Hiking in the Grand Canyon State is a dream for many people. In fact, its landscapes are quite dreamy, diverse, and unlike anywhere else in the entire country. From the epic 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail for diehard hikers to shorter, easier hikes around state and local parks, this gorgeous state of ours is an outdoor playground no matter where you visit or where you live. Featured here are some of the best hikes in Arizona that deserve our attention:
Best Hikes in Arizona
Not only is Arizona a bucket-list destination but there are numerous bucket-list-worthy hikes around the state. We are home to the Grand Canyon, after all! From the Devil’s Bridge Hike in Sedona to Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, here are some of the best hikes in Arizona:
1. Devil's Bridge Trail
Devil's Bridge Trail, Arizona 86336, USA
Location: Sedona Mileage 3.9-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This trail is located within the Coconino National Forest and is a popular spot for hikers and off-road drivers. Leashed dogs are allowed. Limited free parking is available at the Dry Creek Vista trailhead, or free shuttles are available from central Sedona to the trailhead between Thursday and Sunday.
Devil's Bridge Trail
is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona. With otherworldly rock formations and Devil's Bridge itself, it's beyond your wildest dreams! Be sure to take a camera with you on this hike -- there are picture-worthy stops galore.
2. Cathedral Rock Trail
Cathedral Rock Trailhead, Back O Beyond Road, Sedona, AZ, USA
Location: Sedona Mileage 1.2-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Found within the Coconino National Forest, this trail is popular, gorgeous, and allows dogs on leash. The elevation gain is 741 feet. Parking can be found at two different spots along Back'O'Beyond Road except for Thursday through Sunday each week. During that time, you will need to take the free Sedona Shuttle service from town. Parking for the shuttle is located at 1294 SR 179.
Sedona is a hiker's paradise and it's easy to see why when you visit. With jaw-dropping red rocks everywhere you turn, it's absolute heaven here! Another trail that's a must is the
Cathedral Rock Trail
. This short trail offers plenty of views but is also a challenging hike. Come prepared with plenty of water and anything else you'll need to make the trek.
3. Camelback Mountain via Echo Canyon Trail
Echo Canyon Trailhead, E McDonald Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85018, USA
Location: Phoenix Mileage 2.6-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: This challenging hike with an elevation gain of 1,522 feet is also among the most popular in Phoenix. Best to hike between October and April as the trail is subject to extreme heat and, therefore, an increased risk in dehydration and other factors. Proper footwear along this trail is advised. Dogs are not allowed. Parking is found at the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area. However, depending on the time of day, you may have to wait for a spot.
If you're in the mood for a great, heart-thumping workout, a trek along
Camelback Mountain via Echo Canyon Trail
is one to consider. Once you get to the summit by scrambling up some rocks, you'll be treated to panoramic views of Phoenix and Paradise Valley below. You'll discover for yourself why this is one of the most popular hikes around Phoenix.
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Arizona
Not up for a long hike? Not all of us want to do a long and/or strenuous hike. Luckily, there are plenty of short, sweet, and easy hikes throughout the state. Even children can partake in hiking these trails.
4. Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail
Seven Sacred Pools, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
Location: Sedona Mileage 1.1-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: The best time to hike this trail, like most other Arizona trails, is between October and April. Dogs are allowed but must remain on a leash. Limited parking is available or you can take the free Sedona Shuttle from town from Thursday through Sunday. The trailhead opens at 8 a.m. and the park closes at 6 p.m. Do not park outside the parking lot in the surrounding neighborhood or your car will be at risk to get towed. Be sure to have AllTrails downloaded to your phone as navigating the area can be a bit tricky.
There's nothing quite as enchanting as the hike to the
Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail
. Along the way, you'll see a sinkhole, a cave, and seven small pools in the rocks.
5. Horseshoe Bend Trail
Horseshoe Bend Trail Rides, VF9W+97, Page, AZ 86040, USA
Location: Page Mileage 1.5-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This easy and scenic trail is found within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash. There is a fee per vehicle to enter the park and the parking lot is accessible. The trail and overlook are wheelchair accessible. There are shade structures along the path as well.
One of the most photographed places in Arizona has to be
. Take the trail to the overlook for views of Glen Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in the Colorado River. It's one of the most beautiful places in the state.
6. Devils Kitchen
Devils Kitchen Drive, Devils Kitchen Dr, Village of Oak Creek, AZ 86351, USA
Location: Sedona Mileage 0.4-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This popular trail in the Coconino National Forest also allows dogs on leash. Stop at the sinkhole known as Devils Kitchen.
If you want to view some of Sedona's magical scenery while barely breaking a sweat, the
Devils Kitchen Trail
is perfect for you! Bring the kids along on this hike too and marvel at the scenery along the way. If you wish to continue on, this trail joins Soldiers Pass Trail.
