Is your ongoing goal to get fit and stay fit? Step outside of the gym and onto the trails. Every hour you hike can burn up to 530 calories.
And lucky for you, Arizona’s geological diversity is a hiker’s haven. From the Grand Canyon to the Sedona forests, there are hundreds of trails to hike and we’ve picked 5 of our favorites.
But before you go:
- Drink plenty of water – It’s easier than you think to become dehydrated and it’s one of the main reasons rescue crews come to the aid of some many Arizona hikers each year. In fact, Phoenix rescue crews came to the aid of 225 hikers in the first 7 months of 2016. Dehydration can affect blood circulation and energy levels, leading to exhaustion. Hydrate before and after your hike and make sure to pack a water bottle or two. Bonus: Drinking all that water is also great for your smile.
- Pack a tooth-friendly snack – Pick a snack that’s high in protein to stay energized on the trail. Salty snacks, such as peanuts and trail mix, can help replenish electrolytes and prevent dehydration.
- Slap on the sunscreen – Us desert dwellers may not need another reason to lather on the lotion, but here’s one anyway: You are more susceptible to sunburn at higher altitudes, so protect your skin and lips before you reach the summit.
Ready for your next day adventure? Take a trek on one of these trails:
Camelback Mountain – Phoenix
You don’t have to venture far from the city to go on a great hike. Camelback Mountain offers some incredible views of Phoenix and beyond. But don’t understate this hike’s short length. Its drastic increase in elevation and rocky path is not for the faint-of-heart.
Length: 1.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,264 feet
Tip: During the summer months, set out shortly after sunrise to avoid peak heat hours.
Pima Canyon Trail – Tucson
If you’re looking to see some great desert ecology, Pima Canyon doesn’t disappoint. This trail offers a variety of desert plants and wildlife, in addition to ancient American Indian sites.
Length: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,060 feet
Tip: Due to the delicate ecosystem, dogs are not allowed on the trail, so leave Fido at home.
South Kaibab Trail – Grand Canyon
The best way to see the Grand Canyon is to hike it. This well-groomed trail is an all-day adventure, so start early.
Length: 6.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,860 feet
Tip: You will often share the trail with mules and handlers. Observe these safety tips before venturing onwards.
Painted Desert Trail – Yuma
Named for the multi-colored rock mounds formed by ancient volcanoes, you’ll see colors you never knew existed in geology. The ease of this trail also makes it perfect for families.
Length: 1.3 miles
Elevation Gain: None
Tip: This trail offers an incredible panoramic view of the Colorado River. Don’t forget your camera.
West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon – Sedona
After one glimpse of the canyon’s views, it’s easy to see why West Fork is one of the most popular tourist trails in Coconino National Forest. Springtime offers a plethora of wildlife viewing, while autumn has the most breathtaking fall colors. Take note: Part of the trail may require stream crossings, so wear waterproof footwear.
Length: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Tip: For those looking to get away from the crowd, don’t give up on this trail yet. There is an additional 14 miles of unmarked trail for hikers craving a little more solitude.
Share your hiking photos with us on our Facebook page. But until we meet again…happy trails!