Surrounded by awe-inducing mountains, Phoenix is a hiker’s paradise …

(well … except in Summer, when the heat drives most sane hikers north). Hundreds of excellent Phoenix area hiking trails wind through the city and its surrounding ranges. To the east, the dramatic Superstition, San Tan and Usery Ranges offer ruggedly stunning hikes, replete with hoodoos, cliff views and caves. In the west, the Estrella and White Tank Mountains house undulating trails with minimal traffic. North of the city, are the gorgeous McDowell Mountain, Spur Cross, Cave Creek and Sonoran Desert Preserves. While to the south, South Mountain is chock-a-block full of trails with hidden features and epic city views.

Scroll down to explore Phoenix Area hikes by region. Click hike names for full details.


Central Phoenix Area Hikes

 

Landscape, View, Hikers, Boulders, Camelback Mountain, Echo Canyon Hiking Trail, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★★ Echo Canyon Hiking Trail, Camelback Mountain/ Difficult / 1.2 miles

Phoenix’s defining city hike! This immensely popular trail is short, but high up there on the challenge scale. Included are a steep rock scramble, boulder covered paths, and spectacular city views.

 

Hole in the Rock Hiking Trail; Papago Park; Phoenix; Arizona; Phoenix Area Hikes; Easy Hikes; Hikers; Rock Formation; View; Copyright azutopia.com; No use without permission★★☆☆☆ 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.

 

Romantic, View, Hikers, Couple, Dog, North Mountain National Hiking Trail, Overlook, Sunset, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★☆☆☆ North Mountain National Hiking Trail / Moderate / 0.72 miles

From sunrise to sunset, this short, central city hike rocks! This urban trail gets a good workout, with locals hiking, running and pushing strollers up and down the paved pathway. At sunset city views shimmer below.

 

Woman, Hiking, Stone Steps, Ascending, Piestewa Peak, Piestewa Peak Hiking Trail, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★☆ Piestewa Peak Summit Hiking Trail / Difficult / 1.2 miles

This urban “Stairway to Heaven” is a most popular city hike. Its central location, sweat inducing “stone steps”, and 360° views make it a go-to trail. At night, lights from hiker’s headlamps bounce up and down the slope.


East Phoenix Area Hikes

 

Landscape, View, Boat, Cliffs, Saguaro Lake, Arizona, Perigrine Point, Butcher Jones Hiking Trail. Moderate Hikes. Phoenix Area Hikes. Family Friendly Hikes. Pet Friendly Hikes.★★★★★ Butcher Jones Hiking Trail / Moderate / Saguaro Lake / 2.5 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.

 

Hikers, Hieroglyphics Hiking Trail, Superstition Mountains, Phoenix, Arizona, View, Pool of Water, Canyon, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★☆☆ 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 short hike. Ascending to the cradle of a vast canyon, this trail leads to one of the Superstition Mountain’s most uniquely beautiful spots.

 

A landscape view of horseback riders on the Pass Hiking Trail, in Usery Park with the mountains and Mesa, Arizona in the background. Phoenix area hiking trails. Moderate hiking trails. Copyright azutopia.com. No use without permission.★★★☆☆ Pass Mountain Hiking Trail Loop / Moderate / Usery Park / 7.5 miles

Choice views, varied terrain and a high traverse make this trail totally worthy! Scrunched between the Superstition & Mazatzal Ranges, this sweet 7.5-mile loop offers excellent views as it circles Usery Park’s main peak.

 

Landscape, View, Weaver's Needle, Arizona, Superstition Mountains, Freemont Saddle, Peralta Hiking Trail, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★★ Peralta Hiking Trail to Freemont Saddle / Moderate / Superstition Mountains / 2.45 miles

A stone skyscraper, taller than the Chrysler Building, is the star of this ruggedly beautiful trail. Slicing diagonally across the Superstitions, this trail crosses a deep valley, ascending to Instagram-worthy views Weavers Needle.

 

Landscape, View, Horse, Horseback Rider, Dog, Malpais Mountains, San Tan Regional Park, Queen Creek, Arizona, San Tan Hiking Trail Loop, Phoenix Area, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★☆ San Tan Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / San Tan Regional Park / 7.5 mile loop

Spectacular Southwestern scenery spans 100-miles on this level loop hike! Circling the desert floor, between the Malpais and Goldmine Mountains, this mostly-flat trail requires minimal up & down hiking, and has big views.

 

Landscape, View, hikers, Flatiron Mesa, Central Arizona, Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman State Park's Siphon Draw Hiking Trail, Apache Junction, Phoenix, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★★ Siphon Draw Hiking Trail to Flatiron Mesa / Difficult / Superstition Mountains / 3 miles

Breathtaking views, from the bow of this immense “granite ship,” reward hikers for the butt-kicking scramble up. Nestled into a deep canyon, this hike starts with a deceptively easy preamble to a steep climb.

