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Home > Things To Do > Outdoor Activities

The Phoenix area is not just surrounded by mountains and Sonoran Desert, but the desert lives within the city as well. Stunning sunsets, towering saguaro cactuses, spring wildflowers and mountains on every horizon are just a few of the natural aesthetics that make Phoenix one of the best cities to spend time outdoors. How you want to experience it is up to you.

Hiking and biking

Hiking and Biking are the most popular ways to see saguaro cacti, red rocks and desert arroyos, no matter what part of town. Hiking the Cholla trail on Camelback Mountain, the most iconic outline on the horizon, is not to be missed, particularly for the intermediate-to-advanced athlete. Piestawa Peak in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve is another signature vista, and numerous trails surround the acres of preserve. South Mountain Park and Preserve is the largest municipal park in the United States, and mountain bikers love the 50 miles of trails it provides.

Guided Phoenix tours

For a special experience, hop in a hot air balloon to see the city and the saguaros from up high, or check out the desert with a Jeep, Hummer or van tour, lasting a few hours or a few days. If you prefer a non-motorized version, horseback riding tours in Phoenix are available and take you through different mountain ranges across the area.

Desert attractions

Our attractions allow you to check out the environment in a more laid-back approach. The Desert Botanical Garden is a must-see for some of the most diverse plants in the world and their special exhibits change throughout the year. The Phoenix Zoo is also one of the top-rated in the country, and the native animals section includes snakes, javelina and coyotes. Exotic animals, birds and reptiles from around the world also take up residence at the Zoo.

~ Hiking Map ~

Download our Hiking Map (.pdf) to see all the trails in Greater Phoenix, including level of difficulty, trail distance, and accessibiltiy for bikes, pets, horses and ADA accessibiltiy.