What are the best hikes in Phoenix? If you are looking for the top hikes in Phoenix you don’t have to look hard as there are a ton of places to go on all sides of town.If you have never been to Phoenix you probably picture a flat desert like I did with no idea that Phoenix has mountains everywhere in it and surrounding it. There are also mountains right in the middle of town!
There are ton of amazing Phoenix hikes as the weather is year-round great for hiking and there are trails for all levels throughout town. If you want even more spectacular hikes see here for the best hikes within 2 hours of Phoenix.
While the hikes in Phoenix are great, the list above has some of the best hikes in not just the area but the entire state and even the country. Phoenix is surrounded by mountains and waterfalls which you absolutely have to see whenever you visit.
Of course if you love hiking in Phoenix then you also need to checkout Sedona, where just 1.5-2 hours away you can be in one of the best hiking areas in the country.
7. Piestewa Peak
Piestewa Peak is Camelback Mountain’s little brother and located just 10 minutes down the road from it. It is just a touch less elevation and shorter than Camelback Mountain but still a similar workout and great hike.
Piestewa Peak also has amazing 360 views of the entire city being located just 10 minutes from downtown Phoenix. If this hike seems too much the entire Phoenix Mountain Preserve area is a great place for shorter hikes, walks and mountain biking.
The hike is 2.5 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The hike is considered strenuous and of course be careful during a hot Phoenix summer.
6. Tom’s Thumb
Tom’s Thumb is another great hike in Phoenix and is nice because it is on the outskirts of town making it not as busy as the trails in the heart of Phoenix. It is a great length for anyone wanting great exercise with great city views.
Being out of town there is also more chances to see some extra wildlife such as giant turtles, tarantulas, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, bighorn sheep and more!
The hike is 4.2 miles round trip but only an elevation gain of 1,130 feet making it a little less difficult than the higher climbing Camelback Mountain.
5. Wave Cave
The wave cave trail has been a popular hike with Instagrammers being an interestingly shaped cave just outside of Mesa.
The hike is moderate at only 3.2 miles round-trip and an elevation gain of less than 900 feet. This is a great hike to combine with the longer Peralta Trail located right next door 1/2 mile down the road.
4. Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle
Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle is such a good hike as it passes through a ton of diverse type ecosystems from desert to forest to incredible rock formations.
The entire way you can turn round and see stunning views facing back the other way and then a view of the valley the entire other direction when you get to Fremont Saddle.
At Fremont Saddle you also get a view of Weaver’s Needle. Legend says there is a gold mine that is within the shadow of weavers needle… just one of the stories in the beautiful Superstition Mountains.
There are caves, rock formations and incredible views all along this moderate-strenuous hike. For full length and info see here for our guide on Peralta Trail here.
3. Massacre Falls
Massacre Falls are the best falls in Phoenix and really the only waterfalls in the metro area. The falls unfortunately are seasonal so you definitely need to make sure you go at the right time in order to see them flowing.
The hike is an beautiful hike with streams and lush landscape the entire way. Unfortunately a wildfire in the Summer of 2020 burned a good amount of the beautiful foliage down.
Hoping the area can have a fast recovery as the vegetation on the hike is amazing. The views of the valley when you come back down are incredible as well and during sunset is a real treat.
The hike is a perfect length and is great for dogs as well. If you want to know when to go in order to see the falls then see our entire Massacre Falls guide here.
2. Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is the most quintessential hike in Phoenix and while touristy and over-populated it truly is the perfect hike and challenge rising right out of the middle of Scottsdale.
The hike is a bucket list Phoenix thing to do being something that you have to do whenever visiting town. The hike is a difficult hike but the rewards of incredible views around the entire area are worth it.
You can’t come to Scottsdale without hiking Camelback and it truly is such a great hike being extra unique with its central location. If you want to find the secret cave and get a full guide than see this article here.
1. Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail
Flatiron is the best hike in Phoenix and is located in the Superstition Mountains. Similar to Peralta Trail you go through unique little diverse ecosystems.
From desert to a solid exposed rock to a forest to a jungle, the trail will keep you guessing and give you a ton of unique sites. If you have never hiked the Superstition Mountains you absolutely have to get out there as they are beautiful.
Of course while the hike itself is nice, the profile of Flatiron during the hike and the views from the top are the best in the city. See here for a full guide of the Flatiron via Siphon Draw hike.