9 Great Hiking Trails in the Phoenix Area
If you’re looking for some great inexpensive, outdoor activities remember that April and May are still great months for hiking in the valley. Check out this list of 9 great trails to explore in the East Valley. As always remember to bring plenty of water, wear sunscreen, great hiking shoes, comfortable clothing and be mindful of keeping our desert beautiful for others by “packing in and packing out”.
1) Peralta Trails: This is a very popular trail that goes to the Fremont Saddle (approx. 6 mile round trip) and provides beautiful views of the desert and Weavers Needle. There is a large public parking lot to park in. Just be aware that Peralta road does turn into a dirt road before you reach the trail head.
2) Hieroglyphic Trail: This is a shorter (approx. 3 mile round trip) but very popular trail with mild elevation changes. Depending on the time of year there are ponds and a waterfall at the end of the trail. There are also quite a few petroglyphs which is how the trail got its name.
3) Wave Cave: (Begin near Peralta Trail head) A popular hike, or as one site says “Welcome to the most talked about trail that doesn’t exist”. This hike includes several sections of bare rock and is definitely not an easy or well-marked trail. Those who have completed this hike say the views and the cave are worth overcoming some difficulties. Sounds like a great trip to try when you’re ready for some adventure!
4) Siphon Draw Trail inc. Flatiron, Superstition Mountain: This is DEFINITELY a strenuous trail with a 2,748 foot elevation gain. Advice from experienced hikers who have done this trail includes: start early in the day, bring plenty of water, bring plenty of fuel (healthy snacks), and give yourself plenty of time. 6 Hours is a pretty common amount of time to spend on the trail. Views from the top are said to be spectacular. This trailhead is located in Lost Dutchman State Park and there is an entrance fee.
5) Massacre Grounds Trail: Listed as “moderate” in difficulty this trail is approx. a 5.3 mile round trip near Tortilla Flat with a 1,089 foot elevation gain. There are waterfalls but whether they’re running or not depend on the time of year. This is a dog friendly trail and there is a parking lot that tends to fill up as the day goes on. Listed as a great place to see wildflowers in the spring.
6) Silly Mountain Park: Loaded with fun, easy trails and no entrance fee, Silly Mountain Park is great for hikers of all ages and abilities. Dog friendly and open from sunrise to sunset, this is the perfect place to pack a picnic and see some beautiful views.
7) Lost Dutchman State Park: nestled at the base of the Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman is the home of several trailheads (including Siphon Draw which is already on this list). Depending on your ability and type of trail you’d like to tackle, Lost Dutchman has options for all hikers. There is plenty of hiking at Lost Dutchman as well as facilities. Please be aware there is an entrance fee for Lost Dutchman State Park.
8) Pass Mountain Loop Trail: Located in Usery Mountain Regional Park this trail has beautiful views of the valley. Listed as an easy 7.5 miles hike the elevation gain is only 963 feet. Dog friendly and popular with joggers this trail is easily accessible. There is an entrance fee for the park.
9) Spook Hill Mountain Preserve: Located in Mesa, this quick and easy trail has free parking and a very rewarding view from the top. Many reviews state that this trail is kid friendly as well as dog friendly and is usually fairly populated. Keep your eyes open for fire fighters who sometimes train on the hill.