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Best Hiking Trails in Arizona – USA

Overview

Best known for its stunning Grand Canyon (which is amazing to hike), this state also boasts peaks that have endless hiking opportunities. There are hikes in the San Francisco Peaks (including the highest peak, Humphrey’s); Tucson Mountains; Sabino Canyon Recreation Area; Santa Catalina Mountains; around Sedona and Phoenix; and many of the ‘sky islands’. The best months to hike in Arizona vary according to the region. Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Arizona. 

Capital: Phoenix

When To Hike in Arizona – USA?

October – June: In northern Arizona, the spring and fall months are best; in southern Arizona, October – April months are best.  Filter in the map to see the best months.
Varies
July – August; December – February: Summer months can be too hot and winter months can be too cold in certain areas

Climate: Most of the state is either semi-arid and arid, meaning very little precipitation and hot summer temperatures. 

Note: In spring 2023, many areas of southwestern USA have seen flooding, including in Arizona.  Check local forecast and warnings prior to setting out on hikes.

 

National Weather Service – Arizona

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy: There are well-established trails, lots of guidebooks, trail maps and apps – all the things one needs for a smooth independent hiking trip.

Transportation required: Car

Where to stay in Arizona for hiking:

  • Phoenix
  • Sedona
  • Scottsdale
  • Flagstaff
  • Tucson
  • Grand Canyon Village

Top Places to Hike in Arizona – USA

Known for the stunning Grand Canyon, there are other areas for mountain hiking in this state. In the northern part of Arizona, aside from the Grand Canyon, other areas include San Francisco Peaks and Kaibab National Forest, with Flagstaff being a good base. In the central part of the state, there are the White Mountains, around Phoenix. In the south, there are the Tucson Mountains and Coronado National Forest (which contains many of the 'sky islands', isolated mountain ranges rising up from Sonoran Desert). Highest Mountain: Humphreys Peak (3852 m).

Filter out hiking places of Arizona – USA by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Dragoon Mountains

  • Mt Glenn is the highest peak

Pinal Mountains

  • Contains Pinal Peak

Galiuro Mountains

  • Contains Bassett Peak

Pinaleño Mountains

  • Contains Mount Graham, highest peak in Coronado National Forest

Dos Cabezas Mountains

Apache Peak

  • Part of Coronado National Forest

Coronado National Memorial

Chiricahua National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Santa Catalina Mountains

  • Santa Catalina Natural Area
  • Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
  • Mt Lemmon
  • Mica Mountain
  • Rincon Peak

Tucson Mountains

  • Popular mountain area next to Tucson
  • Tucson Mountain Park

Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Camelback Mountain

  • Popular peak in Phoenix

Tonto National Forest

  • Browns Peak
  • Mazatzal Peak

Prescott National Forest

White Mountains

  • Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
  • Mount Baldy Wilderness

Around Sedona

  • Lots of hiking trails around here

Red Butte Mountain

San Francisco Peaks

  • Contains Humphrey’s Peak
  • Other trails here

Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona – USA's Long Distance Trails

Arizona – USA's Walking & Hiking Resources

Arizona Hiking Books: – there are many books, below are listed the more recent ones 

  • Hiking Arizona: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, 5th Edition, by Bruce Grubbs, 2019, published by Falcon Guides
  • Hiking Northern Arizona: A Guide to Northern Arizona’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, by Bruce Grubbs, 2021, Falcon Guides
  • ARIZONAHIKING.ORG Presents: Hiking in Arizona Volume 1: 162 Hikes in Central and Southern Arizona, by Scott Frankel, 2020, Kaibab Enterprises LLC
  • ARIZONAHIKING.ORG Presents: Hiking in Arizona Volume 2: 161 Hikes in Northern Arizona, by Scott Frankel, 2020, Kaibab Enterprises LLC
  • Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail, by Sirena Rana, 2020, published by Wilderness Press
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix, including Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa, by Charles Liu, 2018, Menasha Ridge Press
  • 100 Classic Hikes: Arizona: Grand Canyon/Colorado Plateau/San Francisco Peaks/Mogollon Rim/Sedona/Sky Islands/Sonora Desert, by Scott Warren, 2015, Mountaineers Books
  • Backpacking Arizona: From Deep Canyons to Sky Islands, by Bruce Grubbs, 2013, Wilderness Press

 

Arizona Hiking Associations/Clubs: – there are many clubs and Meetup groups, listings of these can be found in an appendix in many of the hiking guidebooks listed above

 

Best Hiking Trails in Arizona:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking guidebooks, official park websites, trail maps/apps, other websites, and tourist offices:

  • Arizona National Scenic Trail
  • Bright Angel Trail – Grand Canyon
  • South Kaibab Trail – Grand Canyon
  • Rim to Rim Trail – Grand Canyon
  • Camelback Mountain – Phoenix
  • Flatiron Summit – Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Humphrey’s Peak
  • Weaver’s Needle – Gold Canyon
  • Piestewa Peak – Phoenix Mountain Preserve
  • Wilson Mountain – Coconino National Forest
  • Phoneline Trail – Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
  • Tom’s Thumb – Scottsdale

Easy Hiking Trails in Arizona:

  • Cathedral Rock – Sedona
  • Antelope Canyon

 

Arizona Hiking Websites:

 

Arizona Weather Website: 

 

Arizona Official Tourism Site:  

 

Arizona Hiking Apps: 

 

Arizona Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Other beautiful spots like Antelope Canyon and The Wave

Other Important Points

  • In canyon country, rain means possibility of flash floods