Arizona Hikes Tips

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Where are the best Sedona hikes?

Sedona Hikes

Some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Sedona are easy hikes as well. One of the most popular hikes is the easy nature trail near famous Slide Rock, a popular area in the Sedona/Oak Creek area. The red rock vistas and meandering creek are some of the most photogenic spots in Northern Arizona.

There is also a well-developed system of trails in Red Rock State Park, about five miles west of Sedona, that are geared to family hikes. The State Park offers ranger-guided hikes, and even a moonlight hike to view moonrise from a scenic spot. The park also offers a self-guided nature trail along Oak Creek, to learn more about the plants and animals that make their homes in Oak Creek Canyon.

The park Visitor Center offers self-guided trail guides and information on hiking throughout Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona.

What tips do you have for hiking in Arizona?

Some How-to's For Hiking in Arizona

No matter what kind of terrain you're looking for, you can find it in Arizona, which is one thing that makes hiking in Arizona so special. From dry desert to loftiest mountain peak, it's all here for hiking, along with everything in between.

  • Remember most of Arizona is dry and very hot in the summertime, so always carry more water than you think you'll need for your hike.
  • You could run into rattlesnakes or scorpions on the trail. Carry a first aid kit, and don't disturb these creatures if you see them.
  • If you want to avoid crowds in most of the state and national parks, visit during mid-week or off season, the hiking trails will be less crowded.
  • Wear sturdy hiking boots to protect your feet and ankles from rocky trails and from snake and insect bites as well!
  • In the summer it's not uncommon to run into a sudden downpour, complete with thunder and lightening. Stay away from solitary trees or exposed areas if you're caught in a storm. Your best bet it to head for home when you see one coming.
  • Dry creeks and washes can suffer from summer flash-floods. Avoid hiking in these areas if there have been storms, or if storms are predicted.
Avoid hiking in the heat of the day in the summertime, and carry plenty of water, and hiking in Arizona will be a piece of cake!

Where are some other great places to hike Arizona?

Where to Hike Arizona

Most people think of the Grand Canyon when they want to hike Arizona, but the state offers many other places to hike and enjoy the beauty of this diverse state.

  • The Mogollon Rim area around Payson and Snowflake in Northern Arizona offers high-country, pine forest hiking, mountain peaks, and beautiful views.
  • The Flagstaff area is full of hiking opportunities, from climbing Mount Humphreys, Arizona's highest peak, to leisurely walks through a pine and aspen wonderland.
  • Southern Arizona, around Phoenix, Tucson, and beyond offers some of the best desert hiking in the nation.
  • Page and Lake Powell offers beaches, hiking, boating, and all kinds of outdoor activities. There are hiking trails all through the high desert surrounding Page, and further away, you'll find Monument Valley, another great place to explore on foot.
  • The Prescott area offers pine forests and cooler weather when the heat is raging down in Phoenix. Plenty of hiking trails are located in the national forests around Prescott.
  • Sedona and Oak Creek. A photographer's paradise, this is a hiker's paradise as well, with state parks and national forests all around the area.
If you want to hike Arizona, just pick a spot on the map, you're sure to find a hiking trail or two wherever you land!

What do I need to know about Sedona hiking trails?

Sedona Hiking Trails

Sedona hiking trails range from easy to strenuous. The area can be hot in the summer, so bring water. Summertime brings thousands of visitors to the Slide Rock area, as well. Hikes outside the main canyon area will be less crowded, and there are over 100 hiking trails in the nearby Coconino National Forest.

If you want to hike in the National Forest, you'll need a Red Rock Pass to park, and the pass comes with a trail guide so you can choose the right trail for you. You can get a pass at the Forest Service Visitor Centers, or at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

Many Sedona hikers recommend the Fay Canyon hike because it offers great views, is relatively short, and is easy. Another longer hike, the Jim Thompson Trail, is easy to moderate, and a little longer at five miles. It offers some great views of Steamboat Rock.

What do I need to know about hiking Phoenix?

Hiking Phoenix

Hiking Phoenix is a great way to explore the back roads of this desert city. Just remember a few things, and hiking Phoenix will be one of your favorite outdoor activities.

