Spending quality-time, getting outdoors on family hikes, is an fantastic way to unplug, create long-term memories, and deepen connections. Arizona has an phenomenal array of hikes perfect for exploring with kids. Some family-friendly features include: a huge cave that drips icy water, a maze of ancient cinder cones, hidden waterfalls and stone tunnels.
Scroll down to explore Arizona’s family hikes by region (listed north to south). Click names for more detail.
Phoenix Area Family Hikes
★★★★★ Butcher Jones Hiking Trail / Moderate / Saguaro Lake / 2.4 miles
Skirting Saguaro Lake, a stunningly beautiful desert gem, this trail crosses a sandy beach, intimate reed lined coves and high pinnacles with breathtaking views.
★★★★☆ Hidden Valley via Mormon Hiking Trail / Moderate / South Mountain / 1.95 miles
A kid-friendly slot canyon and long stone tunnel are oh-so-fun to explore! Accessible via the Mormon Hiking Trail, Hidden Valley’s wonders will have kids smiling ear-to-ear as they squish through and race beneath rock formations.
★★★☆☆ Hieroglyphics Hiking Trail / Easy / Superstition Mountains / 1.2 miles
Ancient hieroglyphics and pools of blue water sit before endless vistas, at the end of this easy hike. This uniquely beautiful spot, at the base of a vast canyon, is magical for families to explore.
★★☆☆☆ Hole in the Rock Hiking Trail Loop, Papago Park/ Easy / 0.31 miles
A super-short hike to a huge hole, in a huge rock, is perfect family fun! At just over a quarter mile long, this loop trail is both easy and surprisingly scenic.
★★★★☆ Jewel of the Creek & Dragonfly Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / Jewel of the Creek Preserve / 2 mile loop
Dragonflies by a pond, wood-plank creek crossings and a kid-sized cave are some of the fun features on this easy, hike around the lush green banks of Cave Creek.
★★☆☆☆ Palo Verde Hiking Trail / Moderate / Bartlett Lake / 3.8 miles
For a perfect day at the lake, picnicking, sunbathing and hiking this lakeside trail can’t be beat. Families will enjoy it’s water views, gentle hills, abundant bird life and Springtime flowers.
★★★★☆ Pipeline Canyon Hiking Trail / Easy to Moderate / Lake Pleasant / 2 miles
A floating bridge crosses crystal clear water, in one of Lake Pleasant’s intimate coves. Rambling along quiet hillsides this hike leads to a special location where wild burros and ducks might be spotted.
★★★☆☆ Quartz Hiking Trail Loop / Moderate / Cave Creek Recreational Area / 4 mile loop
Glittering white quartz is scattered like oversized breadcrumbs over and around this moderate trail. As a bonus, a jaw-droppingly large outcropping is sure to delight!
★★★☆☆ Rock Springs Spur Trail to Aqua Fria River Crossing/ Moderate / Black Canyon City / 1.4 miles
Wade in a gentle creek, or relax on a wide stone beach, outside Black Canyon City. This trail leads to a bend in the refreshingly cool Aqua Fria River, perfect for splashing in or across.
★★★☆☆ Waterfall Hiking Trail / Easy / White Tank Mountains / 0.9 miles
Abundant Native American hieroglyphics and a hidden waterfall are just two of the awesome, squeal-inducing features of this easy, educational trail. Under a mile long, this one of the more perfect family hikes for young kids.
★★★☆☆ Wild Burro Hiking Trail / Easy / Lake Pleasant / 2 miles
Enjoy a scenic stroll around Lake Pleasant’s intimate, blue coves. This hike teems with Spring wildflowers & views of boats frolicking on the water year round. Possibility of a wild burro sighting are high!
★★★☆☆ Wind Cave Hiking Trail / Moderate / Usery Mountain / 1.5 miles
A sky-high cave rests atop neon-greens cliffs at the top of this moderate desert trail. Concave mini-caves, along the base of towering cliff walls, make for entertaining resting spots on the upwards hike.
