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Arizona Backpacking Trails

Phoenix: Bear Mountain Trail

This rugged 4.6-mile hike climbs 1,800 feet and delivers excellent vistas over the Red Rock/Secret Mountain Wilderness and the Verde Valley.

Phoenix: Blodgett Basin Trail

This little-used trail plunges 1,700 feet through wildflower country to a cool reward by West Clear Creek. Watch for cairns on this 6.8-mile hike to avoid involuntary bushwhacks.

Phoenix: Brins Mesa Trail

Veer off this popular trail on a scenic detour with elevated views of impressive rock formations and beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. This out-and-back variation runs 6.7 miles.

Phoenix: David Miller Loop

Named after a Forest Service employee who disappeared while hiking in the late 1990s, this 6.5-mile loop links rugged high desert terrain with deep, cool forest.

Phoenix: Munds Mountain

This 5-mile round-trip route to Munds Mountain offers postcard-quality views of Sedona’s famed red rocks.

Phoenix, AZ: Dogie Trail

This remote, partly unmarked 10.4-mile route leads to a beautifully carved canyon with high desert views in Sycamore Canyon Wilderness.

Phoenix: Sterling Pass Trail to Vultee Arch

This 6.4-mile dayhike is a tour de force: You’ll be rewarded with magnificent views, an isolated arch, and unusual plant life in Coconino National Forest.

Phoenix: Towel Creek Trail

Venture into cowboy country on a faded cattle trail that visits desolate buttes, colorful meadows, and quiet vistas in 6 rolling miles (each way).

Tucson: Bog Springs Loop

Take a walk on the wildlife side on this moderate 4.5-mile half-day hike in the Santa Rita Mountains to springs, shady campsites, and pleasant views.

Phoenix: Loy Canyon Trail

Hike through a variety of Arizona vegetation to a Native American ruin and a classic red-rock rim on this 8.4-mile out-and-back trip in black bear country.

Phoenix: Hackberry Spring Loop

Hike saguaro-covered hillsides to a small desert spring on this 5.2-mile loop encircled by mesas and red sandstone cliffs.

Phoenix: Rogers Canyon

Discover the remote cliff dwellings of a long-lost Native American tribe on this 8-mile out-and back in Tonto National Forest.

Phoenix: Boulder Canyon

Navigate rocky canyon bottoms amid colorful cactus-studded hills on a 6.8-mile off-trail excursion in the Superstition Wilderness.

Phoenix: North Wilson Trail

Climb 2,300 feet in 3 miles to a pine forest and red-rock views on this 6.8-mile out-and-back excursion.

Phoenix: Mescal Mountain

Native ruins and red-rock views are the main attractions on this 3-mile climb up a Sedona-area mesa.

Phoenix: Piestewa Peak Loop

You’ll find plenty of choice skyline views on this 4.6-mile dayhike to the top of Piestewa Peak, one of Phoenix’s famous Seven Summits.

Phoenix: South Mountain

Test your physical stamina on this 13.4-miler over rugged terrain with wild elevation challenges. The reward: vistas, hoodoos, and petroglyphs.

Phoenix: Black Mesa Loop

This popular 8.9-mile lasso loop crosses mesa and cacti country near Weavers Needle, whose shadow allegedly leads treasure seekers to a lost gold stash.

Phoenix: Shaw Butte-North Mountain Loop

You’ll climb nearly 1,300 feet and bag two neighboring peaks by the end of this 7.1-mile lasso loop in Phoenix Mountains Preserve.

Flagstaff, AZ: Humphreys Peak

This popular 10.6-mile hike begins gently in aspen groves, then crescendos with a climb up Arizona’s tallest peak.

Phoenix: Geronimo Cave

This 6-mile dayhike in the Superstition Mountains is a photographer’s delight: rocky spires, hoodoos, a desert cave, and sunset light on Weavers Needle.

Phoenix, AZ: Siphon Draw Trail

Go from rocky canyons to desert slickrock to an off-trail overlook with five-star views on this 5.6 mile-trek starting in Lost Dutchman State Park.

