Scottsdale

Local Experts: Scottsdale, Jeff Ficker

By Local Expert Jeff Ficker

Best Hiking in Scottsdale

1
Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain

The kneeling camel profile of this red sandstone and granite mountain is the city’s most beloved icon—and a challenging, must-climb destination for hikers. Two summit trails ascend the mountain: the Echo Canyon Summit Trail, which starts at the “camel’s head” (you can even make out the eyelash) and the less-crowded Cholla Trail. Steep, rocky terrain and slick patches make this a difficult hike.   

2
McDowell Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

With more than 100 miles of trails, this 30,000-acre preserve offers a variety of hiking experiences. Trailside volunteers can help you select from the six trailheads and multiple routes, from the popular Gateway Trail Loop and scenic Fraesfield to challenging Tom’s Thumb. If you’d like to learn more about the Sonoran Desert and its unique ecosystem, join one of the guide group hikes.

3
Pinnacle Peak Park

Pinnacle Peak Park

The unique granite formations of Pinnacle Peak in north Scottsdale make this one of the area’s most picturesque hikes—not to mention the towering saguaros, abundant wildlife, and spectacular views of Scottsdale and Phoenix. The moderately difficult, but relatively short (1.75-mile) trail is great option for most hikers. Experienced rock climbing should bring the gear.

4
Piestewa Peak

Piestewa Peak

This is one of the most popular hiking spots among Phoenicians. The moderately difficult trek up Piestewa’s Summit Trail takes less than hour and rewards climbers with city views and up-close encounters with jackrabbit, lizards, palo verde and mesquite trees, and dozens of types of cactus. Late evenings, it’s not uncommon to see the flashlights of night hikers. 

5
Papago Park

Papago Park

This rounded, red-hued butte is a Phoenix landmark—though the real treat comes with a short, easy trek up the sandstone formation. The mountain unique “holes,” which were formed by water erosion over millions of years were important sites for ancient Native American people, especially Hole-in-the-Rock, a natural formation through which you can survey the city.


Visit the Best Hiking in Scottsdale

Papago Park
625 N Galvin Pkwy (at N Moreland St), Phoenix, AZ 85008, United States
8.7/10

People like this place

Park
0
Piestewa Peak
E Squaw Peak Dr (Freeway 51 & Glendale Ave), Phoenix, AZ 85028, United States
8/10

People like this place

Trail
0
Pinnacle Peak Park
26802 N 102nd Way (at Jomax Rd), Scottsdale, AZ 85262, United States
8.8/10

People like this place

Trail
0
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Phoenix, AZ 85085, United States
7.5/10

People like this place

Trail
0
Camelback Mountain
Phoenix, AZ 85018, United States
9.2/10

People like this place

Mountain
0
Advertisement
Advertisement