Phoenix, Arizona, is an amazing destination for those who love nature, hiking and exploring. Though the town has many fun activities and destinations, those visiting the city would be amiss to stay downtown the entire time. If you love nature and want to get out there and explore, then you absolutely must make time for the many stunning nature hikes and trails in the area. Start with these top hiking destinations:
1. Camelback Mountain
There are a great many things to do in Phoenix that involve the stunning scenery, but to see this stunning 2,704-foot high sandstone mountain from Phoenix itself in person is truly something spectacular. At its base is the beautiful Sonoran Desert, filled with beautiful rock formations, cacti, and trails. It’s one of the area’s most popular destinations for hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor adventures. You can take a self-led tour, or you can go on an excursion to really enjoy the area to its fullest.
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2. Superstition Mountains
Another mountain range in the Sonoran Desert that you will want to check out if you love nature and hiking is the Superstition Mountains. This mountain range isn’t as high as the Camelback mountain, but it’s still a popular option for hikers and rock climbers. Here you’ll see jagged peaks and sheer cliffs, making it a dramatic choice for those who want stunning views while they enjoy a nice walk.
3. Tonto National Forest
This forest is home to pine trees, lakes, and a desert filled with cacti. It’s a truly stunning area with multiple hiking options and more photo opportunities than you can count. It’s ideal for nature lovers and artists. Go on an easy hike to take the time to paint the scenery, go on a difficult hike to get to some stunning views, or just stroll through on a route that calls to you. As this park is over 3 million acres in size and reaches altitudes up to 7,900 feet, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
4. Apache Trail
This trail was initially developed as a copper trade route. Today, however, it’s a great trail that will take you past desert mountains, eroded canyons, old mining towns, and even the famous Montezuma Castle. It’s over 120 miles long, so it would require multiple days to hike from one end to the other, but if you’re a serious hiker and want stunning sights and interesting experiences, it’s an absolute bucket-list choice.
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5. Montezuma Castle National Monument
Though this isn’t a trail, it is on a trail, and it’s a must-see for those in the area. Here you’ll find a 1000-year-old cliffside dwelling. It was one of the first national monuments. For the best experience, book a tour in advance so that you can learn all about the history of the place and get up close and personal with the stunning castle in all of its glory.
6. The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a world-famous, bucket-list destination and an absolute must for anyone in the area. Though it’s a bit further from Phoenix itself, it’s so stunning that the extra trip is worthwhile. To get the best experience, book a tour. The only way into some of the best canyon areas is with a tour. As these book up quickly, you’ll want to reserve your space well in advance. You’ll want to take your time in this area. Not only will you want to go on tours, but you’ll also want to explore the area at different times of the day. Sunset (or sunrise) at the canyon is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. For those who want to see the canyon without the crowds, aim to visit during dawn.