Six Arizona Hikes You’ll Love ⛰  

by | Mar 14, 2022 | Travel

The great state of Arizona is full of some amazing landscapes, and hiking is one of the best ways to see them. Any trip to this beautiful state is not complete without taking a few hikes to see the desert terrain, cactus fields, and interesting bugs and critters found throughout the area. 

Hiking can be adventurous and fun, but make sure you’re staying safe, too! Here are a few tips: 

  • Be aware of your fitness level and pick your hikes appropriately. A novice hiker shouldn’t try a hike with equipment that they’ve never used before. They should also avoid any lengthy terrain that is outside of their comfort zone.  
  • Always hike with a friend and let others staying behind know the general area you’ll be hiking.  
  • Bring plenty of water. Aim for half a liter of water for every hour you will be hiking.  
  • Protect your skin! Wear sunscreen and a sun hat so you don’t get burnt. 
  • Be respectful of the wildlife around you and don’t leave any signs that you were there.  
  • Leave trails better than you found them. See some litter? Pick it up and pack it out even if isn’t yours.

Easy Hikes

Let’s start with some hikes that are great for the whole family! 

A view of the Grand Canyon from the rim trail. Photo is courtesy of AllTrails.com.

Grand Canyon Rim from Mules to Mather Point 

The Grand Canyon is 70 million years of rock formations just waiting to be explored. This hike from Mules to Mather Point is amazing for families, strollers, and wheelchairs. This hike is along the rim of the Grand Canyon. So you get all the views without needing to climb like a mountain goat.  

This hike is 6 miles, out and back, and filled with wildflowers, views, and educational landmark signs. It’s a great trail showcasing Arizona’s jewel, the Grand Canyon. To get a map, read more about it, and see pictures from other hikers, visit the hike’s page on AllTrails. Whenever hiking in the Grand Canyon (or anywhere), pay attention to where you are and only take trails you’ve researched. Getting lost is easy to do when you aren’t aware of your surroundings.  

A view of the seven sacred pools hike from the trail. Photo is courtesy of AllTrails.com.

Seven Sacred Pools 

If you want more of a wilderness feel versus a paved path, visit the fun, 1-mile Seven Sacred Pools hike. It’s located near Sedona and open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This trail is perfect for kids, dogs on leashes, and groups. Read more about the hike here

Moderate Hikes

If you’re ready for a little challenge, these moderate hikes are a solid start.  

A view of a small creek on the bear canyon trail. Photo is courtesy of AllTrails.com.

Bear Canyon 

Bear Canyon to Seven Falls is an 8-mile hike near Tucson and available year-round. Located within Sabino Canyon, this hike has a 1,000-foot elevation gain and is a quintessential Arizona experience. The trail cuts through rugged desert landscape filled with forests of the iconic cactus and wildflowers. It ends with a gorgeous waterfall (when it has rained enough, of course).  

This hike has a water spigot at the beginning of the trail if you need to fill any water bottles before starting your journey. Be prepared to get your feet wet, as the trail crosses a creek. You’ll love dipping your toes and cooling off. Get a map and see other hikers’ pictures here.

A view of the horse tanks trail. Photo is courtesy of AllTrails.com.

Horse Tanks 

The Horse Tanks trail is near Yuma and is 6 miles out and back. This trail is less populated than other trails and is a great choice for hikers who don’t love the company of strangers. The trail is well marked and moderately flat, but offers no shade, so be prepared for full sun.  

The Horse Tanks is great for ATVs and other off-roading vehicles. One hiker on AllTrails said that they brought an ATV to help carry water, supplies, and children when they got tired. Be aware of private property around the area and keep to the marked path. Read more about it here.

Hard Hikes

Ready to put your physical and mental toughness to the test? Here are our picks for more challenging trail options.  

A photo of the summit of Camelback Mountain. Photo is courtesy of AllTrails.com.

Camelback Mountain 

Camelback Mountain is part of the landscape of Phoenix and is super fun for those who like rock climbing, as it can quickly become necessary to take hold of rocks in some places. The trail through Echo Canyon along the Cholla Trail is just shy of 5 miles and is best to hike from October to May. Be aware that no dogs are allowed on Camelback Mountain. 

The top of Camelback mountain is a breathtaking 360° view of the area, including the city of Phoenix. See more information here.  

A view of the cliff village from the Keet Seel Trail. Photo is courtesy of AllTrails.com.

Keet Seel 

For those who are experienced hikers and ready to take a hike on the wild side, the Keet Seel trail is for you. Located in the Navajo National Monument, this 15-mile beast climbs nearly 1,800 feet and is filled with stream crossings, quicksand, and plenty of steep climbs.  

To hike Keet Seel, you need a backcountry permit. You’ll also need to take an orientation with the park rangers and bring enough water to last your whole hike, which is 1 gallon or more per person. Only 20 hikers are allowed on the trail at a time, so plan your trip ahead of time! 

Many hikers choose to make this an overnight trip to enjoy and explore the Keet Seel ruins, a preserved ancient dwelling place of the Pueblo people. The villages are built right into the cliff face and show an ancient way of life that we don’t see anymore.  

Visit the AllTrails page for more information and the National Park Service’s page for information on permit reservations.

Get Outside 

Hiking is a fun way for everyone to get active and get outside. Consider these trails if you are visiting Arizona, and make sure to find and explore trails in your own state, too! 

Ready to incorporate hiking as part of your vacation? Read our blog, “Three Reasons to Add an Extra Day to Your Vacation” to get more hiking time in!