Flagstaff Area Family Hikes
★★★★☆ Fatmans Loop Hiking Trail / Easy / Flagstaff / 2.5 mile loop
Oversized rock-formations and fun-filled nooks-and-crannies beg to be explored. Kids will have a blast scooching between the immense boulders of Fatmans Pass or climbing into large recesses on trailside boulders.
★★★★★ Kachina Hiking Trail / Easy / San Francisco Mountains / 5.4 miles
Almost overwhelming in its beauty, this family hike envelopes moms, dads and kids in acres-wide meadows of fragrant wildflowers and plush fern-gullies during Spring and Summer, or golden Aspens in Fall.
★★★★☆ Lava River Tube Trail / Easy / North of Flagstaff / 1 mile
Headlamps required – on this naturally refrigerated hike through a short underground tunnel. Turn off the lights for an extra thrill.
★★★★★ Red Mountain Hiking Trail / Easy / North of Flagstaff / 1.5 miles
Hiking through this maze of colossal cones is kind of a-mazing (hee hee). Surrounded by thousands of sky-high Cinder Cones, this fun trail will make families feel like ants in a sprawling city of hyper-high anthills.
★★★☆☆ Sandys Canyon Hiking Trail to Walnut Canyon / Easy / South of Flagstaff / 2.7 miles
“Twisted” cliffs, punctuated with small caves, make hiking Walnut Canyon almost surreal. Kids of all ages will have fun skipping through this Dali-esque canyon and exploring the shallow cave beneath 100′ tall Fisher Point.
Pine & Payson Area Family Hikes
★★☆☆☆ Rim Lakes Vista Hiking Trail / Easy / Mogollon Rim / 3.5 miles
You might wonder if you’ve been plopped inside an gigantic viewfinder on this incredibly scenic, easy rim trail. Flashback-worthy views span for hundreds of miles – from rim to horizon.
★★★★☆ Tonto Natural Bridge, Gowan & Pine Creek Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / South of Pine / 0.92 mile loop
Shiver and squeal, as ice cold droplets fall from the 14-story-high natural bridge overhead! This short family hike mashes-up an exhilarating blend of desert, creek, cave and waterfall fun.
★★★★★ Water Wheel Hiking Trail / Easy / North of Payson / 1.6 miles
This short hike ends at a gushing cascade and icy swimming hole. Along its rustic river pathway, it passes dramatic waterfalls and deep gorges.
★★★☆☆ Woods Canyon Lake Hiking Trail / Easy / Mogollon Rim / 3.7 mile loop
Traverse a bog on a log. Skip stones. And walk under an eagle’s nest on this peaceful lakeside trail. With no motorboats allowed, you’ll hear only the muffled sounds of fishermen, kayakers and families having fun.
Prescott Area Family Hikes
★★★★☆Badger Springs Hiking Trail / Easy / East of Prescott / 0.8 miles
Have a blast exploring hieroglyphs and creekside boulders on this family friendly hike. The trail follows a short ravine to shimmering pools and an endless jumble of boulders on the banks of the Aqua Fria River.
★★★☆☆ Lynx Lake Recreation Hiking Trail / Easy / East of Prescott / 2.3 mile loop
Grab the kids and escape life’s hustle and bustle on this lakeside hike. Tucked into an intimate mountain valley, scenic Lynx Lake stays cool all year. The level pathway is paved half-way around, making it an easy family hike.
★★★★☆ Watson Lake Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / Prescott / 4.8 mile loop
Explore rolling Granite Dells, hidden coves and a waterfall on this stunning loop hike. A series of mile-long trail sections circle Prescott’s largest lake. Each with surprises with a unique characteristics.
★★★☆☆ Willow Lake Loop Hiking Trail / Easy / Prescott / 5.2 mile loop
Opt to explore the rambunctious stone dells or mellow grassy banks of beautiful Willow Lake. Billowing boulders and mini-canyons flank the eastern shore. While broad reed lined banks flank the west.