Explore the Great Outdoors
Let’s Go Hiking
Nature is one of the few places where you can let go of technology and be completely in the moment. Where you can break free from formalities and deadlines and enjoy what’s around you.
And unless you’re snapping a quick picture at a viewpoint or taking a photo after summiting, odds are you really aren’t thinking about your phone while hiking.
In short, unplugging from technology and engaging with mother nature can be a powerful (and even necessary) activity for your brain.
Plus, it also just makes you really happy.
Northern Arizona Trails
Cooler temperatures and lush green scenery beckons hikers to northern Arizona trails and your state parks are a great place to get in on the high country hiking action. Within this region, three parks contain premier hiking trails for both beginner and advanced hikers that traverse some of Arizona’s most beautiful locations. Experience the awe inspiring views of Sedona, immerse yourself in the mystique of the Verde River Valley, or explore Arizona’s Rim Country, all from gorgeous trails in your Arizona State Parks!
Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park may just offer Sedona’s best hiking trail experience! Numerous trails traverse the conservation park through high desert and riparian area type landscapes. Animal sightings here are common, the diversity of the bird species is admirable, and the general “vibe” is inspired by the world-renowned red rock escarpments of Sedona. Trails are available for people of all abilities within this absolutely gorgeous must-see destination.
1.53 miles — hikers only.
No dogs, horses, or mountain bikes.
After exploring the visitor center, there are plenty of trail options. The Eagle’s Nest option leads hikers through the high red flats, through the riparian area of Oak Creek, and up a hill that shows a commanding view of the greater Sedona area. Seriously, the view from the top is one that should be experienced to truly appreciate. Although there is a slight incline for a section of the hike, this trail is still rated easy/moderate. The trail itself is well kept and wide, and there are birds, animals, and diverse vegetation along the way.
0.78 miles — hikers only.
No dogs, horses, or mountain bikes.
Mix some history into your hike…This scenic trail leads to the (currently closed) 1946 adobe style home of Jack and Helen Frye which was once a main focal point of the Sedona area. The home famously blends with the red rock backdrop and sits on top of a hill that gives hikers amazingly beautiful views of the surrounding red rock and Sedona area. Crossing Oak Creek via Kingfisher Bridge leads visitors through an extremely scenic section of riparian zone and supplies an opportunity to see the resident river otters playing in the creek. Don’t forget your camera (phone) for this hike, there’s plenty to see from this scenic Arizona hiking trail!
0.64 miles — hikers only. No dogs, horses, or mountain bikes.
A hike that’s perfect for the whole family! The Kisva Trail Loop directs hikers through the high desert flats of the park before delving into the shadows of the Oak Creek riparian zone. The possibility of seeing a wide variety of birds along the way is very good, especially in the large cottonwood trees near the creek. Hikers cross Oak Creek twice on this loop trail and skirt the base of nearby red rock covered hills. There’s plenty of photo ops along the way, don’t forget to tag our social media accounts when posting about your trip!
Central Arizona Trails
Picacho Peak State Park
The trails of Picacho Peak State Park invite hikers to explore this southern Arizona hiking wonderland! The Sonoran Desert is a great place to enjoy hiking trails with the best views, interesting birds and animals, and diverse plant life that simply can’t be experienced outside of the desert ecosystem. Hiking trails in the park are rated from easy to difficult, with a few in between. There’s a great chance that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here amid the cactus, rock ridges, and unforgettable views!
Lost Dutchman State Park
Hiking trails through the park lead into a much wider trail network on adjacent National Forest land. The Sonoran Desert landscape holds a variety of birds and wildlife while offering amazingly beautiful panoramic views. The best part about this Arizona hiking destination is the proximity to the metro Phoenix area, and the variety of trail difficulties available. Easy trails close to Phoenix are hard to come by, and more advanced hiking experiences even more rare. You can have it all within this expansive desert park, plan a trip to see for yourself…
Siphon Draw Trail
1.06 miles one way (5.8 miles round trip to Flatiron) — hikers, leashed dogs. No horses or mountain bikes.
Those who have experienced this advanced trail near Phoenix often describe the views at the end to be well worth the effort to get there. Much of this trail leads hikers scrambling up rocks while truly testing their physical abilities. The Siphon Draw section of the trail is located within the park and then gives way to Flatiron at the wilderness boundary. Extensive hiking opportunities exist within the wilderness although the trails are not typically marked as clearly as they are in the park.
Family Hiking Trails
Catalina State Park
At Catalina State Park, you can hike, take a horseback ride, and bicycle on the trails, surrounded by the towering Santa Catalina Mountains. There are eight trails at the park, varying in length and difficulty, but all with amazing views. Leashed dogs are welcome on all trails. All eight trails are multi-use except Romero Ruins. Before your trip, learn about the various desert plants and wildlife that you will encounter in the park, then pick up a copy of our free trail guide at the Visitor Center. All that’s left to do is get out there and enjoy the adventure!
