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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Tarr

Steph's Spotlight: It's Hiking Season and Arcadia Has Some of the Best Hiking Adventures in Phoenix

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Phoenix Desert Hiking Adventures
Stunning views from Phoenix Mountains Preserve: Piestewa Peak Circumference Trail

When the weather breaks there are fewer things I enjoy more than hitting our local hiking trails. The Arcadia area is surrounded by fantastic hiking opportunities amidst stunning desert landscapes. Here are some of my favorite trails in the area:

  1. Camelback Mountain: Echo Canyon Trail Camelback Mountain is an iconic Phoenix landmark offering two challenging trails, with Echo Canyon being the more strenuous one. The trail spans 1.23 miles and rewards hikers with breathtaking views of the cityscape from the summit.

  2. Papago Park: Hole-in-the-Rock Trail Located near the Phoenix Zoo, this short but rewarding trail leads to a natural sandstone formation with a "hole in the rock" offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. It's an easy hike suitable for families.

  3. Piestewa Peak: Summit Trail Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw Peak, boasts the Summit Trail, a popular and demanding route offering a challenging workout and stunning vistas of the city. This trail is about 2.2 miles long and is known for its steep incline.

  4. Phoenix Mountains Preserve: Piestewa Peak Circumference Trail For a less crowded alternative, the Circumference Trail around Piestewa Peak offers a 3.9-mile loop with moderate difficulty. It provides excellent views of the desert landscape and the city.

  5. Cholla Trail at Camelback Mountain The Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain offers a slightly less strenuous hike compared to Echo Canyon. It's about 1.5 miles long and provides stunning views of the city and the surrounding desert.

When hiking in these areas:

  • Stay Hydrated: Arizona's desert climate demands ample water, especially during hotter months.

  • Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy shoes suitable for rocky terrain.

  • Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and consider early morning or late afternoon hikes to avoid intense heat.

Always check for trail closures or restrictions, especially during summer months when some trails might be closed due to extreme temperatures or maintenance. And remember to respect the desert environment by leaving no trace and following trail etiquette.

Whether you're an avid hiker seeking a challenge or a casual explorer looking for breathtaking views, the hiking trails around Arcadia promise the best Phoenix Desert Hiking Adventures amongst stunning scenery.


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