Arizona June 25, 2015
These 10 Hiking Spots In Arizona Are Completely Out of This World
Wild came out in theatres last year? It spurned a greater interest in hiking and backpacking along the Pacific Crest Trail but has also led to some pretty crowded areas. A great, local alternative is the Arizona Trail, which stretches 800 miles from Mexico to Utah. If you’re not up to hiking it this year, you’re in luck because our state has over 300 trails scattered throughout the state, some connecting to the Arizona Trail and others in completely different locations. Here are just a few trails you will want to check out. Don’t forget to bring extra water and snacks.
1. The Big Loop, Chiricahua National Monument
Holy moly, who wouldn't want to see this? This 9.5 mile hike will take you around the major sights of Chiricahua National Monument, including getting a spectacular view of the Heart of Rocks, pictured above.
2. Brins Mesa Trail, Coconino National Forest
This three mile trail offers you a picturesque view of Sedona and the surrounding area. There is a short, steep climb at one point but otherwise this trail is great for a leisurely nature walk.
3. Fossil Springs Trail, Coconino National Forest
A moderately difficult hike just west of Strawberry, Fossil Springs is best known for its namesake. The miles can be a bit grueling, especially on the way out so be prepared for a steeper walk out of the area.
4. Grand Canyon Rim Trail, Grand Canyon National Park
Get an amazing view from the South Rim by walking along this multi-use trail which can be used by hikers, cyclists, strollers, and people in wheelchairs. It measures to just under 13 miles but the paved path has several shuttle stops so you don't have to feel pressured to finish the entire trail that day.
5. Lava River Cave, Coconino National Forest
Want to hike towards and down a cave? The Lava River Cave north of Flagstaff is a nice, icy retreat during summer and maintains a temperature of 42 degrees year round and often has ice that reaches towards the entrance.
6. North Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park
The main entrance into the canyon, this is one of the most difficult trails you will encounter in Arizona and is the one most often associated with heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death. However, if you have a few days and identify as a more experienced hiker, trekking this path offers some of the most stunning views. Plus, you have the option of riding a mule down the canyon.
7. Red Mountain Trail, Coconino National Forest
Located 25 miles north of Flagstaff, this short trail will allow you to see one of the many extinct volcanoes in northern Arizona. No need to worry, the volcano last erupted over 740,000 years ago and the land has been quiet since.
8. Sabino Canyon Trail, Coronado National Forest
The good start of some incredible views of the surrounding wilderness, Sabino Canyon Trail will lead you to two other trails (East Fork and Bear Canyon) to form a 13 mile loop. Hiking the loop will give you the best experience of the canyon and desert views but you can always opt to hike the short 2.5 miles.
9. Tonto Natural Bridge, Coconino National Forest
This is a super short hike that is also great for the kids and you get to see one of the world's largest travertine bridges. The trail is well-maintained but be careful of slipping on the rocks to get to the actual bridge.
10. Wet Beaver Canyon Loop, Coconino National Forest
A grueling 22 mile hike, this trail offers stunning views as a reward. However, be careful and budget several days for this hike because it is a doozy; even more experienced hikers have experienced difficulty staying on the trail.
Before you head out on your next hiking adventure, let us know in the comments your favorite places in nature to escape the daily grind.