 

A landscape view of a hiker on top of the rock formation in the Wave Cave, on the Wave Cave Hiking Trail with the Superstition Mountains in the background. Near Gold Canyon, Arizona. Moderate Hiking Trails, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails. Copyright AZUtopia. No use without permission.★★★★☆ Wave Cave Hiking Trail / Moderate / Superstition Mountains / 1.75 miles

Cowabunga! “Surf” a huge stone wave near the top of this Superstition Mountain. This short trail leads to a gapping cavern, rimmed with an oversized wave-like formation.

 

Landscape, View, Two Hikers, Sitting, Wind Cave, Usery Park, Apache Junction, Wind Cave Hiking Trail, Phoenix, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★☆☆ Wind Cave Hiking Trail / Moderate / Usery Park / 1.5 miles

A sky-high cave rests atop neon-greens cliffs at the top of this desert trail. Concave mini-caves, along the base of towering cliff walls, make for entertaining resting spots on the upwards hike to the cliff-top veranda.


West Phoenix Area Hikes

 

MesquiteCanyonTrailView_651x488, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★☆☆ Mesquite Canyon Hiking Trail / Moderate / White Tank Mountains / 5 miles

This lovely rambling trail, offers lots of solitude and awesome views of the west valley. Expect to pass an occasional horseback riders also out enjoying the tranquil beauty of this trail.

 

Family, Hikers, Rainbow Valley and Toothaker Hiking Trail Loop, Goodyear, Arizona, Estrella Mountain Regional Park, Phoenix, Views, Mountains, Saguaros, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★☆☆☆☆ Rainbow Valley and Toothaker Hiking Trail Loop / Easy / Estrella Mountains / 6.2 mile loop

Winding through a series of interconnected valleys, this loop is “nice & easy.” Wide, mildly inclined paths span long desert stretches, sandy arroyos and hillside rambles. Distant views of the White Tanks frame the horizon.

 

Arizona, Phoenix, Wadell, White Tank Mountains, Hiking, Kids, Playing, Pool of Water, Canyon, Waterfall Trail, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★☆ 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. At less than one mile long, it’s a perfect family hike.


North Phoenix Area Hikes

 

Hikers, Cave Creek Cave, Cave Creek, Arizona, Desert Foothills Land Trust, Easy Hikes, Guided Hikes, Family Friendly Hikes, Phoenix Area★★★☆☆ Cave Creek Cave Hike / Easy / Cave Creek / 1 mile

Hey History Buffs, the unique Cave Creek Cave hike is taylor made for you! Guided hikes lead to the historically significant cave that the creek and town were named for.

 

Landscape, View, Cliff, Phoenix, Arizona, Elephant Mountain, Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail Loop, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Ocotillo, Prickly Pear, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★☆☆ Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail Loop / Difficult / Spur Cross Recreational Area / 5.4 mile loop

Get your hiking “Om” on – on this tranquil trail. Just a stones throw from Cave Creek’s rowdy saloon-style cafes, this quiet loop trail winds through a pristine conservation area full of tall buttes and deep arroyos.

 

Hikers, Cave Creek, Arizona, Go John Hiking Trail, Cave Creek Regional Park, Saguaros, Mountains, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★☆☆ Go John Hiking Trail Loop / Moderate / Cave Creek Regional Park / 5.8 mile loop

Unobstructed views and blissful tranquility are hidden just north of Phoenix. This trail, in the rolling hills of Cave Creek Regional Park, turns its back on the suburbs, and offers undulating hills, long views and hypnotic tranquility.

 

Landscape, View, Kids, Hikers, Boulders, Pond, Jewel of the Creek Hiking Trail, Jewel of the Creek Preserve, Cave Creek, Arizona, Phoenix Area, Family Hikes★★★★☆ 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.

 

Bartlett Lake, Central, Arizona, Water, Beach, Rattlesnake Cove, Dock, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★☆☆☆ 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. Enjoy the trails ample water views, gentle hills, abundant bird life and lush Springtime flowers.

 

Female, Hiker, Rocky, Summit, Scottsdale, Arizona, Pinnacle Peak Mountain, Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★☆ Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail / Moderate / North Scottsdale / 1.75 miles

If a hiking trail can be “posh” this is the trail! Rising above a sea of emerald golf courses, this tony hike features curvilinear boulders, well manicured paths and lavish views.

 

Landscape, View, Hikers, Floating Bridge, Pipeline Canyon Hiking Trail, Lake Pleasant, Phoenix Area, Phoenix, Arizona, Lake, Cove, Family Hikes, Water Feature Hikes★★★★☆ 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.

