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The Top 25 Hikes in Arizona

The Southwest has never looked so good.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

From the Grand Canyon's desert oasis, to the trails around Phoenix and the red rock cliffs of Sedona, Arizona is full of some of the best hiking in America. Head south for a retreat from the winter cold or embrace the summer heat at one of the amazing swimming holes and waterfalls. Whatever type of hike you're chasing, Arizona has plenty of options! 

1. Hike the Broken Arrow Trail to Chicken Point

Photo: Nick Tort

2.79-mile out-and-back with roughly 420 feet of elevation gain 

This hike in Sedona features incredible red and white rock views. Expect to also see beautiful pinyon pines, juniper, and cypress groves along the way. This is a hot spot for hiking along with mountain biking and jeep tours.

2. Hike Piestewa Peak

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

2.25-mile out-and-back with approximately 1050 feet of elevation gain

If you’re looking for a relatively quick workout, this is the adventure for you! This hike is conveniently located right in the heart of Phoenix and boasts incredible panoramic views of the city. It’s the perfect spot for sunset lovers!

3. Hike to Devil’s Bridge

Photo: Will Cebron

3.94-mile out-and-back with roughly 400 feet of elevation gain

This adventure will reward you with sweeping views of Sedona and lead you to the picture-worthy Devil’s Bridge– an iconic landmark and the largest natural sandstone arch in Coconino National Forest.

4. Hike to Shoshone Point

Photo: Matt Eaton

2.14-mile out-and-back with approximately 100 feet of elevation gain

Along the south rim of the Grand Canyon, experience the exposure and stunning views of Shoshone Point. Added bonus, this trail is  Plan this hike around sunset to take the views to the next level! 

5. Hike Tom’s Thumb

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

4-mile out-and-back with roughly 1236 feet of elevation gain 

View the infamous “thumb” rock formation in Scottsdale, Arizona’s McDowell Mountain Sonoran Preserve. It’s quite a stunning sight rising right from the desert. Expect to see wildlife and be sure to bring plenty of water with you!

6. Hike the Bell Rock Trail

Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

0.78-mile out-and-back with about 210 feet of elevation gain

This is a well maintained trail in Sedona with breathtaking views of rocky formations along the northern face of Bell Rock the whole way through.

7. Hike to Humphreys Peak Summit

Photo: Sri Gangam

9.57-mile out-and-back with approximately 2759 feet of elevation gain

Enjoy views from Humphreys Peak– the highest point in Arizona! The widespread display of Aspen trees makes this a fantastic hike to do during the Fall when the leaves are bursting with color.

8. Hike Pinnacle Peak

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

3.87-mile out-and-back with about 896 feet of elevation gain

This is a nicely groomed trail with plenty of desert wildlife, scenic views, and climbing opportunities. Take in surreal views of the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, Granite Mountain, and the Cone Mountains while on this adventure.

9. Hike to Cibecue Falls

Photo: Matt Yanchek

2.94-mile out-and-back hike with approximately 600 feet of elevation gain

This adventure proves that Arizona isn’t all about the desert– there are certainly some amazing waterfall oases awaiting you! Take on this hike among a gorgeous canyon and desert landscape to experience pure serenity.

10. Hike to Robbers Roost

Photo: Aaron Maltby

0.95-mile out-and-back with roughly 148 feet of elevation gain

Though a short hike, you’ll get to relish in spectacular sights of Desona’s red rock formations. Picnic with a cliff side view or in a secluded cave for some shade.

11. Hike to Horseshoe Bend

Photo: Seth Berry

1.52-mile out-and-back with about 157 feet of elevation gain

You may have seen a photo of this spot on Instagram or heard about its beauty from friends who have been to Horseshoe Bend and with good reason. Horseshoe Bend is a short and quick hike to stunning views like the one above, which is definitely worth the stop if you find yourself near Lake Powell.  

12. Hike Coal Mine Canyon

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

1-mile out-and-back with an approximately 364 foot loss of elevation

This is a remote gem that boasts spires, hoodoos, gullies, and cliffs of vibrant colors as far as the eye can see. With minimal crowds, this is the perfect spot for some amazing photo opportunities.

13. Hike to “The Crack” at Wet Beaver Creek

Photo: Brooke Van Poppelen

7.61-mile out-and-back with about 500 feet of elevation gain

Located in Yavapai County, this is the spot for cliff jumping enthusiasts. It’s also a great hike for those looking to get some relief from the hot desert sun as there’s an opportunity to take a dip in a swimming hole.

