Vibrant desert mesas, breathtaking canyons, and crystal clear rivers are some of the gorgeous landscapes that draw hikers to Arizona all year long. If you're ready for an outdoor adventure in the Grand Canyon state, consider one of the five below, based on recommendations from Trails.com and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Originally blazed in the late 1890s as the Berry Trail, the Grandview Trail is a 6.2-mile round-trip hike that takes explorers along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park to Horseshoe Mesa. The Grandview Trail is closely tied to the area's old mining operations, and hikers see remnants of this legacy scattered throughout the canyon as well as natural points of interest such as the “Coconino Saddle,” Cottonwood Creek, the Redwall, and Hance Rapids.
Boynton Canyon Trail
Hikers are treated to scenes of red sandstone formations, riparian vegetation, a large box canyon, and ancient Sinagua Indian cliff dwellings that date back to 1200 A.D. on the Boynton Canyon Trail. You should know that Boynton Canyon is considered a powerful vortex area, so this 2.5-mile trail is quite popular and you're bound to see other hikers.
Aspen Peak Trail
The Aspen Peak Trail is an easy 5.5-mile round-trip hike through Hualapai Mountain Park that combines the Aspen Springs Trail, Potato Patch Loop, and the Aspen Peak Trail to the Dean Peak Overlook. This trail takes hikers through four different life zones (chaparral, ponderosa pine/Gambel oak forests, conifer forests, and fir/aspen forests) and a couple points of interest are Sawmill Canyon, and the Music Mountains Overlook.
The Arizona Trail
You can hike up to 800 miles of the Arizona Trail to experience the range of terrains that span the entire state from Mexico to Utah, including the Sonoran Desert, the Mazatzal Wilderness, the Grand Canyon, the Mogollon Rim, and the Kaibab Plateau. The Arizona Trail links arid deserts, canyons, and forested mountains as well as a string of historic sites, unique geological features, and small communities as it takes hikers through vast areas of wilderness.
Camelback Mountain Summit
There are two hiking trails to the summit of Camelback Mountain (2,704 ft.), Cholla and Echo Canyon, and both are challenging, rewarding, and popular in their own way (Cholla is longer, Echo Canyon is steeper). Hikers get clear views of Phoenix and Paradise Valley and get to see a wide variety of plants along the trail, including the Creosote Bush, the Saguaro Cactus, Palo Verde, and Ocotillo.