29 Best Hiking Trails in Arizona

You will be surprised to learn that there are more than 2,000 hiking trails in Arizona. Here are 29 hiking trails you must go to in Arizona.

Arizona is popular for the many desert basins it has. Not only that, it has countless hiking trails. You will be surprised to learn that there are more than 2,000 hiking trails in Arizona. Here are 29 hiking trails you must go to in Arizona.

1. Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock
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Located in Sedona, Cathedral Rock is a good place to go hiking. It will take you about two hours to get to the saddle and come back. Descending the trail takes more time than going up. Therefore, be sure to spend at least 45 minutes ascending and over an hour going back down.

See Also: A Complete Guide to Cathedral Rock, Sedona

The 1.2 miles trail hosts a flock of hiking lovers is all year round. It has pretty flowers and has been rated among the most challenging trails in the United States. The best part is you are allowed to bring along your pet, especially dogs. The only thing you need to ensure is your dog is on a leash. 

The hiking trail has a summit elevation of 4967 feet. This beautiful trail is also an excellent place to take pictures. That is why it is one of the most photographed venues in Arizona.

2. The Wave

The Wave
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Other than hiking, The Wave has such wonderful eyesight landmarks. The beautiful swirling sandstone is orange in color and resembles a stone wave. You must be wondering what Wave’s exact location is. Well, this picturesque hiking trail is situated in Paria Canyon. The same location containing the Coyote Buttes Special Management Area.

The Wave is beautiful, yes, but there is something you need to know. This hiking trail is not just open to anybody. The place receives significant traffic of hiking enthusiasts all year round from all over the world. For that reason, there had to be put in place a regulation system.

Hiking to this 6.3 miles long, Wave requires you to get a permit for Coyote Buttes North. Still, the permission system does not guarantee every applicant a ticket to the Wave. The system uses a lottery to award permits to applicants. The fact that only a limited number is allowed to the Wave only complicates matters more.

If time and distance are your concern, then you must be a speed lover. The question is, how fast can you go to get to the Wave’s summit and come back? Here is the answer. It will take you between two and four hours. The Wave is a beautiful place to go hiking.

  • Duration: 6-8 hours
  • Route Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 6.3 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Best Time: March thru June
  • Map: Coyote Buttes North
  • Location: The Wave

3. Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail
Credit flickr

It will take you about 4 hours to get to the peak of Pipe Creek Beach. The 17.7 miles trail starts at South Rim to the Colorado River. The beginning point (South Rim) is west of Kolb Studio. The popular trail has an elevation of 4460 feet. Along the trail, be sure to pass through the Indian Garden.

For pet owners, this is disappointing for you. Pets are prohibited unless they are designated animals. But that should not worry you because the fun you will experience will make up for that. 

Bright Angel is located in the Grand Canyon National park. Some of the trailheads you will go past include Phantom Ranch and Grand Canyon (South Rim). Keep in mind South Rim is the trail’s highest point. On the other hand, the Colorado River is the lowest point.

You might be wondering which is the best time to visit this trail. Well, the trail is open all year round. This means you may visit at any time of the year.

You need to be cautious about this trail. This hiking trail has potential dangers you need to be keen on. One hazard is severe weather. This means you need to dress well for the weather. Do enough research and rely on the weatherman for weather forecasts.

Another hazard to worry about is overexertion and dehydration. Therefore, ensure you have enough water with you.

4. South Mountain Trail

South Mountain Park and Preserve
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This positively reviewed hiking spot has beautifully modeled restrooms. The nice eating places have picnic tables and well-maintained bathrooms. The most amazing part about this hiking trail is the multiple levels of trails.

The trail has been rated easy, making its difficulty level count low. Other than the nice experience you get here, the look is also out of this world. You will get a chance to see game animals like squirrels, chipmunks, and others like lizards if you are keen.

