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10 Best Hiking Trails in Arizona

With its beautiful vistas, Arizona is a popular place for hiking and other outdoor activities. You can find the best hiking trails in Arizona near major cities.

Don’t forget to pack a few bottles of water before you head out on these Arizona hiking trails.

10 Top Arizona Hiking Trails Worth a Visit

Before you visit the state, you add the top hiking trails in Arizona to your list of must-see destinations. There are trails available for a variety of different skill levels. Other than paying attention to the skill level, you should also take note of the weather before you head out and dress accordingly.

1. Cathedral Rock

This trail is located near Sedona, and it is known for being a fairly hard trail. While it might be difficult, it’s also incredibly beautiful. It might be only 1.2 miles, but it takes most people more than an hour to complete.

Cathedral Rock is accessible by the Sedona shuttle only between Thursday to Sunday. If you want to drive your car to reach one of the most gorgeous Arizona hiking trails, you’ll have to go between Monday and Wednesday. Pay attention to the weather because the 741 feet of elevation gain can be rough after rainstorms.

2. Piestewa Peak

Thanks to its location in Phoenix, Piestewa Peak is only 45 minutes away from cities like Buckeye. Known as one of the best hiking trails in Arizona if you want to stay in the city, this hike is a fast workout. During the hike, you’ll experience a 1,050-foot elevation gain.

For a romantic hike, you can pack some dinner and enjoy a gorgeous, panoramic view as the sun sets. While the elevation gain makes this a difficult hike, it is only 2.25 miles in length.

3. Tom’s Thumb

This is one of the famous hiking trails around Scottsdale. During this out-and-back hike, you’ll go through 1,236 feet of elevation gain as you hike up the thumb rock formation. Located in the McDowell Mountain Sonoran Preserve, this stunning hike has plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing.

The entire trail is in the open sun, so you don’t want to do it during the middle of a summer day. Instead, you should pack plenty of water and tackle this trail early in the morning.

4. Cholla Trail and Camelback Mountain

Another one of the most popular hiking trails in Arizona can be found on Camelback Mountain. Located around half an hour from North Mesa, Cholla Trail is 2.68 miles in length. This out-and-back trail has a whopping 1,158 feet of elevation gain, so be prepared for a workout.

Thanks to the ruggedness of this trail, you should wear a pair of solid hiking shoes. The final section includes a bit of climbing over some rocks on the trail. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy phenomenal views of Phoenix.

5. Broken Arrow Trail

As one of the most popular Arizona hiking trails, this one is definitely worth checking out. You can take the Broken Arrow Trail to reach Chicken Point. During the hike, you can enjoy views of white rocks, pinyon pines, red rocks, and cypress groves.

While this 2.79-mile trail is popular among hikers, it also brings in a lot of jeep tours. Mountain bikers also love the trail. Spanning 2.79 miles in length, this out-and-back trail has a moderate difficulty level. It is located just outside of Sedona.

6. Butcher Jones Trail

Situated about 30 minutes away from Rio Verde, the Butcher Jones Trail is a part of the Tonto National Forest. If you are a beginner, this is a trail for you. The trail offers stunning views of Saguaro Lake and gorgeous canyon walls.

Bring along your hiking trail map, and prepare for a 4.9-mile, out-and-back trip. You take paved roads to get to the site. The easy trail boasts a peasy 180 feet in elevation gain, so this is a great one for your entire family.

7. Arrowhead Point Trail

Located within the Thunderbird Conservation Park, the Arrowhead Point Trail is about 24 minutes away from Surprise. It’s a short, quick trail, so hikers of all skill levels can have some fun. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy a majestic view of the Northwest Valley.

You can generally expect it to take about 30 minutes to go up the hill and 25 minutes to return. The entire loop is just 1.5 miles long. If you get bored with doing this trail, the park has seven other trails you can try out.

8. Goldmine Trail

As one of the most popular hiking trails in Arizona, the Goldmine Trail is worth checking out. Since it's just 15 minutes away from San Tan Valley, it’s a convenient option for anyone in the Phoenix or Chandler area. This intermediate trail is a part of the San Tan Mountain Regional Park and offers beautiful views of wildflowers.

You’ll end up gaining 2,400 feet in elevation on this trail, which will bring you to the highest point on any of the park’s trails. The entire trail starts near the visitor center at the San Tain Trailhead. If you try to start at the northside by the Goldmine Trailhead instead, you end up climbing 2,400 feet in the first mile.

Expect this trail to have extremely steep terrain, and wear your hiking boots. The views of Goldmine Mountain are worth the exertion, and you can check out the historic graves of two gold miners. Plus, you can enjoy views of saguaro forests, creosote flats, and local wildlife.

9. Sonoqui Wash Trail

If you are looking for hiking trails near Queen Creek, you can’t go wrong with the Sonoqui Wash Trail. Spanning 3.8 miles in length, this trail traverses in and out of desert landscapes. Public parking is available near the beginning of the trail at Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre.

The Sonoqui Wash is a popular area for birdwatching or birding as it’s becoming more commonly known. An estimated 70 different species of birds have been seen in the vicinity.

10. Devil’s Bridge Trail

This popular trail is 3.9 miles in length and is located in Sedona. During the trail, you’ll go over the largest natural sandstone arch in the neighboring region. While the hike is considered moderately difficult, you only climb 400 feet in elevation gain.

Once you reach the top, you’ll get to enjoy truly breathless views. From the parking area, you can follow trail markers along the trail. When you reach a divide in the path, you should go down the left fork to reach the base of the bridge.

If you want a great view of the arch, try standing underneath it and looking up. Bring along your camera to take photos of the natural rock staircase, high arch, and amazing views.

Arizona Hiking Trail Map

Find the Best Hiking Trails Near Your Arizona Home

The best Arizona hiking trails can be found throughout the state. Once you find the best hiking trails in Arizona, you can always plan a day trip to explore the rest of the area and search for your next home. To see all of the beautiful properties Nexstar builds for local home buyers, visit our website today.


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