PHOENIX, AZ – If you’re one of the many visiting the Phoenix area for vacation, this weekend is a great time to get out on the trail and enjoy our balmy November temperatures.
Here are some trail suggestions for visitors that range from easy to difficult. If you are from a cooler, cloudier, and wetter area, remember that even in the fall you need to wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water for a desert hike.
Pima East Loop to South Mountain Park
This 2.3 mile loop in South Mountain Park with just 291 feet of elevation gain has an easy rating, but might be on the harder side for those who haven’t hiked in a while. It has great views and is suitable for a family hike, but be aware that there are some rocky areas. Dogs are allowed on the trail. If you are looking for even more amazing views but are not comfortable taking a more difficult trail, you can drive up to Dobbins Lookout, also in South Mountain Park, for an excellent view of the valley and the mountain. downtown Phoenix. Children and adults alike might enjoy watching the planes make their final descent to Sky Harbor Airport from this vantage point.
Pinnacle Peak Trail to Pinnacle Peak Park
This moderate 4 mile trail doesn’t get you to a real ‘peak’, but it will take you to some incredible views and is sure to make your heart beat faster. This is an out and back trail with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. There is no water or toilets along the trail, so be sure to fill your bottles and take care of your belongings before you set off. This is a popular trail so if you are not looking to meet new people it is recommended to go early in the morning. If you’re from a flat area like the Midwest like me, keep in mind that the moderate rated trails here can feel a lot harder than the moderately rated trails back home.
Double Butte Loop Trail at Papago Park
This 2.2 mile loop is rated easy and kid-friendly, but has some great views and gives you an up-close look at some classic Arizona rock formations. The trail is described as suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, but it is not entirely flat so hike at your own risk. There are only 116 feet of elevation gain. Dogs are welcome and the trail is popular so not for you if you are looking for a secluded walk.
Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain
A bit of a rite of passage for hikers and visitors to the Phoenix area, please don’t try this one if you’re worried you might not be up to it. The feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top and the view from the top is exceptional, but there are many easier hikes with phenomenal views that won’t put your safety at risk. The Echo Canyon trail is 2.4 miles round trip and is rated as difficult. It features a steep incline and rocky climbs with a total elevation gain of 1,400 feet. If you are not comfortable climbing or have an elevation issue, do not take this trail. Most of the rescues on this trail are in the summer, when the temperatures are in triple digits, but a friend of mine visited me this spring and, although she did eventually reach the top and come back down, she also passed. considerable time sitting to the side and crying because she was afraid of falling. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. This trail gets very busy this time of year so be prepared to queue up especially during the rock scramble.
Hidden Valley Trail via Mormon Trail to South Mountain Park
I love South Mountain Park so couldn’t help but add another of my favorites. Hidden Valley is a moderately rated 3.6 mile loop with an elevation gain of 925 feet. This trail includes fun features like dry waterfalls, tunnels, and a chance to sneak through Fat Man Pass. The first mile can be a challenge, depending on your level of fitness, but there are plenty of places to stop to rest and take in the great views. Dogs are welcome on this trail.