 

Arizona, Cave Creek, Quartz Hiking Trail, Quartz Outcropping, Saguaro, Dessert , Landscape, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★☆☆ Quartz Hiking Trail Loop / Moderate / Cave Creek Recreational Area / 4 mile loop

Glittering white quartz is scattered like oversized breadcrumbs over and around this trail. As a bonus, a jaw-droppingly large outcropping is a radically fun feature.

 

Hiker, Boy Playing, Aqua Fria River, Horseshoe Bar, Black Canyon Hiking Trail, Rock Spring Spur Trail, Black Canyon City, Arizona, Canyon, Phoenix Area Hikes, Water Hike,★★★☆☆ 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.

 

A landscape view of the Ridgeback Hiking Trail leading to the Overton Hiking Trail. In North Phoenix’s Sonoran Desert Preserve. Phoenix area hiking trails. Moderate Arizona Hiking trails. Dog friendly hiking trails. Copyright azutopia.com. No use without permission.★★★☆☆ Sidewinder, Ridgeback, Ocotillo Hiking Trail Loop / Moderate / Sonoran Desert Preserve / 4.56 mile loop

Nab a quick escape from Phoenix’s northern ‘burbs on this pretty combo trail loop. Bonus! Elongated 360° views, plus the likelihood of hot air balloons floating nearby.

 

Hikers; Hiking; Sunrise Mountain; Sunrise Peak; McDowell Mountains; McDowell Mountain Preserve; Scottsdale; Arizona; Desert; Views; Sunrise Hiking Trail; Copyright AZutopia★★★★☆ Sunrise Hiking Trail to Sunrise Peak / Moderate / McDowell Mountain Preserve / 2 miles

Fantabulous 360° views await at the top of this lofty peak! Tucked into a gorgeous McDowell Mountain valley, this trail is less trafficked than its northern sister-hikes.

 

Stone formation, Summit, Peak, Tom's Thumb, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★★ Tom’s Thumb Hiking Trail, Northeast / Moderate to Difficult / McDowell Mountains / 2.15 miles

This gorgeous hike, to a 14-story stone tower, is lined with monolithic, curvilinear boulders and amazing hundred-mile views. Its sensuous beauty astounds.

 

Landscape view of Vulture Peak in Wickenburg, Arizona, with desert Cholla and Saquaros in the foreground. From the Vulture Peak Hiking Trail. Copyright AZUtopia.com. No use without permission.★★★★☆ Vulture Peak Hiking Trail / Moderate / Wickenburg / 2 miles

Get spoiled with amazingly unspoiled views from a high saddle! Less than 1-hour NW of Phoenix, this hike ascends to a narrow break between jagged cliffs and endless views of pristine desert.

 

Wild Burro Hiking Trail; Wild Flowers; Kayak; Globemallow; Lake Pleasant; Phoenix; Arizona; Phoenix Area Hikes; Easy Hikes; Views; Lake; Copyright azutopia.com; No use without permission★★★☆☆ 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!

 

Landscape, View, Lake Pleasant, Phoenix, Arizona, Summit, Yavapai Point Hiking Trail, Phoenix Area Hikes, Moderate Hikes, Pet Friendly Hikes★★★★☆ Yavapai Point Hiking Trail / Moderate / Lake Pleasant / 1.5 miles

Soak in epic water views and lakefront breezes at the top of this trail. Watching the sailboats waft across the lake, it’s easy to forget that Phoenix is only a few miles away.


South Phoenix Area Hikes

 

Landscape, Two Hikers, Women, Friends, Rock Tunnel, Phoenix, Arizona, Hidden Valley, Mormon Hiking Trail, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails, Arizona Hiking Trails Phoenix★★★★☆ Hidden Valley via Mormon Hiking Trail / Moderate / South Mountain / 1.95 miles

Hidden Valley’s mini-slot canyon and long stone tunnel are hyper-fun to explore! Accessible via the Mormon Hiking Trail, these secluded wonders have hikers squishing through, climbing over or walking under them.

 

A hiker looking over downtown Phoenix, from Dobbins Lookout, at the top of the Holbert Hiking Trail, in South Mountain Park, Phoenix, Arizona. Stone structure, View, Moderate Hiking Trails, Phoenix Area Hiking Trails. copyright azutopia.com. No use without permission.★★★☆☆ Holbert Hiking Trail to Dobbins Lookout / Moderate / South Mountain / 2.55 miles

Hands down, the best views of the Phoenix skyline are from Dobbins Lookout, at the top of this beautiful trail. Here arched windows frame “Wizard of Oz” like views.