Phoenix, Arizona is close to a wide variety of great hiking trails. The cooler months of the year can be an ideal time to explore them and avoid the summer heat in the desert. Here are 10 beginner-friendly hikes near the city that you will want to check out!
1. Camelback Mountain
Phoenix’s most well-known hike, this one is a little more challenging than some of the others on this list. The trail isn’t too long – 2.5 miles out and back – however, it is pretty steep in some sections. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes and plenty of water if you do check this one out!
2. Hole In The Rock Trail
This memorable trail is only 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix. Located in Papago Park, Hole In The Rock Trail is a 0.3-mile trail that leads to a unique rock formation. The rock formation – as the name suggests – offers some great views of the nearby city!
3. Charles M Christiansen Northern Loop
Head over to Phoenix Mountain Preserve to check out this trail! This 2.2-mile loop trail is fairly level and features wildflowers in the early spring. It is gorgeous all year, however, and a winter hike can be a great way to beat some of the desert heat.
4. Mormon Loop to National Trail Loop
If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge – but still a trail that doesn’t require too much hiking experience to complete – consider checking out Mormon Loop to National Trail Loop. This 4.7 loop trail does feature some uphill sections, as well as gorgeous views of the surrounding South Mountain Preserve.
5. Warpaint Loop Trail
Another trail in South Mountain Preserve, Warpaint Loop also features beautiful desert views. It’s quite a bit easier, however. Approximately 2.2 miles long and relatively level all the way, this is a great option for those that want to ease into exploring the preserve!
6. Phoenix Mountain Nature Trail 304
Here’s another short and sweet hike! Phoenix Mountain Nature Trail is a 1.4-mile loop trail that winds through the desert. It’s also a great place to view wildflowers in the spring, as well as wildlife such as rabbits and coyotes year-round.
7. Secret and Desert Classic Loop
This is a great option for those looking for a little more mileage without too much incline! Secret and Desert Classic Loop is a 3.7-mile loop trail that only gains approximately 300 feet of elevation over that distance. It’s also a little less heavily trafficked than some of the others on this list, making it a great getaway!
8. Coach Whip Mini Loop
Here’s a trail that’s great for both families and pets! Coach Whip Mini Loop is a level, 1.2-mile trail with almost no elevation gain. Dogs are also allowed on leash, making this a great way to explore the deserts near Phoenix with the whole family!
9. Basalt, Palisade, and Circumference Loop Trail
Here’s another trail that’s great for those looking for a little bit more of a challenge. This 3.4-mile loop trail is located in Deem Hills Recreation area. In addition to beautiful views, it also features a slight elevation gain.
10. Sidewinder and North Tower Road Loop
Head over to Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve to experience this beautiful trail! Sidewinder and North Tower Road Loop is a 1.8-mile loop trail that is a great spot to see some gorgeous views as well as potentially see wildlife such as coyotes and rabbits.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com