Hardest Hikes in Arizona
If you’re up to a massive challenge and have the physicality to do one of the hardest hikes in Arizona, we have a few suggestions. These hikes take extra time to prepare for as well as extra gear to carry and a sense of adventure.
7. Romero Canyon to Mount Lemmon
Catalina State Park, 11570 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85737, USA
Location: Tucson Mileage 12.3-mile point-to-point trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Typically, this challenging route takes over 7 hours to complete one way and has an elevation gain of 6,873 feet. Found within Catalina State Park, you'll have to pay a parking fee of $7 per car. If you enter on foot or. by bike, it costs $3. Dogs are only allowed on certain parts of the trail, so it's best to leave them at home.
Want some solitude? Take the
Romero Canyon to Mount Lemmon
trail and you may have it all to yourself. The terrain is relatively flat starting out but it gets steep and rocky after that. However, this trail is incredibly scenic with views just about everywhere you look!
8. Hope Camp Trail to Mica Mountain
Hope Camp Trail, Vail, AZ 85641, USA
Location: Vail Mileage 15-mile point-to-point trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Located in the Saguaro National Park, this challenging trail takes nearly 8 hours from point to point and has an elevation gain of 6,181 feet. Dogs are not allowed on this trail which is popular for backpacking and camping. A Standard Entrance Pass costs $15 per person or $25 per vehicle and is good for 7 days.
Hope Camp Trail to Mica Mountain
leads through a veritable forest of saguaro and prickly pear cacti. Depending on the time of day and the time of year, you may find some solitude along this scenic trail.
9. Bill Hall to Deer Creek Trail Location: North Rim Mileage 19.1-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: This Grand Canyon National Park Trail at the North Rim takes over 11 hours to complete and has a 5,770-foot elevation gain. The best time to use this trail is between October and May. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. There is a fee to enter the park but if you have a National Park Pass, remember to bring it with you.
Bill Hall to Deer Creek Trail
and you'll be led to some incredible views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. You'll see a slot canyon, a waterfall, and many other beautiful natural sites along the way. Instead of doing this trek in one day, it's best to take a couple of days and camp along the way.
Best Waterfront Hikes in Arizona
While many people think Arizona is just mountains and deserts, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This state has over 100 lakes and five major rivers, so there’s quite a bit of waterfront found here. Here are several of the best waterfront hikes in Arizona:
10. Butcher Jones Trail
Butcher Jones Hiking Trailhead, Fort McDowell, AZ 85264, USA
Location: Apache Junction Mileage 5.8-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Located within Tonto National Forest, this rocky and narrow trail's elevation gain is 636 feet and will take nearly 2.5 hours to complete. Dogs on leash are allowed. Bring bug spray with you. You will need to purchase an $8 Tonto National Forest Pass from a nearby gas station for entry.
Take a walk along the lake as you traverse the slightly-overgrown
Butcher Jones Trail
. Enjoy scenic views and wildlife along the way!
11. Watson Lake and Flume Trail
3101 Watson Lake Park Rd, Prescott, AZ 86301, USA
Location: Prescott Mileage 4.8-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This trail can be found in Watson Lake Park and leads to a lookout point. A portion of the trail is along the park's bike path. There is little shade along the way so be sure to wear sunscreen. Dogs on leash are allowed.
For some pretty scenery along the water, hike the
Watson Lake and Flume Trail
which circumnavigates the lake. You have the option of either doing the loop or connecting to other trails along the way.
12. Coach Whip, Ridgeline and Sunrise Loop
22800 N 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85310, USA
Location: Glendale Mileage 2.2-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Head to Thunderbird Conservation Park to find this waterfront trail that takes a little over an hour to complete. This trek is popular with hikers, birdwatchers, and mountain bikers and is quite popular. Dogs on leash are allowed.
Coach Whip, Ridgeline and Sunrise Loop
has some steep sections but you'll forget all about it once you spot the water. The trail is rocky and there's no shade, so keep that in mind when you go!
Best Winter Hikes in Arizona
Hiking in Arizona doesn’t have to stop in the winter! In fact, the colder months are among the most popular for hikers to be out and about. If you enjoy hiking in cooler weather, here are some of the best winter hikes in Arizona:
13. Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail
85119, Apache Junction, AZ 85119, USA
Location: Apache Junction Mileage 5.5-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Located in Lost Dutchman State Park, this challenging route has an elevation gain of 2,627 feet. September through June are the most ideal months to hike this trail. Bring plenty of water and wear appropriate footwear as it's rocky and there are areas you must scramble over. There is a fee of $10 per vehicle or $3 per pedestrian or cyclist to access the park. Trail hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail
is a great route to do in the winter. With cooler air, no shade, and the hot sun not beating down on you while hiking, it's an ideal winter hike if you're up for the challenge. It's also quite popular so you may see plenty of fellow hikers along the way.
