Looking for something to do during your vacation rental stay in the Phoenix area? If you’re a hiker, you’ll be happy to know there’s no shortage of fantastic trails in and around the Valley!
No matter where in the Phoenix area you’ve booked your vacation rental, there’s sure to be some great hiking nearby! Moxie Girl, the Valley’s vacation rental specialist, is here to get you started with a few of our favorite trails.
Phoenix Mountains Preserve
The Phoenix Mountains Preserve is actually a whole group of parks: Piestewa Peak, North Mountain/Shaw Butte, Lookout Mountain/Shadow Mountain, and Dreamy Draw Recreation Area.
Located in what some refer to as “the middle of Phoenix” – geographically anyway, the summits in these parks offer stunning views of the Valley in all directions! And although the preserve is easily accessible from several busy city streets and a freeway, you certainly won’t feel as though you’re in ANY city as you’re hiking or biking the trails here.
Trails within the Preserve parks range from easy to moderately challenging, so there’s something for hikers and bikers of all fitness levels. Leave your ATVs and electric bikes at home though – there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the trails!
You can even enjoy hiking the trails with your dog – as long as your dog is on a leash AND it’s below 100 degrees. Dogs are prohibited on the City of Phoenix hiking trails when the temperature is 100 degrees or warmer. (Temperatures can reach 100 degrees quickly during the summer months, so consider hiking as early as possible in the day – dog or no dog!)
The parks at Phoenix Mountains Preserve are hugely popular with the locals, so trails can become pretty populated during peak times such as holidays and weekends. Moxie Girl recommends early mornings during the week for an easier time parking and a more tranquil experience.
Here’s a great article we found on visitphoenix.com with very helpful overviews of each area within the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, including trailhead locations and what to expect while you’re there! Enjoy!
Sunrise Trail – Lost Dog Wash Trailhead
If the vacation rental you’ve reserved is located in the Northeast Valley, Sunrise Trail is a “must” for hikers. Heck, even if your vacation rental is somewhere else, Sunrise Trail is easy to get to from most areas in Phoenix – and definitely worth the drive.
Located in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Sunrise Trail is far more “out-of-the-way” than many hiking trails in the Phoenix Metro area. Even during peak-use hours, parking is ample and services are consistently well-reviewed and the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead is a popular place to start this hike.
Lost Dog Wash Trailhead boasts clean public restrooms, filtered water, and a structure providing shade and shelter if needed. On the weekends, you’ll likely find volunteers from the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Conservatory on hand to answer questions and offer information about the Preserve – including specific plant and animal life you may encounter during your visit.
Sunrise Trail can be a moderately difficult hike, so it may not be suitable for beginners. There are also many other trails within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, so pay attention to the signage. You’ll be working your way up to Sunrise Peak – where you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent, sweeping view of Scottsdale and Fountain Hills before making your way back down to the trailhead!
Please note the temperature threshold for dogs on the trails at McDowell Sonoran Preserve is 90 degrees – 10 degrees lower than the Phoenix parks limit. For more information about Sunrise Trail and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, please visit the City of Scottsdale website.
Best Photo-Op Hike in Phoenix
Why take a selfie with a panoramic backdrop, when you can take a selfie with a panoramic backdrop THROUGH A HOLE IN A ROCK made mainly of sandstone? If you’re looking for an easy hike (suitable for most fitness levels) with amazing views of the Valley and a “wow!” social media moment, Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park, is the place for you.
This is a very popular trail, so don’t expect to be alone on this hike. Hole-in-the-Rock is perfect for family and group outings. Papago Park is also adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens, giving visitors a chance to experience even more of our native plants and desert-dwelling creatures!
Visit the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation website for more information about Papago Park. In addition to hiking and biking trails, Papago Park offers many other recreation facilities, including an archery range, fishing lagoon and the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting!
The Arizona desert is no place to forget safety precautions – in fact, please use EXTRA precaution when hiking!Our landscape is uniquely beautiful. Much of it is also sharp, rough, pointy, and can otherwise hurt you. Watch your step – not only to prevent falls but to keep an eye out for our cleverly camouflaged wildlife, such as rattlesnakes, scorpions, and such.
