5 Easy Hikes for Beginners in Metro Phoenix
For either those not quite ready for the butt-kicking that some mountains around the Valley provide or others who simply want to try a new thing, there are plenty of easy hikes in Phoenix for the novice hiker. With proper hiking shoes, a good amount of water, and comfortable clothes, these five hikes (listed from easiest to most challenging) are feasible for any beginner looking to explore the desert trails in metro Phoenix.
Nina Gruber Benches and views: A welcome stopping point for any hiker
McDowell Mountain: Wagner Short Loop Trail
Nina Gruber The amphitheater along the Big Butte Loop
A 1.6-mile flat trail through the north campground of McDowell Mountain Regional Park, this path is crisscrossed with many others that start around here. Despite the slight confusion at various forks in the road, it is a straightforward trail through washes and luscious desert. The path is particularly special in the spring, when the land is covered by huge patches of colorful wildflowers. Take in the views on this desert walk, as the McDowell Mountain range will provide a lovely back drop to this meandering desert trail.
Papago Park: Big Butte Loop Trail
A multi-purpose path that is just over a mile, the Big Butte Loop Trail is easily accessed via nearby popular destinations like the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden. Circumnavigating one of the larger sandstone buttes in the park, this trail begins at the Eliot Ramada and continues through the dry, red desert of Papago, passing the amphitheater on McDowell and gently curving back to the beginning. A level hike, the path is a geologist's dream, surrounded by interesting rock formations, though also providing us normal people with lovely views of the Valley and a nice desert escape in the middle of town.
2701 E. Squaw Peak Drive, Phoenix, AZ
16300 McDowell Mountain Park Drive, Scottsdale, AZ