5 Best Hiking Trails in the Metro-Phoenix Area
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The weather is beautiful in Phoenix this time of year. It’s a perfect time to go outside, enjoy nature, and get some exercise. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or you’d rather take a more leisurely stroll, we’ve got 5 incredible trails around Phoenix to recommend for you. And after your hike, stop by Long Wongs in Phoenix for a warm and scrumptious lunch or dinner of our famous wings, delicious pizza, or any of our other appetizing entrees!
1. Blevins Trail in Usery Mountain Regional Park – Easy
If you’re looking to get out and stretch your legs while enjoying all the beauty the Sonoran Desert has to offer, this is the trail for you. Very slight elevation and a clearly marked trail mean you don’t need to worry as much about watching your footing while hiking. That gives you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty all around you. A good hike to do alone for quiet reflection, it’s also a fun walk to share with a friend.
(Distance: 3 Mile loop)
2. Hidden Valley Via Mormon Trail in South Mountain Park/Preserve – Moderate
This great little hike packs the majority of elevation climb right at the beginning of the trail. If you’re willing to tough it out for the first half mile, you’ll be rewarded with scenic views of Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain, the McDowells, and even Four Peaks in the distance. Once you catch your breath and enjoy the view, the trail ascends for another mile or so before intersecting with the Mormon Loop Trail. The Mormon Loop breaks off to the left and is clearly marked. From there continue straight, and the trail leads to a little lollipop loop. The remainder of the hike offers ample opportunity to play as you squeeze through Fat Man’s Pass and tread through a cool natural tunnel on the descent.
(Distance: 4 Miles out and back)
3. Pinnacle Peak Trail in Pinnacle Peak Park – Moderate
Pinnacle Peak is a well-groomed path with smooth ups and downs over the course of this 1 and ¾ mile hike. It provides ample opportunity to do a little wildlife spotting, so you may see a Gambel quail or a jackrabbit, antelope ground squirrels, cactus wrens, lizards, or possibly even a roadrunner! The trail climbs 1,300 feet in elevation, and at its end is a view of the unfolding desert below you. On the return trip, enjoy the descent and the quiet of the day, as well as the flora and fauna on either side of the trail.
(Distance: 3.5 Miles out and back)
4. Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain – Challenging
Time to up the ante this weekend? Then Echo Canyon Trail is the right choice for you. It’s a relatively short hike, but the climb in elevation may have you huffing and puffing, even if you are in great shape! Once you’ve arrived at the top of Camelback, the 360-degree view is all the reward you’ll need for your hard work. There’s nothing quite like it in the Phoenix area!
(Distance: 2.4 Miles out and back)
5. Tom’s Thumb Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy – Challenging
Aptly named Tom’s Thumb, the thumb is the goal of the hike, and it’s also your turn-around point at the end of the trail. Meandering along the first part of the trail, you’ll encounter only a slight increase in grade. Enjoy the desert flora and phenomenal rock formations that have stood the test of time. After the first half mile the trail difficulty kicks it up a notch, so be prepared by taking plenty of water breaks, or possibly packing a small snack for refreshment. And while you sip or eat, enjoy the views of the McDowell mountains.
(Distance: 4.6 Miles out and back)
Choosing just five hikes from the hundreds that the Phoenix-Metro offers was as difficult for us as choosing only one flavor of our incredible, delicious Long Wongs wings or pizzas. But we did it. And after you’ve finished your hike, you’ll probably be hungry for a filling, satisfying meal, and you may need a good cold brew to quench your thirst. So come and see us at Long Wongs. We’re a finger-licking, melt-in-your-mouth finish to all your outdoor activities!