Below is a list of the top-rated Hiking Trails in Phoenix. To help you find the best Hiking Trails located near you in Phoenix, we put together our own list based on this rating points list.
Phoenix’s Best Hiking Trails:
The top-rated Hiking Trails in Phoenix are:
- South Mountain Park and Preserve – has three mountain ranges and trails that should be dealt with caution
- North Mountain Park – with numerous trails each appealing to hikers abilities and experience level
- Piestewa Peak Park – rocky terrain with the occasional sighting of coyotes
- Camelback Mountain – casts a unique silhouette famous worldwide
- Shaw Butte Trailhead – rewarding hikers reaching its summit with a 360-degree view of Phoenix
South Mountain Park and Preserve
South Mountain Park and Preserve have a land area of approximately 16,000 acres and one of the biggest city-operated parks in the country. It consists of three mountain ranges namely the Gila, Ma Ha Tauk, and Guadalupe. The park’s trail area stretches up to 50 miles which makes it ideal not only for hiking but for horseback riding and mountain biking as well. Its highest point is called the Dobbins Lookout which stands at 2,330 feet accessible through the hiking trails and Summit road. One must take extra caution when hiking within its trail since a lot of narrow sections and blind corners can be found here.
Hiking, Mountain Hiking, Horseback Riding, Bicycling
Address: 10919 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85042
Phone: (602) 495-5458
“I’ve been coming to South Mountain Park for most of my life. So maybe my opinion is biased? But I cannot imagine a better park in any city better than this one for hiking, biking, parties, horseback riding, and much more. If you have a free day, especially when the sun is out and the temperature is in the 60’s or 70’s. Then it would be hard to find a better place to enjoy an outside activity.” –Hank Padilla
North Mountain Park
North Mountain Park consists of numerous trails where hikers can choose from depending on their preferences, abilities, and hiking experience. One is the Maricopa Trailhead that has a moderate to a high level of difficulty with hard-surfaced areas made up of asphalt and dirt. It is steep with back trails that present the impressive views of Downtown and North Phoenix. Mountain View II Park, Maxine Lakin Nature Trail, Penny Howe Barrier Free Trail, Charles M. Christiansen Memorial Trail, and Shaw Butte Trailhead are the other trails present in the park.
Maricopa Trailhead, Mountain View II Park, Maxine Lakin Nature Trail, Penny Howe Barrier Free Trail, Charles M. Christiansen Memorial Trail, Shaw Butte Trailhead
Address: 10608 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020
Phone: (602) 262-7901
“I call this The Never-ending Trail. I believe it was trail 44. If you want to get a good workout in, this is the mountain for you. Not the hardest I’ve done but when you think you’ve reached the top, there’s more to come. It ends off where the Towers are, then you can continue down a winding paved road. And the view at the top is spectacular!” –David Reyes
Piestewa Peak Park
Piestewa Peak Park’s base is explored by hikers through the Freedom Trail. The said trail has moderate difficulty owing to its landscape mostly containing rocky portions. Upon the course of the hike, one can be gifted with the opportunity to see native wildlife including occasional sightings of coyotes. On the other hand, the Piestewa Peak Summit Trail has a high level of difficulty but rewards hikers with a full uninterrupted view of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The trail is a short hike but has numerous switchbacks and jagged areas of rocks and gravel.
Freedom Trail, Piestewa Peak Summit Trail
Address: 2701 E Squaw Peak Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: (602) 261-8318
“This is a great park to do local hikes. It has moderate as well as challenging climbs and terrains. The views from the peaks give you a great view of Phoenix and the surrounding landscape.” –Michael Gorman
Camelback Mountain, a premier hiking destination of the country, got its name from the silhouette that it produces on the Valley skyline. Its trail is widely popular worldwide with a lot of visitors arriving from various parts of the world. Though extremely known to the hiking community, its two trails are extremely difficult that it requires only experienced hikers. This is due to its steep elevation, unprotected paths, and uneven terrains that is made more difficult by weather conditions. Its summit is located 2,704 feet above sea level which generates a panoramic view of the whole valley.
Cholla Trail, Echo Canyon Trailhead
Address: 6131 Phoenix, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Phone: (602) 534-5867
“Best hike in Phoenix. If you’re a beginner I would suggest taking the easier trail first. Very challenging and very fulfilling once you reach the top. Bring lots of water and maybe a muffin to fuel up if you take a break.” –Denzel Norvell
Shaw Butte Trailhead
Shaw Butte Trailhead has a 7.2 km loop trail described as always packed with hikers mainly due to its dog-friendly and kids-friendly terrain and structure. The moderately difficult trail generates majestic views of wildlife, especially birds. It is utilized for most hiking, nature trips, running, and bird watching activities throughout the year. The presence of a few steep areas adds challenge to hikers passing through the trail while providing seclusion on its southern side. Once a hiker reached the tip a generous 360-degree view of Phoenix greets them.
Hiking, Nature Trips, Running
Address: 12950 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 262-7901
“Excellent views and great trails absolutely loved it. Uneven terrain so keep that in mind, our toddler was not super pleased by that, but there were plenty of other friendly hikers, dog walkers, and a few people enjoying a bike ride. A beautiful spot worth checking out.” –Steven Urian
Amy Burford is a reporter for Kev’s Best. After graduating from UCLA, Amy got an internship at a local radio station and worked as a beat reporter and producer. Amy has also worked as a columnist for The Brookings Register. Amy covers economy and community events for Kev’s Best.