The Best Hiking Trails Near Phoenix

woman hiking and staring off into the sunrise

If you’ve just arrived in Phoenix, AZ, and have a lust for adventure, you’ll be glad to know that hiking trails in Phoenix are some of the best in Arizona. Not only are there excellent hiking trails outside the city, but Phoenix is also known as a great place for urban hiking. To find out more and discover the top hiking trails near Phoenix, read on! (Below, we’ve also got info on storage units in Phoenix to store all your hiking and adventure gear.)

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Hiking in the Desert Checklist

woman drinking water in the desert while hiking

Hiking in the desert is amazing but also has several risks, one of which includes deadly dehydration. If you’re headed out to enjoy a hike in or around Phoenix, the checklist below is essential and could save your life if things go sideways.

  • Water- Each person should carry at least ½ a gallon of water, about 2 liters, for a day-long hike
  • Extra food- Easy-to-carry food like granola bars, fruit, and trail mix are highly recommended while hiking the desert
  • Sunscreen- This is a no-brainer
  • First aid kit- Just in case, a small first aid kit is a great idea
  • Mirror- To reflect the sun and call for help
  • Flashlight- In case you are out after dark
  • Lightweight jacket- In case the weather changes
  • Whistle- To call for help
  • A snake bite kit (Easy to find online.)

Best Time of the Year to Hike

Spring and fall are the two best times of the year to hike in Phoenix. Summer can be sweltering and thus dangerous, and winter can see unexpected weather changes. Yes, you can hike year-round, but spring and fall are best for inexperienced or beginner hikers.

Top Hiking Trails Near Phoenix

woman walking dog in the desert

Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain is one of the best places to hike in Phoenix and is known as the “King of Phoenix hiking trails.” However, it’s also rather dangerous as Camelback Mountain has rough terrain that can be difficult to cross. Yes, it’s lovely, but being prepared and being an experienced hiker are a must. There are rattlesnakes in spring, and swarms of bees have been known to attack people occasionally.

It takes about 2 to 4 hours to hike Camelback Mountain, although you can do it faster or slower depending on your skill level and desire to enjoy the spectacular views or take breaks. Using the Echo Canyon Trail, the hike itself has been rated extremely difficult. You can take children, but unless they are older, mature, and experienced, it’s not recommended.

Piestewa Peak

Around the base of Piestewa Peak is the Piestewa Peak Freedom Trail which is almost 4 miles from start to finish. It’s known for having stunning views of the entire Phoenix area and is well worth the time to hike there. With several rocky sections, this trail in the Phoenix metro area is rated moderate.

Piestewa Peak also features the Piestewa Peak Summit Trail, which is rated extremely difficult. The trail connects to the Piestewa Peak Freedom Trail. It’s also a world-renown trail that, like the former, provides views of Phoenix that will knock your socks off. You should note that restrooms and water are provided along the trail, but you should always bring your own water. It’s also worth noting that Piestewa Peak has 9 more trails of varying difficulty worth hiking and offering the same magnificent views.

South Mountain Park

South Mountain, just south of Phoenix, offers South Mountain Park and 32 hiking trails to experience and enjoy. The rails range from moderate to extremely difficult, so choose one based on your skill level.

South Mountain offers miles of hiking and many different difficulty levels, making it one of the most popular places to hike in Phoenix, AZ. The Pyramid Trail, for example, is moderate and has a steep climb. The Alta Trail is rated as difficult but rewards ambitious hikers with gorgeous views of the surrounding area.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Although located in nearby Scottsdale, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is well worth visiting and hiking on its numerous trails. The Preserve offers several excellent hiking trails of different difficulty levels, including Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, Gateway Trailhead, and Brown’s Ranch Trailhead.

As with all other places to hike in and around Phoenix, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve has several distinct terrains and offers the opportunity to experience wildlife in many different forms. Bobcats, mule deer, and rattlesnakes abound, as do many unique plants like the prickly pear cactus and ocotillo.

Store Your Hiking Gear in the Offseason with StorAmerica

If you’ve just arrived and you’re looking for storage units in Phoenix, AZ to store your hiking gear or household goods, StorAmerica Self Storage is your best choice. At StorAmerica Self Storage, we offer clean, safe, and secure self-storage in Phoenix, including storage units in a wide range of sizes and features. We also offer 24/7 video security, on-site managers, keypad-controlled entrance gates, and convenient drive-up storage units.

Not sure what size unit you need for storage in Phoenix? No problem!  StorAmerica Self Storage has a convenient storage size guide to help you make the right choice, whether small, medium, or large. We invite you to click, call or reserve your storage units in Phoenix online today. It’s the easiest, safest way to store your valuables in the Valley of the Sun. Until then, have fun hiking, and be careful while enjoying everything the Sonoran Desert offers!

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