Can you feel it? Stepping outside is tolerable now. September 21 marks the first day of fall, but that can be hard to tell in Arizona. Judging by these last few beautiful days, it’s time to start playing outside again. This may be a novel concept to some, but we’re here to offer you some exciting options for getting outside. From beginners to experts, here are our favorite hikes and trails to explore and to enjoy the weather.
1. Camelback Mountain
This is the quintessential hike to take in the Valley. Everyone knows Camelback Mountain. Starting at the Echo Canyon Trailhead, this hike can be strenuous. At the end you will have climbed a little over a mile. The city views make it completely worth it.
2. West Fork Trail
This is absolutely one of the most beautiful hikes you can take in Arizona. You do have to travel to Sedona, but the beauty of the West Fork Trail makes up for it. At around five miles long, the trail winds around Oak Creek. This means you’ll get wet so be sure to bring some comfortable shoes you won’t mind submerging. It is also a an extremely popular hiking destination. The earlier you arrive, the better.
3. Tom’s Thumb Trailhead
Located in the McDowell Mountains, Tom’s Thumb trailhead is one of the most beautiful hikes to take that won’t take the day to get to. At four miles in length, the trail is usually heavy with traffic. If you make it to the end, you’ll see Tom’s glorious thumb (pictured). It’s important to remember that there is no water available on this hike and that it is imperative you bring your own.
4. Horton Creek Trail
Are you ready to head to the woods? Just outside Payson is the Mogollon Rim, one of the best places to camp in Arizona. There you’ll find the Horton Creek Trail. Following Horton Creek, this trail measure at over seven miles in length. It’s beautiful. At this time of year, it’s wise to bring a jacket and perhaps some waterproof shoes.
5. Piestewa Peak
This trail is located the nearest to central Phoenix. Perfect for an after work hike, Piestewa offers stunning views of the city we call home. Piestewa is located right off the 51 and Glendale Avenue, just follow the signs from there. Unique rock formations await as you ascend the mountain.