14. Hieroglyphic Trail to Petroglyphs Location: Apache Junction Mileage 2.9-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This trail is located within the Superstition Wilderness and has a 564-foot elevation gain. Beat the summer heat and hike here during the winter with your dog (on a leash). Park in the designated parking lot and not on the road or you'll risk being towed.
Among the most interesting hikes, especially for those interested in history, is the
Hieroglyphic Trail to Petroglyphs
. Hike through a canyon filled with boulders, pass by small waterfalls as well as pools of water, and eventually, you'll find the petroglyphs. It's believed that the Hohokam created these petroglyphs approximately 1,500 years ago. It's a fascinating archeological site and removing any items, climbing on, or defacing any part of this area is forbidden by law.
15. Fremont Saddle via Peralta Canyon Trail
Fremont Saddle, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118, USA
Location: Gold Canyon Mileage 4.6-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Located within Superstition Wilderness, this beautiful trail has a 1,341-foot elevation gain. The trail gets more challenging towards the end of the climb. Dogs on leash are allowed. Once you make it to the saddle, take in the views of Weaver's Needle in the distance. Park your car in the lot at the end of Peralta Road.
Another incredible hike in the Superstition Wilderness, the
Fremont Saddle via Peralta Canyon Trail
is among the most popular in the area. It's not hard to see why once you get going on this trail. Everywhere you turn seems to be a fascinating rock formation, a cave, or some other natural wonder. Due to the fact that there's no shade along the way, this hike is best done during the cooler months.
Best Hikes near Phoenix
The Phoenix Metro area is home to approximately five million people along with endless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors! Phoenix is home to South Mountain Park and Preserve, one of the largest urban parks in the country, as well as Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, and more. Here are some of the best hikes near Phoenix to enjoy whether you live in or around the city or you’re just visiting:
16. Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300
Piestewa Peak Summit Trail, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
Location: Phoenix Mileage 2.3-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, this challenging trail offers an elevation gain of 1,151 feet. This popular trail is best trekked between October and April. Parking is found off of Piestewa Peak Drive. Dogs are not allowed on this hiking trail. Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300
may be challenging but it's so worth it especially if you want a great workout and incredible panoramic views as your reward at the top. Just take your time and pace yourself up to the summit. Once you're there, you'll have views of the city of Phoenix, Camelback Mountain, and Dreamy Draw Recreation Area.
17. Hidden Valley Trail Via Mormon Trail
Hidden Valley Trail, Phoenix, AZ 85042, USA
Location: Phoenix Mileage 3..6-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Located within South Mountain Preserve, this popular trail has an elevation gain of just 925 feet. Dogs on leash are allowed. This trail is popular among hikers as well as mountain bikers. Hidden Valley Trail Via Mormon Trail
has some interesting features such as hidden tunnels along the way. There's even one narrow passageway known as "Fat Man's Pass."
18. Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout
Dobbins Lookout, Phoenix, AZ 85042, USA
Location: Phoenix Mileage 4.2-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This scenic trail is found within South Mountain Preserve. Parking and entrance hours are from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m., although extended during the summer season from June 1-September 30 at the Pima Canyon Trailhead parking lot until 9 p.m. Trail hours are from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. There is no admission fee. Every Sunday, the park observes "Silent Sunday" when the main road into the park, Summit Road, it closed to all vehicle traffic. However, cyclists and pedestrians are allowed. Take the Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout which is the highest point in South Mountain Park at 2,330 feet and you can take in a fantastic view of the city of Phoenix from here. Be sure to also check out the stone hut that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and stick around for a spectacular sunset, if you can.
Are you ready to hit the trails on one of the best hikes in Arizona? There’s so much adventure to be had within our state. From easy to challenging, from scenic overlooks to waterfalls, there’s a hike for nearly anyone here. And if you’re looking for more, you can
try AllTrails+ for Free .
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More to Explore
Best Hikes In Arizona
Does Arizona have good hiking trails?
Yes! Arizona has good hiking trails. In fact, you can argue it has some of the best in the country. From hiking toe Grand Canyon to hiking the red rocks of Sedona, the scenery on many AZ hiking trails is unmatched to anywhere else in the country, and maybe even the world. Here are some of the best parks to find great hiking trails in Arizona:
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Red Rock State Park
- Los Dutchman State Park
- Saguaro National Park
- Kartchner Caverns State Park
What are the best months to hike in Arizona?
Hiking in the summer in Arizona is often not advised. Due to extreme heat and risk of dehydration and other factors, it's best to avoid strenuous hiking during the summer months. Oftentimes, parks are closed this time of year. October through May are the best months to go hiking anywhere in the Grand Canyon State. No matter what time of year you’re hiking, however, you must be prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and other gear depending on the type and length of hike you’re doing.