14. Hike the West Fork Trail

Photo: Wendy Wernet

6.49-mile out-and-back with roughly 1102 feet of elevation gain

Right in Sedona, set foot on a trail that features a stunning canyon rich in reds and browns. You’ll encounter various stream crossings and for an extra treat, do this hike in the Fall when the Aspen trees are bursting with color.

15. Hike Cathedral Rock

Photo: Justin Ritucci

1.7-mile out-and-back with approximately 925 feet of elevation gain

This is known to be one of the most scenic hikes in Sedona. Expect to have your breath taken away by the stunning landmark that is Cathedral Rock. For an extra special experience, watch the sunset from the top.

16. Hike Siphon Draw to Flatiron Summit

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

5.6-mile out-and-back with about 3415 feet of elevation gain

On this hike, you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of Hoodoo rock formations, a slick rock basin, and the potential for an amazing sunset watching experience. At the top, you’ll certainly want to bask in the view and whip out your camera. Note that there are a few places to stop and eat nearby if you want to treat yourself to a nice cold beer and munch post hike!

17. Summit Weavers Needle

Photo: Nick Tort

8.02-mile out-and-back with roughly 2602 feet of elevation gain

Located in Gold Canyon, Arizona, you won’t want to miss the beauty and wow-factor that is Weavers Needle. It’s one of the most breathtaking stone formations in the area that appears to rise from the desert floor. This hike is a rare opportunity to get out into the true wilderness and witness nature in its purest beauty.

18. Hike Sedona’s Fay Canyon

Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

2.56-mile out-and-back with about 666 feet of elevation gain

With minimal crowds as a lesser known hidden gem, this is a great hike if you want to get in touch with nature and find some peace. The spectacular views of Fay Canyon and the surrounding landscape are well worth it.

19. Hike and Stargaze at SP Crater

Photo: Moe Lauchert

1.96-mile out-and-back with roughly 341 feet of elevation gain

Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, this is an adventure that will reward you with views of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at the top. Flagstaff is one of the top rated “Dark Sky Cities” with minimal light pollution, making it an incredible destination for some stargazing at night. Take precaution while hiking in the dark.

20. Hike up Camelback Mountain via Cholla Trail

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

2.68-mile out-and-back with about 1158 feet of elevation gain

Located in Paradise Valley, Arizona, this hike up Camelback Mountain offers fantastic views of the cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale. Expect to do some rock scrambling during the final stretch to the top.

21. Hike to Beaver Falls

Photo: Jeremy Meek

5.28-mile out-and-back with about 1200 feet of elevation gain

On this adventure located in Supai, Arizona, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the beauty of cascading pools and swim in the breathtakingly turquoise waters of Havasu Creek. Havasupai is closed to visitors for 2022, but we hope it will open again in the future.

22. Hike to Mooney Falls

Photo: Jeremy Meek

1.36-mile out-and-back with approximately 200 feet of elevation gain

This is the picture-perfect waterfall adventure that you won’t want to pass up. You will be breath taken by the 200-foot Mooney Falls and the unbelievably blue waters below. Note that to get down to the pool at the waterfall’s base, you’ll need to hike down the cliff face using chains and ladders. As this can be dangerous, please take extreme caution. Havasupai is closed to visitors for 2022, but we hope it will open again in the future.

23. Hike Plateau Point via Bright Angel Trail

Photo: John Stambaugh

12.27-mile out-and-back with roughly 3000 feet of elevation gain

This is a fantastic spot for watching the sunset and offers the unique opportunity to view the Grand Canyon from the inside looking out.

24. Hike to Hidden Valley via the Mormon Loop Trail

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

3.63-mile loop with about 873 feet of elevation gain

Right in Phoenix, this is a dog-friendly hike featuring amazing vistas overlooking the city and unique rock formations.

25. Hike Wildcat Trail in Monument Valley

Photo: Jared Blitz

3.98-mile loop with roughly 397 feet of elevation gain

This is a picture-worthy adventure in Monument Valley that doesn't require the services of a Navajo guide. You’ll have the opportunity to get close to the 1500-foot behemoth rock structures. This trail will leave you fully exposed to the elements so be prepared with plenty of water in the summer and wear a warm jacket in the winter– yes it does get cold!

Cover photo: Kevin Kaminski

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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