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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Great Phoenix Hikes

As a college student I know we are always looking for fun and cheap things to do around Phoenix.  To me the most obvious activity is to go hiking.  We’re all aware of the typical Phoenix hikes such as Camelback and Squaw Peak.  As great as those hikes are it is always good to know more options.

1. Papago Park

Hole in the rock is an iconic hike in the Phoenix area.  It is very easy trail that is located in Papago park (on the border of Scottsdale and Tempe.) Papago Park is not only good for hiking but has a lot of great biking and running trails. With its unique look these trails are always a great option.

2. The Estrella Mountains

The Estrella mountains are located in the southwest side of Phoenix. Estrella Mountain Park has a lot of fun hikes that are all different levels of difficulty. Fun fact: The Estrella Mountain’s are the most unexplored mountain range in Arizona because the majority of the mountains are on an Indian reservation. 

3. The White Tanks

The White Tanks located to the west of Phoenix have tons of different hikes.  The most famous one of the park is the Waterfall trail.  It is a very easy hike and if you go right after a heavy rain you might be able to see the waterfall flowing!  Not only does this park have great hikes but it has a lot of wildlife that range from Mule deer to mountain lion to rattlesnakes. Recently, a library was built at the entrance of the park it is a great place to view the desert and to get homework done. 

4. The McDowell Mountains

The McDowell Mountains are located to the east of the Valley near Scottsdale they are full of wonderful hikes! Some of the best are Tom Thumb, Gateway and Brown Ranch trail.

5. Pinnacle Peak  

Pinnacle Peak is located in North Scottsdale. This is a great hike that is unique to the other Phoenix hikes because it does not have the typical Phoenix view.  Instead it gives the hikers great view of Four peaks.  This time of year is the best time to go because of all the snow to the north of the Valley! 

6. Cave Creek

Cave Creek regional park is a great place to go hike in the Spring if you want to see wildflowers! This year the wildflowers should be spectacular because of all the rain the Phoenix valley has gotten.  Typically, the flowers start to bloom early march and are around until mid-April. Cave creek is located to the north east of Phoenix on the border of North Scottsdale.    

As you can see the Phoenix area offers many diverse hiking opportunities throughout the year.  These are a great place to start exploring and enjoying beautiful Arizona.


President of the Her Campus Chapter at Grand Canyon University. I am a Senior at GCU majoring in Government. I love adventures, horses and Nutella!