advertisement
  • Camelback Mountain (Phoenix): For many Phoenicians, the trail to the top of Camelback Mountain is a ritual, a Phoenix institution. Sure, there are those who make this a casual but strenuous hike, but many more turn it into a serious workout by jogging to the top and back down. I prefer a more leisurely approach so that I can enjoy the views.
  • Peralta Trail (east of Phoenix in the Superstition Mountains): This moderately difficult trail through the rugged Superstition Mountains will lead you to one of the most astonishing views in the state. Hike the trail on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
  • Picacho Peak State Park (south of Casa Grande): The hike up this central Arizona landmark is short but strenuous, and from the top there are superb views out over the desert. The best time of year to make the hike is in spring, when the peak is painted with wildflowers. Picacho Peak is between Casa Grande and Tucson just off I-10.
  • Bell Rock/Courthouse Butte Loop Trail (Sedona): There simply is no better introduction to Sedona's myriad red-rock hiking opportunities than this easy 4-mile loop hike. The trail begins right on Ariz. 179 in the Village of Oak Creek, which is a few miles south of Sedona. Views, views, views! Unfortunately, though, there are plenty of other hikers, too.
  • The South Kaibab Trail (Grand Canyon South Rim): Forget the popular Bright Angel Trail, which, near its start, is a human highway. The South Kaibab Trail offers better views to day hikers and is the preferred downhill route for anyone heading to Phantom Ranch for the night. This is a strenuous hike even if you go only a mile or so down the trail. Remember, the trip back is all uphill.
  • The White House Ruins Trail (Canyon de Chelly National Monument): There's only one Canyon de Chelly hike that the general public can take without a Navajo guide, and that's the 2.5-mile trail to White House Ruins, a small site once inhabited by Ancestral Puebloans (formerly called Anasazis). The trail leads from the canyon rim across bare sandstone, through a tunnel, and down to the floor of the canyon.
  • The Wildcat Trail (Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park): As at Canyon de Chelly, there's only one trail at Monument Valley that you can hike without a guide. This easy 3.2-mile trail loops around West Mitten Butte, providing a close-up look at one of the most photographed rock formations in the West. Don't miss this hike.
  • Betatakin (Navajo National Monument): Betatakin is one of the most impressive cliff dwellings in the Southwest, and while most people just marvel at it from a distance, it's possible to take a ranger-led 5-mile hike to the ruins. After hiking through remote Tsegi Canyon, you'll have a better understanding of the Ancestral Puebloan people who once lived here.
  • Antelope Canyon (Page): More a slow walk of reverence than a hike, this short trail lets you see the amazing beauty that can result when water and rock battle each other in the Southwest. The trail leads through a picture-perfect sandstone slot canyon, which is only a few feet wide in some places.
  • The Seven Falls Trail (Tucson): There is something irresistible about waterfalls in the desert, and on this trail you get more than enough falls to satisfy any craving to cool off on a hot desert day. The Seven Falls Trail is in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area in northeast Tucson.
  • The Heart of Rocks Trail (Cochise County): While the national parks and monuments in northern Arizona get all the publicity, Chiricahua National Monument, down in the southeast corner of the state, quietly lays claim to some of the most spectacular scenery in Arizona. On this trail, you'll hike through a wonderland of rocks.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.