  • Weather during the wintertime is usually warm and pleasant, but winter evening temperatures can drop fast, so dress for warmth after sundown.
  • Summertime highs can reach 120 degrees, so hike early or hike late in the day.
  • Carry a minimum of a gallon of water per person, more during the hottest summer months.
  • The Phoenix area has low humidity, so you might not feel as hot as you would in a location with high humidity. That doesn't mean you need any less water!
  • Watch for rattlesnakes when you hike in the desert. If you see one, don't go near it!
Hiking Phoenix is a great outdoor adventure if you just remember these desert hiking tips!

Is there really good hiking in Phoenix?

Hiking in Phoenix

Phoenix is a city, but even in this metropolitan area, there are plenty of places to hike. Take Camelback Mountain, for instance, that instantly recognizable feature of the Phoenix skyline. Several trails cover Camelback, including two short but strenuous hikes to the top.

Another popular but strenuous hike is the 2.4 mile trek up Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak) and back. This is another strenuous trail, but the views from the top are worth it. The Peak was named after Lori Piestewa, a Hopi soldier killed in the war in Iraq in 2003. This trail gets extremely crowded on weekends; go early, or during the week for the best experience.

There are also several nice trails in South Mountain Park that are a little easier than hiking to the top of a peak. The Sonoran Desert National Monument offers some great desert hiking, and there are several self-guided nature trails throughout the area.

Where is the best place for hiking Arizona in winter?

Hiking Arizona in Winter

Hiking Arizona in the wintertime presents its own challenges. In Southern Arizona, the weather is temperate, so you won't need as much water, but winter nights can easily drop below freezing in places, so you'll need to carry warm clothing if you'll be out after dark.

Northern Arizona is higher in elevation, and it receives quite a bit of snow during a normal year. Most trails are closed during the winter in this area, so you should check before you leave on your trip to find out current trail conditions.

The Grand Canyon's inner gorge is temperate during the winter, but the trails at the top can be very icy and treacherous. The elevation of the South Rim is over 6,000 feet, which can cause breathing problems for some hikers, as well.

Hiking Arizona is a wonderful experience because the terrain is so varied and the landscape is so beautiful. Enjoy hiking Arizona any time of the year!

What should I know about Arizona hiking trails in the Grand Canyon?

Grand Canyon Arizona Hiking Trails

One of the premier areas to hike in Arizona is the Grand Canyon. Arizona hiking trails abound here, and the views are unbelievable from just about any place on these trails. Most of the trails travel below the rim of the canyon, but there are several easy trails topside, too.

There's only one thing to remember about Grand Canyon hiking trails. The interior of the canyon is much hotter than the rim, and that increases in the summer. Don't try to hike from rim to rim in one day – people die every year because they do not understand the difficulties of the hike and the way the heat can dehydrate you very quickly.

The two main trails from canyon rim to the Colorado River are the Kaibab Trail and the Bright Angel Trail. Combined, they're nearly 20 miles long, and don't forget the worst part is hiking UP the trail at the end. The Kaibab is steeper, so most people hike down the Kaibab and up the Bright Angel.

Many other trails in the park are unmaintained, and you need hiking permits to use them. If you want to hike one of these trails, apply for a permit early, there are a limited number, and they go very fast.

Enjoy hiking the Grand Canyon during your exploration of Arizona hiking trails, but don't try to be a super human, take more than a day to go from rim to rim.

Why are there so many Arizona hiking clubs?

Arizona Hiking Clubs

Arizona hiking clubs abound in the Grand Canyon State, and maybe that's why! There are hundreds of hiking trails throughout the state, and some of them though some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet. Hiking is a common activity in Arizona, residents just can't seem to get enough of their desert outdoors.

Hooking up with an Arizona hiking club makes sense. Often, these clubs offer guided hikes, so you can walk the trail with an expert. Even if you want to hike on your own, they usually offer updated trail information, maps, and other guides on their websites or through the mail.

If you live in Arizona, joining Arizona hiking clubs will give you a wider array of trails to explore, and you'll find other hiking enthusiasts, as well. Often, these hiking clubs know backcountry trails that many guides might not even know about, and they know the most current trail conditions. Whether you live in Arizona or are passing through, check out Arizona hiking clubs for information and tips on hiking in Arizona!

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Phyllis Serbes