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Considered to be one of the best states for hiking in the U.S.,* Arizona has an abundance of scenic trails—from leisurely desert strolls to challenging cliff-hanger climbs—to explore throughout the state. Whether you're a local or a visitor, add these must-hike trails across the Grand Canyon State to your bucket list. 

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Photography: Matt Kalina, Mad Desert Trekking

 1. Camelback Mountain

One of the most popular hikes located in the heart of the Valley, Camelback Mountain stands tall at 2,706 feet. The roundtrip hike takes around two hours from both trailheads, Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail. While parts of the hike can be challenging to maneuver through and over rocks, the breathtaking view overlooking all of Phoenix is well worth the effort.

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2. Tom’s Thumb

The 4-mile round-trip hike is located near Rio Verde and is named after the first member of the Arizona Mountaineering Club to climb it, Tom Kreuser. The trail has a fantastic view of the McDowell Mountains and the city of Phoenix. The moderately challenging hike does not have any water, so be sure to pack plenty of liquids for those who wish to take their furry friends.

3. Seven Falls 


When you’re in Tucson, experience the Seven Falls hike at Sabino Canyon. This hike is on the longer side at 8.2 miles and takes around three hours to complete. The hike is well worth the time to see all the beautiful scenery and the waterfall that awaits at the top. Another reward at the finish is the opportunity to swim in the chilled pool of water that the waterfall pours into. Make sure to go after storms or once the snow has melted to get the full experience of cooling off in the natural pool.

4. Devil's Bridge 


Located in Sedona, Devil’s Bridge trail 120 is 1.8 miles, taking approximately 45 minutes to complete. The hike is named after the largest natural sandstone arch in Sedona. Despite the name, many people describe the views from the hike as heavenly. While the journey to the top is not difficult, the hike starts at an elevation of 4,600 feet with a 400-foot incline in altitude throughout the trail—but it won’t leave you as breathless as the rewarding views from the top of the bridge.

5. Piestewa Peak 


The second-highest point in Phoenix behind Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak stands at 2,612 feet. The Summit Trail is a 2.1-mile road trip that takes just under two hours to complete. Despite being on the shorter side, the hike is challenging with various levels of incline and constant zigzags but still provides unique views of the Sonoran Desert. Very popular in Arizona, the hike is best between October and March to have the perfect weather with a vibrant and colorful view.


This story is featured in our Best of Our Valley 2023 issue. Read the full issue online here to celebrate this year’s well-deserving winners.