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!
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