With temperatures in the Valley of the Sun finally dipping below 100 degrees, Phoenicians (and travellers) are eagerly returning to outdoor activities. After hiding indoors in air-conditioned boxes for so long, a chance to hit the trails is a welcome reprieve. And as locals will tell you, there's no shortage of hikes to choose from in Phoenix, so here we've compiled the best of the best that promise more than just burning calf muscles; stunning fall scenery awaits.
Sedona’s Huckaby Trail
Sedona is a popular destination for those fall color lovers, and hiking in Sedona will never have you wanting to hike anywhere else. The Huckaby Trail is considered moderately difficult and runs along a gorgeous creek. Pets are welcome so long as they're on a leash.
Dixie Mountain Loop Trail
This trail is located in Scottsdale, AZ in the Sonoran Preserve. Lightly trafficked, the trail is considered easy and has made this list because of the balance between lush vegetation and close proximity to the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Because of its location near the Arizona Upland, it gets more rain than other Phoenix hiking trails, and thus offers beautiful wildflowers and plentiful wildlife.
Mogollon Rim at Horton Creek
This trail is located near Payson, AZ, and is just over a two-hour drive from Phoenix. The beginner-level route is perfect for getting your fill of fresh fall air, and the waterfalls en-route don't hurt. The creed treads through glorious Arizona Pines, making it quite the treat.
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
Located in Gilbert, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix, the Riparian Preserve is an urban desert oasis where wildlife abounds. This loop trail winds past several ponds teeming with fish, so if you want to both hike and drop a line, this is the one for you. The preserve is free to the public and there is plenty of parking located at the library next door. You can even bring your pup, so long as you keep him or her on a leash.
Six Shooter Trail in the Pinal Mountains
The Tonto National Forest, located in the Pinal Mountains (about two and a half hours from Phoenix) is home to the Six Shooter Trail. This is a challenging trail, perfect for the day-tripper who would like a change of scenery from the desert trails of Phoenix. Earning its name from the popular revolver carried by millworkers who once worked the mill, the now abandoned location is still visible along the trail. Also cool to check out is an abandoned mine shaft, and after a rain, small creek waterfalls can be enjoyed too. If you love fall foliage, you will love this trail. Just keep in mind the total trail time is about seven hours.