If you choose to experience this fun while in your car, you need to be cautious, why? Because many motorists are driving too fast. Furthermore, there are many curves and sharp turns on the road. This is in addition to the path being narrow. That makes it a little bit more dangerous.

At most times of the year, expect the place to be crowded. But, the number hits a peak during weekends. Therefore, weekdays are the best time to visit if you want to experience the silence of the mountains.

5. Bear Mountain Trail

Bear Mountain Trail
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The address to this place is Sedona, AZ 86336, United States. For your security and enjoyable experience, you need to wear proper shoes. Also, because you will experience dehydration as you go along the trail, be sure to carry lots of water to keep you hydrated.

You may also carry a first aid kit just in case you or your hiking partners get injured. It is also wise to go as a team to watch each other’s backs.

6. Cholla Trailhead Camelback Mountain

Cholla Trailhead Camelback Mountain
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Located in Phoenix, Arizona, this is a highly advanced hiking trail. The climbs are very steep, and the terrain can best be described as rocky. The beautiful look makes this place picturesque, especially the summit. 

The exact address for this place is 6131 E Cholla Ln, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, United States. The place is open from 6.30 am and closes at 6.30 pm. This is from Monday to Saturday.

7. Piestewa Peak Park (Squaw Peak Park)

Piestewa Peak Park
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The summit for this hiking trail is 2608 feet high. The popular hikers’ destination is available on address 2701 E Squaw Peak Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85016, United States. The trail is open every day from 5 am to 7 pm.

The beautiful park has a spacious parking space and hosts many people. Going through the hiking trail guarantees you dehydration, therefore, ensure you carry enough water with you.

8. Fossil Springs Trail

Fossil Springs Trail
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This trail is located on the following address; Strawberry, AZ 85544, United States. It is usually open for 24 hours a day during fall-winter. During Spring – summer, the parking lot is open from 8 am and closes at 8 pm. If you choose to bring your vehicle with you, be sure to part ways with $10 per day. You may also make reservations for a particular parking lot. This does not happen on site but on the Recreation.gov website, which should be in advance.

For camping lovers, camping is only permitted between 2nd October and 31st March (the fall-winter season). In the spring-summer season, camping is not allowed. It is best to keep this in mind so as not to get disappointed or go against the park’s laws.

9. West Fork Trail

West Fork Trail
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The West Fork trail is arguably one of the best trails in Arizona. In the list of the ten best trails in the world, the West Fork Trail is among the top. In terms of difficulty, this trail is rated easy. This makes it possible for people of all ages and abilities to hike with fewer problems. For hiking enthusiasts, it is a walk in the park.

For those concerned with distance, you will cover only 7.2 miles for a round trip, thus completing this trail. The scenic park has streams crossing along the pathway. But, you should not worry because there are stepping stones to help you pass the streams. There are nice flowers, trees, and views to catch a glimpse of. West Fork is just the best.

  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Route Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 7.2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best Time: September until May
  • Map: West Fork Trail
  • Location: West Fork Trail

10. McDowell Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Credit flickr

This mighty trail has a 5-star rating. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, the trail is permanently protected. It is widespread, covering 30,500 acres. This makes it spacious enough to accommodate crowds of hiking enthusiasts. Furthermore, it is the largest urban park in the US. The address to this park is 18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

The hiking trail provides a mix of fun, adventure, and challenge. Ensure you have carried enough water with you just in case dehydration strikes because it is very likely to occur. Have fun in one of the best trails in Arizona.

11. Pine Trailhead

Pine Trailhead
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This well-maintained hiking trail has one of the best services available other than hiking. The parking is sufficient. Bathrooms are also available and in good shape. This offers a great place to refresh after a busy hiking day. There are even camping opportunities. From the name of the trailhead, it is clear what to expect. You expect a lot of pines. And to your amusement, pine trees are in plenty 

The trailhead is rated easy. But as you do the hiking, expect instances of difficulty. You won’t escape the wrath of sunshine. Therefore, it would be wise if you would carry sunscreen to protect yourself from sunshine.