Romero Ruins Interpretive Trail
7.2 miles, one-way — no dogs in Desert Bighorn Sheep Management Area, beyond Montrose Pools — no bikes in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness — not recommended for horses beyond Montrose Pools
This easy loop trail begins south of the main road across from the second pull-out. The trail crosses a seasonal wash (feet may get wet) before climbing about 80 steps to the hilltop. The Romero Ruins archaeological site includes the surface features of the remains from a Hohokam village dating back to about 500 A.D. Trailside signs address the archaeology of the site, the Hohokam culture, and the Romero homestead. Plan on 30 minutes of walking time. For the protection of cultural resources, no collecting is allowed.
Progressively difficult trail. Montrose Pools and Romero Pools are shallow catchments on canyon streams that flow seasonally. Start at the Trailhead parking lot and cross Sutherland Wash, which flows seasonally. The first mile is a relatively flat and easy walk to Montrose Pools (usually dry) and the park boundary. The next 1.7 miles is a steep and rocky climb to Romero Pools. Poor trail conditions might be encountered as this is an unmaintained wilderness trail. From the Trailhead to Romero Pools is 2.8 miles with an elevation gain of 900 feet. Plan on two hours of walking one way from the Trailhead to the pools.
To continue to Romero Pass, follow the trail to your right as it ascends out of the stream bed. The trail then slowly climbs up-canyon 4.4 miles to Romero Pass at 6,000 feet elevation. From the Trailhead to Romero Pass is 7.2 miles with an elevation gain of 3,300 feet, about a five-hour hike one way. Romero Canyon Trail ends at Romero Pass, where it intersects Mt. Lemmon Trail (to Mt. Lemmon) and West Fork Sabino Trail (to Sabino Canyon).
1.0 mile, loop — no horses.
Another easy loop trail. The Nature Trail begins at the trailhead parking lot, climbs a hill, then meanders through low foothills with typical desert scrub vegetation. Trailside signs feature local plants and animals, in addition to climate and geology information. Plan on 45 minutes of walking time.
1.0 mile, loop — no horses.
This easy loop begins at the trailhead parking lot. The trail crosses a wash (with seasonal water flow) then loops up and down the foothills. Desert scrub, mesquite bosque, and riparian vegetation are seen with trailside signs highlighting the relationships between unique bird species and their preferred habitat. Plan on 45 minutes of walking time.
FAMILY outings & adventures
Below is a list of favorite places to take your kids. These facilities are currently open,
but check websites for current information on hours of operation, ticket sales
and COVID-19 safety measures that are taking place.
The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest non-profit zoos in the United States, caring for more than 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened or endangered species.
455 N. Galvin Pkwy.
Phoenix, AZ 85008
ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER
Arizona Science Center’s mission is to inspire, educate and engage curious minds through science.
600 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Scottsdale’s McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is the most unique park of its kind in the country. The 30 acre park’s centerpiece is the Paradise & Pacific Railroad, a fully functional 15 gauge railroad with scale steam and diesel locomotives and riding stock. No trip to the park is complete without a ride on the 1950-vintage Allan Hershell carousel or a visit to the Scottsdale Railroad Museum.
7301 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park has Arizona’s largest collection of exotic and endangered animals, with more than 600 separate species, rides, a petting zoo and daily shows!
16501 W. Northern Avenue
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
BEARIZONA WILDLIFE PARK
Bearizona Wildlife Park allows visitors to drive into “the wilderness” and witness herd and pack life from the safety and comfort of a private vehicle.
1500 E. Route 66
Williams, AZ 86046
DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN
A living museum with more than 50,000 plants from around the world. Enjoy tours, workshops, seasonal exhibits, special events, concerts and more.
1201 N. Galvin Pkwy.
Phoenix, AZ 85008
LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER ARIZONA
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Arizona – it’s like you’ve just jumped into the biggest box of LEGO® bricks ever! See your city come to life in mini-land… it’s made entirely of LEGO® bricks! Climb aboard and ride Kingdom Quest to rescue the princess! Then, build a LEGO® race car with your friends and send it zooming down the test ramp! Get closer to the action in the amazing 4D LEGO® cinema. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find at the LEGOLAND® discovery center!
5000 Arizona Mills Circle
Tempe, AZ 85282
Designated an Arizona Treasure, this real working family farm has U-pick organic gardens, orchards, farm festivals, tours, bakery
24810 S. Rittenhouse Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Apple Annie’s is a family farming operation, owned and operated by John and Annie Holcomb,and their family. The 4300’ elevation of the Sulphur Springs Valley provides us with the warm days and cool nights that make Willcox the premier you-pick fruit and vegetable growing area in Arizona for pumpkins, delicious sweet corn, and vegetables.
6405 W. Williams Road
Willcox, AZ 85643
Tolmachoff Farms is a unique four generation family farm operated in Glendale, Arizona. The farm originally grew cotton, wheat and corn in the first part of this century. Bill Senior started selling plums in the early 1970’s from a roadside stand and the pick your own farm fresh produce stand has continued to grow ever since.
5726 N. 75th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85303
Mortimer Family Farms is a historic farm located at the corner of Highway 69 & 169 in Dewey. The Mortimer family has a love of farming and are working to revitalize and bring back to life one of Arizona’s most recognizable premier farms in Arizona.
12907 E. State Route 169
Dewey, AZ 86327