At long last fall has arrived, bringing beautiful days, perfect temperatures and outdoor activities with it. This is the perfect time of year to shake off the cabin fever of summer and get active. For those living in Scottsdale, a plethora of amazing trails, mountains, and scenery in the local area is waiting to be enjoyed while you accomplish your fitness goals. The following hiking spots are some of the most highly rated in the Paradise Valley and Scottsdale areas, and are not to be missed!
Camelback Mountain – Summit trail
This 2.4 mile trail is rated as a hard difficulty route. This extremely popular and sometimes crowded trail offers one of the most spectacular views of metropolitan Phoenix that you will see. Good for walking and hiking, this challenging trail features elevation climbing, mountain paths with stair railings, and steep inclines. Not much shade is found on this trail and no water access is present so it is particularly important to plan ahead for this hike.
Mormon Loop Trail
Featuring flat plains and gentle inclines, this easy-rated 1.5 mile trail offers those living in Scottsdale a wonderful change of pace. Great views of Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, and even Mesa is just the beginning of the wonderment here. Walkers, hikers, bicyclers, horse riders, and even drivers looking for a beautifully scenic route have found it on Mormon Loop Trail. Hidden petroglyphs and wildlife sightings are some of the mysteries you will uncover on this route, which also offshoots to another top rated hiking experience: Hidden Valley Trail.
Pinnacle Peak Trail
This 3.5 mile moderate-difficulty site is a fantastic place for hiking, jogging, and even rock climbing. The views of the valley and the McDowell Mountains will take your breath away. This is a nice hike with good topography, a well-maintained route, and very good amenities. You will find many a bird watcher here trying to spot unique species of feathered friends and for those interested in vegetation, signs are widely posted to help make the entire outdoor experience educational and enjoyable. Pinnacle Peak Trail is truly a gem for hikers living in Scottsdale.
McDowell Mountain Park
Featuring over 50 miles of trails, McDowell Mountain Park has something to offer for all levels of fitness buffs. The terrain includes flatlands, peaks, valleys and mesas for a good variation and is excellent for both hiking and jogging. The park is home to birds, deer, coyotes, and even some javelina so outdoors enthusiasts will be in their glory.
Tom’s Thumb Trail
This 3.6 mile moderate trail is host to many types of wildlife, flowers, cacti, and spectacular rock formations. The steep incline to the summit rewards hikers with amazing views of the McDowell mountains once they reach the top. This trail is usually not as crowded so locals living in Scottsdale tend to prefer this site over the more popular trails.
Scottsdale and Paradise Valley are home to incredible displays of nature that should be experienced by everyone. Come prepared with an adequate water supply, be safe and observant, and be ready to indulge in the most fantastic hiking experiences the valley has to offer.