With the fall coming and our weather turning down a notch in the mornings and evenings, it’s time to get back out there and get some exercise. One of the best ways to get a great workout in is to hit one of the best AZ hiking spots! With our state’s diverse terrain, it’s easy to find an awesome trail to make your way through. CENTURY 21 Northwest is here to provide what we think are the best AZ hiking spots!
CENTURY 21 Northwest Best AZ Hiking Spots List
If you’ve been to the Phoenix area, you have more than likely noticed this Mountain at the center of it all. Camelback starts at a trail called Echo Canyon Trail and it gets an early start with climbing. You’ve got 1,264 feet to climb in about 1.2 miles. Needless to say, this hike is not a beginners course. You will want to leave yourself a couple of hours round trip and go in the morning our about an hour before sunset due to the heat here in the state.
[photo: “Camelback Mountain 2” by Dru Bloomfield from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA – Camelback Mountain. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons]
While we’re in the Phoenix area, head east for about an hour and you’ll end up in the Superstitions Mountains and Lost Dutchman State Park. You’ll want to follow the Siphon Draw Trailhead, once you reach the base of the mountain you will follow a well used path but pay attention because it can be hard to follow. After 2.5 miles and 2,400 feet you will be near the top. There will be a football field sized outcropping called the Flat Iron. Once you’re up there, there are some killer views.
We’re sure you’ve seen the amazing pictures of turquoise waterfalls in the Grand Canyon and thought it may have been photoshopped. But we assure you these waterfalls do exist and they are just as amazing as you see in the pictures. The waterfalls lie within the Havasupai Indian Reservation and you do need a permit for hiking and camping there. From the trailhead it’s an 8 mile hike into the small village of Supai and then another 2 miles to the campground. It’s all downhill from the car, but remember that you’re going to need to climb back out of that canyon in a couple days. You will want to do some research on what it will cost to camp down there, but the views will more than make up for the fees. We recommend at least 2 nights to be able to visit all the falls. Beaver Falls is about 4 miles downstream from the campground and will take half a day to get there and back.
[photo: “New havasu falls” by Gonzo fan2007 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons]
When you picture hiking near Tucson, Arizona, you probably don’t think of hiking through pine trees up a 9,453 feet mountain. Mount Wrightson is located in the Santa Rita Mountains just 40 miles south of Tucson. My favorite hike on the mountain is to make a loop by taking the Old Baldy Trail up and coming down the Super Trail #134. It makes for a 12 mile hike with a 4,200 feet of elevation gain. The best time of year to go is spring and fall, as summers can be too warm without hiking in the dark.
[photo: “Mt Wrightson 2013” by Mikesanchez1109 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons]
A list of the top Arizona hikes wouldn’t be complete without climbing the highest mountain in the state. If you’re short on time, then give the Humphreys Summit Trail a shot. It starts at the Arizona Snowbowl Skiing Area and gains 3,300 feet over the 5 miles to the 12,633 foot peak. The summit trail will take you about 6 hours to complete. Another option is to take the Inner Basin Trail which is much more scenic and more of a gradual grade as well. In fall you can’t beat the beauty of the aspens as they change color. The Inner Basin Trail is a little longer at 7 miles each way and gains 4,400 feet from the car. On a clear day you can see all the way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The best time of year to go is the fall when the trees are changing, but you can hike all summer as well once the snow melts enough to see the trail.
[photo: “San Francisco Peaks, winter” by Bob Blasi; Coconino National Forest – San Francisco Peaks during winterUploaded by PDTillman. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons]
Enjoy Diverse AZ
From Mount Humphreys to Havasu Falls, each of these AZ hikes has some splendid views and will definitely get you a good workout in! There are trails on trails in this state, and there’s no good reason to pass them up. So get out there and buy some hiking boots so you can enjoy the awesome diversity of this great state!