To say our desert heat can be brutal is a huge understatement. Check the weather forecast and plan your hike accordingly, packing an abundance of water. Sun protection is a must – don’t forget your hat or visor and apply a high SPF rated sunscreen (re-apply during your hike if necessary!)
Enjoy Your Vacation Rental!
Moxie Girl is the leader in vacation rental care throughout the Phoenix area! If you’re planning a trip to the Valley, watch our blog for more tips to make the most of your visit! Vacation rental homeowner? Moxie Girl has loads of info in our blog archives to help your vacation rental run as smoothly and profitably as possible – with more to come!
If you’d like Moxie Girl to professionally service your vacation rental, simply click to get started! We’ll be in touch soon!
Own a vacation rental home in the Phoenix area? If so, there are definitely things you should do in preparation for our monsoon season! This period of exceptionally wacky weather can start as early as June and not calm down entirely until October. Moxie Girl has a few tips to keep your guests in loop and help limit the potential for summer storm-related damages to your vacation rental home.
Professional tree-trimming done prior to monsoon season is an important step in reducing the chances of branches breaking, and possibly causing other damage to your vacation rental home during high winds.
If your vacation rental property has young trees, be sure they are properly staked. Swaying in the wind is actually helpful in growing strong trees, but if not properly staked young trees are easily uprooted!
As temperatures rise, we often think we should be giving our trees and other landscaping extra watering time, but did you know that over-watering can cause root-rot and top-heavy growth in your trees? Decaying roots, especially in combination with top-heavy growth, leave trees exceptionally vulnerable to damage from high winds.
So, water “deeply” (think of it as a nice leisurely bath, vs. a quick shower) but less frequently to keep those beautiful trees on your vacation rental property growing healthy and strong!
Patio umbrellas are a versatile source of shade, and can even make a colorful fashion statement at your vacation rental property. Even in our extreme Phoenix summer sunshine, quality patio umbrellas are capable of seeing your vacation rental property through more than a few seasons. Quality patio umbrellas can also be quite pricey, so it’s definitely in your best interest to take proper care of them.
It should be standard to keep umbrellas closed when not in use to prolong their lives and good looks – their labels even say so. Leaving patio umbrellas open during a monsoon storm can be a death sentence for your patio umbrella, especially in areas experiencing “micro-bursts.” Open umbrellas can also be easily picked up and carried by high winds, causing further damage to your vacation rental property.
Pools and Spas
Increasing the frequency of your regular professional pool service, if possible, is a great idea! But even with increased service, unexpected storms can leave the pool at your vacation rental home looking a mess. Have basic tools on hand for guests to do a little DYI cleaning, if necessary – a skimmer, at the very least! (Also, the umbrella rule should also apply to spa covers – keep it down when not in use!)
For more excellent tips on maintaining your vacation rental home pools and spas, and preparing for summer guests, check out these great Moxie Blogs:
Our Valley summers – especially the crazy monsoon storms – may come as quite a surprise to vacation rental guests new to the Phoenix area! It’s definitely a good idea to warn your guests – as well as ask for their help in preventing weather-related damages during their stay. Your guests may also need to be reminded that you have no control over the weather (sorry, but if a 500ft wall of dust just blew through, the pool may be dirty when you arrive!)
Need Help With Your Phoenix Area Vacation Rental Home?
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We received a call recently from a friend telling us she had recommended Moxie to a friend of hers who was converting his Paradise Valley home to a vacation rental and may need our help stocking the home for guests. As it turned out, he REALLY needed help!
We got a call at 11 am from the property owner and found out that the “cart” was actually well ahead of the “horses.” The owner had already booked the home for the holiday weekend and there were five guys on their way – TODAY!
Moxie to the Rescue!
Moxie Girl founder, Amanda Thomas, rose to the challenge and went to the home immediately for a walk-through. Although the homeowner had pillaged a few scant items from his other properties, the house still needed, oh…just about EVERYTHING!
Making her long list of “must-haves” based on her vast experience in the vacation rental industry, Amanda told the owner she’d be back in a few hours with everything he’d need. Have you ever really thought about the things you might need to use in the course of even a weekend? Here’s a partial list of what was purchased that day:
Basic Necessities – Hand soap, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, CORKSCREW (Gasp! Imagine settling in and not being able to open the wine!)
