trail

Another short yet challenging hike for those more advanced hikers. The Piestewa Peak Summit Trail is one of the closest hiking trails you will find in Phoenix.

You should attempt this hiking trail during October until March. This is a popular hiking trail due to its closeness to the city.

Yet it offers you superb views of the Sonoran Desert and the beautiful wildflowers that grow there. Some notable views from the summit include the city of Phoenix and Camelback Mountain.

The hiking trail has steep inclines with some potential scrambling sections as well. The Piestewa Peak Summit Trail is a great workout for any hiker.

  • Hiking Level: Difficult
  • Location: Phoenix Mountain Preserve
  • Distance: 2.1 miles.
Superstition Ridgeline Trail

Superstition Ridgeline Trail

The Superstition Ridgeline Trail is probably one of the hardest but rewarding hiking trails in Phoenix that you can complete.

This trail is more of an adventure than a hike, but it isn’t for the faint of heart as you will be climbing stairs, scrambling, and walking some of the more popular trails from our list.

This is a tiring and punishing route, yet the summit of Superstition peak has one of the best breathtaking views that you will find anywhere else.

We would recommend completing this hike during spring or the fall, because due to the lack of shade along the trail. During the summer this trail would be very difficult to complete.

For this hike, you need a map and to plan your hike before you set off. Then you can know exactly where you are going.

Start easily in the morning and bring PLENTY of water. However, the views and the experience of this hike are enjoyable and worth it.

  • Hiking Level: Difficult
  • Location: Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Distance: 14 miles.
Skull Mesa Trail

Skull Mesa Trail

The Skull Mesa Trail is for the kind of hikers who want to spend the entire day outside hiking.

This is one of the larger hiking trails on our list, which covers a vast range of terrains. You will cross creeks, walk through forests and then scramble up rocky terrain to the top of the summit.

There is a chance you may see wildlife like foxes, quails, or javelinas.

From the top of the summit, you will have gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. Alongside this, you may also come across petroglyphs, which are carvings in the rocks.

To complete the entire trail you will need to be a more experienced hiker, but apart from the scrambling, this trail could be achieved by any hiker of any ability.

Be aware that this hiking trail will take all day to complete and you will need to bring plenty of water with you to drink.

  • Hiking Level: Moderate to Difficult
  • Location: Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
  • Distance: 11.4 miles.

Final Thoughts

We have mentioned 17 breathtaking hikes in and near Phoenix. There is a hiking trail to suit all levels of hikers, whether you are new and a beginner or a pro.

Hiking is a great form of exercise and the hikes we have mentioned above you get to see spectacular views.

Walking through beautiful nature and the effort of the walk will be worth it. While special memories are also being created.

Emily Winters