Hiking Guide: Top 10 Picks By Locals

Editorial StaffApril 29, 2022
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Which Valley hikes do Phoenicians favor most? We polled 17,000 members of the Arizona Hiking Group to find out. Find their Top 10 Valley hikes here, along with tips and testimonials from the civilian trail lovers who nominated them.

Photo from Chirag A. Patel


“Siphon Draw to Flatiron and peak 5024 is my favorite trail in the Valley. Killer workout and best views around! I say, ‘Wow!’ a lot when I look up on this trail, no matter how many times I’ve done it.”

– Patrick Bulger
FedEx driver, Gilbert

“Camelback. Echo Canyon. Killer workout in the middle of the city with amazing views at the top.”

– Elizabeth Garnet Straley
Restaurant manager, Tempe

“Piestewa Peak. Popular trail, but love it because you are in the center of the Valley and can see for miles in any direction you look.”

– Olivia Huerta Sanchez
Photographer, Glendale

“It was the first hike I did in Arizona when I arrived in Phoenix in 1987. The hike is challenging enough, but not too hard. And, of course, the payoff at the end: the magnificent view of Weavers Needle. This is the trail I have taken many friends and family on as an introduction to the Superstitions.”

– Andy Dilling
Air freight company manager, Mesa

“Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstitions is a great place to see Hohokam petroglyphs and waterfalls after it rains!”

– Cassie Musick
Health and fitness coach, Buckeye

“My son and I [enjoy] the Butcher Jones trail. I live in Tempe. It’s close to home [and] scenic, with spectacular views of the lake. The wildlife is plentiful. I’ve seen all manner of birds – from ducks to vultures to eagles– [and] snakes, deer and the wild horses.”

– Debbie Wright
Artist and yoga teacher, Tempe

“Any trail in Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, especially the Dragonfly Trail, since you can see lots of wildlife along the creek.”

– Teri Ferro
Retired, Carefree

“Tom’s Thumb is the best trail for beginners like us. The best part is it’s visible every day on the way to work. Makes me want to ascend it on a daily basis.”

– Vyshali Ravikiran Mal,
Engineer, Phoenix

“I have many favorite local trails, but South Mountain, [from] Hidden Valley to Fat Man’s Pass, is super fun. I love destination hikes. It really makes hiking extra fun when you can stop at [the summit] before turning back and admiring the wonder and sometimes oddity of nature!”

– Katy M. Obert
Dental hygienist, New River

“I like Thunderbird Mountain Conservation Park because it has many trails from easy to difficult. Once you get to the top, it overlooks the beautiful city of Peoria.”

– Alicia Fierro
Administrative assistant, Buckeye