Done and Done!
Like a pink tornado, Amanda was off, scooping up all the items on her list and was back to the home, unpacked and made the vacation rental guest-ready by 4 pm! Just in time for the guys to start enjoying the holiday weekend!
While we don’t encourage waiting until the very last minute to stock your vacation rental home, you can be confident that with our extensive vacation rental know-how, Moxie Girl is always the best choice, no matter when you call! Click for a FREE CONSULTATION!
Planning a summer vacation in the Phoenix area? No doubt you’ve heard about the heat, but if you’ve never experienced summer in the desert, there are some things you should be aware of – especially if your doggos are along for the trip! Moxie Girl has some important tips to help you and your “best friend” have a safe and enjoyable summer vacation in Arizona.
The Perfect Place to Stay
Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley all have some great “dogs-welcome” vacation rental homes and these cities, in particular, have many restaurants and cafes with pet-friendly patios, too! Before booking your vacation rental, make sure you’re clear on the property’s pet policy.Some good questions to ask:
Is there a pet deposit required, and how much is it?
How many pets are allowed, and is the required deposit “per pet” or just a general pet deposit?
Is the pet deposit refundable (or not charged) if no pet damage occurs?
Does the property have any weight or breed restrictions?
Wow – They Weren’t Kidding About This Heat…
Nope, not at all! Moxie Girl cannot stress enough the importance of protecting your pet (and yourself) from extreme desert heat.First and foremost, NEVER, EVER leave your pet in the car! Even if the outside temperature is only 80 degrees, the temperature inside your vehicle can rise to 120 degrees within a matter of minutes, so just DON’T.
Staying hydrated is a must!Always have plenty of cool, fresh water available for you and your pet, especially when you’re out and about.Remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already on your way to dehydration…and that’s just a hop and a skip from heat stroke – or worse.
Walk your pet in the early morning hours. Not only is the desert gorgeous at sunrise, but it’s usually also the coolest part of the day. Still, even during the coolest hours asphalt or concrete may be uncomfortably hot for your pet to walk on. Take your shoes off and walk outside.If your feet are burning, so will your dog’s. Either stay on the grass during your walks or invest in some protective footwear for your pet.
Creature Features and Weird Plants
Even though your summer vacation rental home may feel as though it’s “in the city” – and it may well be – doesn’t mean you won’t find any critters. Sure, there may neighbors, restaurants, and shopping nearby, but please be advised that our desert wildlife pays no mind. Coyotes, javelina(wild desert boars) and various birds of prey are regularly spotted in well-populated areas around the valley, so NEVER leave your pet unattended outside.
Early mornings sightings are common, so pay special attention to your surroundings when walking your pet.If you should happen upon a coyote or javelin, don’t panic. They’re generally not aggressive unless they feel threatened, but then again they’re not called “wildlife” for nothing.It’s always best to stay quiet and calmly but firmly guide your pet in the other direction. If you feel threatened by these creatures, know that they can usually be dispersed by a loud noise, such as banging a heavy stick on a metal sign or fence if necessary.
Oh, and we also have scorpions and snakes.Don’t freak out, but definitely steer clear of either of those.Scorpion stings can be dangerous and are always painful.While many desert snakes are harmless, unless you’re versed in herpetology, take no chances. One of the most dangerous snakes in the Southwest is the rattlesnake and they blend in quite well with the desert landscape, so keep a close eye on and around your path.
Pets can be curious, and cactus is unique! Keep plenty of space between you and your pet and anything that looks spiny or full of thorns.
Summer monsoon storms can quickly come out of nowhere, bringing blowing dust, heavy rain, booming thunder and spectacular lightning strikes.You and your pet are safest indoors during these events and your pet may appreciate some extra TLC – these storms can be loud and scary!
If a monsoon storm is predicted, making a few simple preparations in case of a power outage is a great idea.A fully charged cell phone is a good place to start.Think about what you and your pet might want to have close at hand should you find yourselves in the dark for a few hours and gather those items in a comfy spot you’ve chosen to wait out the storm.
Moxie Girl hopes our tips for summer travel with pets have you feeling excited and well-prepared for a fantastically fun getaway with your whole family. Check out other blogs for more helpful hints for enjoying your Phoenix summer vacation rental!