Dehydration is also inevitable. With that knowledge, you know what to do already. Don’t you? Well, if you don’t, then this is what you should do. Carry with you lots of water. But what would make you sweat profusely, causing dehydration? There are multiple trails available. Making this adventure a challenging one. Aside from that, the trailhead allows you to bring your pet along. But, be mindful of other hikers.

  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.7 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best Time: March thru November
  • Map: Pine Trailhead
  • Location: Pine Trailhead

12. Boynton Canyon

Boynton Canyon
Credit flickr

Get a vortex experience at the Boynton canyon. The best way to enjoy this trailhead is by doing it again and again. The Boynton Canyon hiking trail is among the list of Arizona trails rated easy. Parking is also available. But, you need to book in advance or come early. The reason is, it fills up quickly.

You should not be surprised in case you find a crowd — the reason causing this place to be crowded its attractiveness and dramatic look. Even if you find parking full, you will always find alternatives. Therefore, you have solutions to each of your problems. This means you do not have to worry about anything.

13. Doe Mountain Trail

Doe Mountain Trail
Credit flickr

This 1.6-mile trail is located in Sedona. It possesses beautiful flowers and has a scenic view. In terms of difficulty, it is neither easy nor hard. For that reason, it’s difficulty is rated moderate.

Related: A Complete Guide: Doe Mountain Trail

For pet owners, the Doe Mountain allows you to bring your dog as long as he/she is on a leash. The trail is kid-friendly, and the old are also accommodated. Bird watching is available here too.

From Flagstaff, you will cover 27 miles of driving to get to Dry Creek Road (FR152C), which is three miles away from Boynton Canyon intersection. Then, turn left on 152C. Cover one mile, and you’ll have arrived at the Doe mountain’s trailhead.

Parking is also available. The best place to catch a view of the surrounding is at the summit. Enjoy your hike!

14. Bell Trail

Bell Trail
Credit flickr

This is heaven for hikers and riders. These two groups frequent this place because it offers one of the best trails in Arizona, the US, and the world. The Bell trail also offers beautiful scenery. The access trails are great and comfortable. Do not forget to carry enough water and tools to protect you from the sunshine.

  • Duration: 6-7 hours
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 6.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Best Time: March thru November
  • Map: Bell Trail
  • Location: Bell Trail Head

15. Fat Man’s Pass

Fat Man’s Pass

First of all, this trail is rugged with some level of difficulty. The narrow pathway is sandwiched between two large boulders. This is along the Hidden Valley trail. Fat Man’s pass is the perfect way to conclude my list of 15 trails in Arizona. It is a beautiful place to hike. You cannot miss out.

16. Devil’s Bridge Trailhead

Devil's Bridge Trailhead
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The exact address for this waterfall trail is Devil’s Bridge Trail, Sedona, AZ 86336, United States. By just glancing at it, the Devil’s Bridge looks dangerous. But, the moment you start your hike, you will be astonished how safe it is. This challenging trail is one not to miss out on.

It is said better safe than sorry. Why risk when you could avert accidents? What am I insinuating? This is my point; wear good shoes when going to this trail. You will reach a point where you will need assistance. Your first support should be your shoes. Therefore, putting on shoes with a good grip is mandatory.

This five-star rated trail by Google review does not discriminate. Whether young or old, with good or poor health conditions, this trail provides the best experience to all. The challenges you will face are manageable. In terms of difficulty, this trail is rated easy.

The 1.8-mile roundtrip hiking avenue has picturesque views along the trail. The Devil’s Bridge trailhead will lead you to the Devil Bridge falls.

The famous Devil’s Bridge Falls is 12 miles away from Abe Ystwyth. To get there, you may choose to use the Devil’s Bridge trailhead and view this waterfall from the top. It will take you 45 minutes only. Another option is the Punchbowl and 3 Bridges. This will take you about 10 minutes only. For those who fear heights, this is a big challenge for you.

17. Grasshopper Point

Grasshopper Point
Credit flickr

It is one of the few trails with some privacy. If you want personal space, this is the place to be. Accessing this trail from the road is easy. Also, you may bring your young one with you and walk without any difficulty.

The ambiance in this place is memorable. The presence of trees forming canopies creates shades. These shadows create coolness making your walk even on sunny days memorable and enjoyable.

If you get to this trail driving, then don’t worry about parking. There is enough parking space available. Parking charges are $8 only.

Location: Grasshopper Point

18. Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park
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The temperature is cool here, and people are visiting very few in the morning hours. This park gives you the illusion of a beach. For pet owners, this is good news for you. You may bring your dog along as long as he/she is on a leash. Although your pet will not be allowed to get to the creek or swimming areas.

Apart from loveliness, the Creekside provides peace and ambiance. The waterfall trail available in this park is also good for children. Not only that, the place offers a military discount.

The entrance will cost you $10 only. Talking about difficulty, this trail is easy. That is why the young and old will not be left out of the fun available here.

19. Fossil Creek Waterfall Trail

Fossil Creek Waterfall Trail
Credit flickr

The Fossil Creek Falls is situated on Forest Road near Pine, Arizona. It opens at 8 am and closes at 8 pm from Monday to Sunday. In case you need details as you plan your trail walk, you may contact them through +1 928 – 226 – 4611. The number may be useful. You may use it to book a permit in advance to get parking space near the trail.

Well, the wise always follow instructions. In this case, you need to get Sedona hiking trails map to help you with the best directions to follow. It is not easy to determine when this place will be less crowded. But, be sure to find crowds in any trail if you go hiking in Sedona in December. The fossil creek waterfall trail is no exemption.

The 2.6-mile trail is painted green and brown by the fresh, lively looking vegetation and rocks. There are many activities you may get involved in. Top on your list should be bird watching, photography, hiking, walking, and viewing, among others.

For this one park, you will be required to submit your printed permit before you are allowed to enter. Keep in mind no permits are given on-site. This means you will need to get one through the park’s online portal, which is Recreation.gov.

20. Cibecue Creek Falls Trail

Located in Gila county Arizona, this trailhead leads you to Cibecue falls. With an elevation of 220 feet, this hike is 4 miles long. To get to this trailhead, you have to pass through a certain rough road. Therefore, ensure you wear the right shoes. This road is found on the Salt River Canyon surrounding.

Are you worried about the difficulty level of this trailhead? Worry no more. The trail is rated intermediate. This means it is neither easy nor difficult. Therefore, expect one or two challenges, along with the manageable path obstacles.

Do not forget to get permits for all those going for hiking, whether children or adults. You will pay $30 per head.

Once you get an access permit, you are authorized to engage in any recreational activity in this place. Some of the things you may do include fishing, sightseeing, and camping, among others. Hiking is another obvious activity you may engage in.

21. Seven Falls

Seven Falls
Credit flickr

The seven falls are found in Sabino Canyon. This is in the foothills of Catalina. The trail is 2.5 miles offering a perfect hiking trail. Although the terrain is arid, there is a nice forest available thanks to the waterfall.

Many hiking lovers who come here use the water pouring into a large pool to let off steam and cool off their bodies. To get here, you need not be scared of heights. The 900 feet elevation is scary but safe. The Seven falls offer a wonderful adventure that you will live to remember. Why not carry along your camera to capture this picturesque trail in photos.

  • Duration: 5 – 6 hours
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 8.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Map: Seven Falls
  • Location: Seven Falls

22. Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls
Credit flickr

Seated inside the Grand Canyon national park, this is another amazing trail. The 10 miles round trip to and from the Havasu falls rocky. The red rock hike in Sedona is the only one that requires hikers to go downhill to get to the falls.

23. Navajo Falls Trail

Navajo Falls Trail
Credit flickr

Can you do two hikes on the same day? Well, if you can, then this is a wonderful opportunity. Navajo and Havasu fall trails are close to each other. This offers a great chance to hiking enthusiasts to do a double hike on the same day.

The Navajo falls is popular in Arizona. So, what makes it famous? The 1.2-mile trail and 500 feet elevation leads to the Navajo Falls. Once at the waterfall, you may engage in different fun activities, including swimming and jumping from the cliff. The best time to visit this place is summer, fall, or spring.

24. Water Wheel and Ellison Creek Cascades

Water Wheel and Ellison Creek Cascades
Credit flickr

This waterfall located near Payson, Arizona, is the ultimate goal of the Water Wheel and Ellison Creek Cascades trail. To get here, you will have to cover about 1.8 miles and go up to an elevation of 105 feet. The trail is quite challenging with a beautiful view. Be sure to enjoy yourself and have fun.

25. Pacheta Falls

Pacheta looks like those scenes in Hollywood’s horror movies. From the trees to the trails, rocks, and the fall itself, this feature is a thrilling waterfall trailhead. So, where is it located? You will find this feature in Whiteriver, Arizona. The beauty of this is the variety in options of trails to get to the Pacheta falls.

The easiest way to get to the Pacheta falls through the White Mountain Apache Reservation. But, this trail does not just allow any kind of vehicle. The rocky terrain makes it hard to drive through the rough road. That is why not all vehicles are granted permits. Only those high profile motors with the ability to cruise through rocks are.

The 2.5-mile trail offers a lot of fun and is an avenue to create memories. You can visit this trail and end up at the waterfall at any time of the year you want but not winter. Pacheta is just amazing.

Location: Pacheta Falls

26. Huckaby Trail

Huckaby Trail
Credit flickr

Talk about nature, beauty, and fun. Between the Oak Creek and Schnebly Hill Road lies a 2.6-mile trail whose difficulty is rated intermediate. That is an option for you. Or, you may choose to start your hike from Midgley Bridge. Although, with this rate, you will be required to cross the Creek two times.

If asked, the 2.6-mile trail from the Schnebly Hill Road would be my advice. But what makes this trail challenging? There are boulders, slick rocks, and many pebbles loosely stationed along the trail. To pass by them, you need supporting shoes. The good news is this trail is doable for people of all ages. Although, at some point, the young and older ones may need a little help.

27. The Arboretum

The Arboretum
Credit flickr

Located in Flagstaff, this waterfall trail has so much to offer. Before getting to the waterfall itself, there is a lot to learn and do. The nature walk is amazing, and there are many local plants to learn about. The trail is just the usual one you are used to. Nothing much to say about this trail but so much on the ground to experience.

Location: The Arboretum

28. Munds Wagon Trail

Munds Wagon Trail
Credit flickr

To begin with, this waterfall trail has an amazing parking spot. The trail access is also great and easily accessible. It doesn’t end there. Plenty of shade is also available, making walking and hiking more fun and thrilling.

The Munds Wagon offers amazing views from the start to the end of the trail. Irrespective of the hiker’s skills level, this trail has a lot to offer. Few challenges exist along the way but are doable.

29. Seven Sacred Pools

Seven Sacred Pools
Credit flickr

The exact address to this trail is Sedona, AZ 86336, United States. This picturesque hiking spot is popular for the series of water pools it hosts and the beautiful desert looks it has. The highly-rated trail is good for people of all ages and hiking skills. It is worth your time and energy. The green vegetation here compliments well the brown rocks available on this trail. To experience the whole fun, make sure you visit this place.

Conclusion

Arizona boasts of a significant number of hiking trails. Some are extensions of others, while others stand alone. Either way, hiking should be fun, and that is why you need to go to the best hiking trails. The above list is founded on diversity, consisting of trails of different natures. Some of them are difficult, while others are easy. Others are remote, while others are easily accessible. In conclusion, the above list is a compilation of the most beautiful hiking trails in Arizona for you to get the best hiking experience. Have fun!

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