Tucson, AZ: Santa Rita Mountains via the Arizona Trail

Explore a century-old mining camp in the Coronado National Forest.

Phoenix, AZ: Hieroglyphic Canyon

This 3-mile out-and-back in the Superstition Mountains climbs gently through ocotillo and saguaro cacti to Hieroglyphic Canyon’s mysterious petroglyphs.

Grand Canyon National Park: Powell Plateau

Follow the footsteps of John Wesley Powell to iconic views above the Grand Canyon on this backcountry trek.

Grand Canyon National Park: Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point

This 10.7-mile out-and-back dives more than 3,000 feet to a photogenic perch offering five-star views of the Colorado River and the second deepest canyon in the United States.

Grand Canyon National Park: Rim-to-Rim via North Kaibab Trail

Link the Grand Canyon’s north and south rim on this challenging 21-mile trek through two rugged canyons, offering cliffside views and scenic side trips.

Grand Canyon National Park: South Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Trail

Trek to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on this 13.7-mile shuttle hike that tours rugged canyons, visits the Colorado River, and features stunning cliffside views.

Albuquerque, NM: Gila Crest South to Hummingbird Saddle

This 9.8-mile out-and-back connects old-growth evergreens and the Mogollon Mountains, a series of 10,000-foot peaks in Gila National Forest.

Grand Canyon National Park: Monument Point to Thunder River Falls

Multi-layered red rocks line mile-deep canyons and cactus flowers explode with pastels on this 16-mile out-and-back to a Colorado River tributary.

Phoenix, AZ: Mount Baldy Loop

Hike rolling terrain on one of Arizona’s highest mountains.

Phoenix, AZ: Geronimo Cave via Peralta Trail

Stunning views of Weavers Needle and a fun, route-finding slickrock descent make this 4.6-mile Superstition Wilderness loop a Phoenix favorite.

Sedona, AZ: West Clear Creek

Immerse yourself (literally) in the crystal clear waters of the Coconino National Forest on this multi-day amphibious trek that features classic—and unavoidable—canyon swims.

Tucson, AZ: Marshall Gulch to Aspen Trail Loop

A high-altitude intro to the Santa Catalina Mountains, this trail literally sparkles as it circles Marshall Peak for an easy, 3.3-mile loop through the Pusch Wilderness Area.

Tuscon, AZ: Marshall Gulch

A high-altitude intro to the Santa Catalina Mountains, this trail literally sparkles as it circles Marshall Peak for an easy 3.3-mile loop through the Pusch Wilderness Area.

Salome Wilderness Area: The Jug

Splash through a pink slot canyon in the Salome Wilderness Area on this fun canyoneering route.

Grand Canyon National Park: Rim-to-Rim via South Kaibab Trail

Link the Grand Canyon’s south and north rim on this challenging 18.9-mile trek through two rugged canyons, offering cliffside views and scenic side trips.

Grand Canyon National Park: Royal Arch Loop

Pack two days’ worth of water and dive off the South Rim on this 4- or 5-day, 34-mile trip in the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon National Park: Tanner and Beamer Trails to Little Colorado River

This stout three-day backpacking trip emphasizes the “grand” in Grand Canyon as it follows hardscrabble trails to remote campsites, old mining claims, and the scene of an airplane crash.

Grand Canyon National Park: Thunder River-Deer Creek Loop

This 21.5-mile clockwise loop in Grand Canyon National Park strings together faint trails and an Eden of waterfalls and swimming holes.

Grand Canyon National Park: Deer Creek Loop via Cranberry Route

Tackle one of the toughest and least crowded routes in the Grand Canyon on this 24.4-mile loop.

Tucson, AZ: San Pedro House

A short and easy introductory hike in Arizona’s San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

Flagstaff, AZ: Kachina Trail

Ditch crowds on 12,637-foot Humphreys Peak for a quiet, five-mile point-to-point. In fall, see turning aspens and bugling elk.

Flagstaff, AZ: Abineau/Bear Jaw Loop, Kachina Peaks Wilderness

Hike six miles through canyons of mixed conifer and aspen to expansive views of the Grand Canyon 90 miles away.

Grand Canyon National Park: Grandview to South Kaibab via Tonto Trail

Descend from Grandview Point for a lesser-hiked, four-day, point-to-point between rim and river.

Grand Canyon National Park: Yaki Point to Phantom Ranch

On this 13.7-mile out-and-back trek to the bottom of the Grand Canyon tour rugged canyons, cross the Colorado River, and take in stunning river-to-rim views.

Grand Canyon National Park: Skeleton Point

Get full-canyon views from Skeleton Point on this 7-mile drop into the Big Ditch.

Grand Canyon National Park: North Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Canyon

Drop off the north rim on the North Kaibab Trail on 8.1-mile hike down to Bright Angel Canyon.

Grand Canyon National Park: Monument Point to Esplanade

Multi-layered red rocks line mile-deep canyons and cactus flowers explode with pastels on this 9.7-mile out-and-back to Esplanade overlook.

Phoenix, AZ: Elephant Head

Tackle tricky terrain to gain a solitary alp.

Sedona, AZ: West Clear Creek

Rock-hop and wade your way down a wild sandstone corridor.

Arizona Hot Springs / Ringbolt Hot Springs

360 degree views of the mighty Colorado River sound breathtaking? How about a soak in natural hot springs? This hike has it all! Stay for an hour or set up camp on a nearby beach to take full advantage of this easy hike just one hour from Las Vegas.

Sedona, AZ: Baldwin Loop to Templeton to Cathedral

Snag views of a red-cliffed valley and stand toe-to-rock with iconic 1,000-foot sandstone towers on this 4.9-mile, half-day adventure.

Tuscon, AZ: Hannah Hot Spring

Remote Hannah Hot Spring (133°F at the source) is the ultimate basecamp: Hike off-trail 8.3 miles up a tricky canyon system to camp near top-tier dayhikes and nightly soaks.

Epic Backpacking in the Grand Canyon

Two rim-to-rim hikes, one solitude-filled backcountry loop, and two remote backpacking trips make up this bundle of epic hikes into the Big Ditch.

Havasu Canyon Waterfall
Arizona Michigan Pennsylvania

Top 3 Swimming Holes

By: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Hot weather + cool water = late-summer heaven. Add a dose of backcountry solitude and scenic camping, and you might never leave.

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Arizona Phoenix

Phoenix: Blodgett Basin Trail

This little-used trail plunges 1,700 feet through wildflower country to a cool reward by West Clear Creek. Watch for cairns on this 6.8-mile hike to avoid involuntary bushwhacks.

0 Comments
Arizona Phoenix

Phoenix: Bear Mountain Trail

This rugged 4.6-mile hike climbs 1,800 feet and delivers excellent vistas over the Red Rock/Secret Mountain Wilderness and the Verde Valley.

0 Comments
Arizona Phoenix

Phoenix: Brins Mesa Trail

Veer off this popular trail on a scenic detour with elevated views of impressive rock formations and beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. This out-and-back variation runs 6.7 miles.

0 Comments
Arizona Phoenix

Phoenix: David Miller Loop

Named after a Forest Service employee who disappeared while hiking in the late 1990s, this 6.5-mile loop links rugged high desert terrain with deep, cool forest.

0 Comments
Arizona Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ: Dogie Trail

This remote, partly unmarked 10.4-mile route leads to a beautifully carved canyon with high desert views in Sycamore Canyon Wilderness.

0 Comments
Arizona Phoenix

Phoenix: Towel Creek Trail

Venture into cowboy country on a faded cattle trail that visits desolate buttes, colorful meadows, and quiet vistas in 6 rolling miles (each way).

0 Comments
Arizona

Tucson: Bog Springs Loop

Take a walk on the wildlife side on this moderate 4.5-mile half-day hike in the Santa Rita Mountains to springs, shady campsites, and pleasant views.

0 Comments
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