Hiking in Arizona can be a great way to see more of the area! With the state currently open to domestic travelers with no restrictions, it is a great time to take a trip to see some of the hikes Arizona has to offer. From views of the gorgeous deserts to trails leading to hidden caves, here are our top 10 hiking suggestions for hikers of all ages and skill levels.
1. View the Grand Canyon from The Rim Trail
The Grand Canyon is home to several day hikes, including The Rim Trail. The least steep of the South Rim Trails, the Rim Trail is a mostly paved trail that offers views directly into the Grand Canyon. A total of 13 miles, visitors have the option of traversing the whole trail or a smaller portion of it. A section of the trail – from Lookout Studio to South Keibab Trailhead – is also wheelchair accessible.
2. Dreamy Draw Nature Trail
If you’re looking for hiking nearby Phoenix, here’s a great option! Located near Piestewa Peak, Dreamy Draw Natural Trail is home to stunning views of the Sonoran desert. This 1.5-mile loop trail is also a great place for viewing wildlife such as rabbits, birds, and the occasional coyote.
3. Devil’s Bridge Trail
Located in Sedona, Devil’s Bridge Trail is a popular option for hikers. Ending in one of the largest sandstone arches in the area, it’s no mystery as to why. This moderate 3.9-mile hike also welcomes dogs – just be sure to keep them on a leash!
4. Picket Post Loop Trail
Here’s one for those looking for a less well-known hike. This 8.9-mile loop trail features a seasonal creek, gorgeous rock formations, and a variety of wildlife. This is a great option for those really looking to get away from civilization – while the previous trails lead to some one-of-a-kind views, unlike this trail, they can also be on the busier side.
5. Camelback Mountain
Here’s a good option for those looking to add a little hiking into their trip to Phoenix, or those looking for gorgeous views of the city below. There are two trails leading up Camelback Mountain, however, only Echo Canyon Trail is currently open. While the trail is a short 2.5-miles, there is some serious elevation gain, as well as rocky terrain in some areas. Visitors should plan to bring sturdy shoes. Water, as well as restrooms, are available at the trailhead.
6. Robber’s Roost Trail
Here’s a hike with a unique destination – viewing a historic cave! This 3-mile out and back trail leads up to Robber’s Roost (also known as the Hide Out Cave). Legend says that the cave served as a hiding location for bandits in the old days. It’s unconfirmed as to whether or not this is true, but regardless, the area offers some stunning views. The trail is pretty rocky – some trusty shoes are recommended.
7. Slide Rock Route to Slide Rock Swimming Area
Cool off with a dip in one of Arizona’s most scenic swimming holes! A perfect excursion for a hot day, the hike itself is pretty short – just 0.3-miles – and leads to a gorgeous swimming area that includes an 80’ long natural waterslide. Entry to Slide Rock State Park is needed to access this one, but visitors can also look forward to amenities such as a gift shop, picnic tables, and historical exhibits.
8. Cathedral Rock Trail
If you’re looking for some beautiful scenic views of the desert and a bit of a challenge, look no further. Cathedral Rock Trail may only be 1.2-miles long, but it packs a punch. The majority of the hike is uphill through rocky terrain. The views at the top are well worth the difficulty getting there, however – the hike features viewing of the awe inspiring red rock formations in the area. Parking can be limited – getting there early might be a good option!
9. Cathedral Rock To Easy Breezy Loop
For those looking for a less challenging hike in the same area as Cathedral Rock Trail, Cathedral Rock to Easy Breezy Loop is also an option – similar in length (a 0.7 mile loop), this trail doesn’t lead up to the same views that Cathedral Rock Trail does, but still offers views of rock formations in the area. This option features level, easy terrain, making it more suited to casual explorers or families with children. Parking can be limited at this one as well – consider getting there early.
10. Fossil Creek Waterfall Trail
This hike leads to the crystal clear Fossil Creek Waterfall. Listed as 2.6 miles, the exact length of the trail varies depending on which lot you park in. Due to limited parking advance parking permits are also required during the peak season – April 1st-October 1st, and can be purchased online prior to your trip. Permits can sell out quickly, especially for closer lots, so planning ahead is a good idea.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories