From saguaro-studded hillsides to a glittering downtown skyline, see where you can snap your next Instagram-worthy photo with these best scenic views in Phoenix:
This popular recreation destination is named for its likeness to a kneeling camel. And for some of the best views in the city, you’ll need to clamber onto its 2,700-ft “hump.” Camelback’s two challenging trails end in an uninhibited 360° panorama of Greater Phoenix and beyond. If you’re planning a visit, know your limits as a hiker, bring plenty of water, and spare some time to sit back and enjoy the view from the top.
The summit of Camelback Mountain (ThreeIfByBike on Flickr)
Hole-in-the-Rock in Papago Park
Wind and rain have eroded two holes in this unique red sandstone hill in Papago Park. The hole in the “ceiling” afforded the early Hohokam civilization a way to track the sunlight, and the larger chamber serves as a great viewing portal for the modern hiker. Climb inside to watch the sun set on the downtown skyline and beautiful desert landscape.
625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix 85008
View from Hole-in-the-Rock (Ryan Cadby on Flickr)
Dobbins Lookout on South Mountain
At the highest accessible point of the South Mountain Preserve, you’ll find panoramic city views and a stone ramada perched on the edge of a 2,330-foot vantage point. Hike to Dobbins Lookout on the 2.5-mile Holbert Trail, or take the easy route by car.
10919 South Central Avenue, Phoenix 85042
Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain (Don Barrett on Flickr)
At this north Phoenix favorite, the cuisine is matched only by the views. Take in the surrounding mountain preserve, downtown skyline and South Mountain from both the patio and dining room of Different’s mountaintop locale.
11111 N 7th St, Phoenix 85020
Different Pointe of View (Alan Light on Flickr)
Take a tour, go for brunch, or feast upon a steak dinner at the Wrigley Mansion. Located in the Heights of Biltmore neighborhood, the estate looks out upon groups of other Biltmore homes as well as the Downtown and Central Phoenix skylines.
2501 E Telawa Trail, Phoenix 85016
Once fabled to be a hideout for cattle rustlers, this mountaintop perch now serves up country Western grub and a spectacular scenic overlook. Enjoy dinner on the patio or indoors—the steakhouse’s interior north-facing wall is all glass windows, so no one misses out on dinner with a view.
8383 S 48th St, Phoenix 85044
View from Rustler’s Rooste (Matt Malone on Flickr)
This hip deck—once awarded the title of Phoenix’s favorite “hang out” spot—offers skyline views and a place to lounge with friends as the sun sets.
401 W Clarendon Ave, Phoenix 85013
Photo by the Clarendon Hotel
Get a 360-degree view of the city without leaving the dinner table at Compass Arizona Grill. There’s not a bad seat in the house at this rotating restaurant atop downtown’s Hyatt Regency Phoenix hotel.
Photo by Compass Arizona Grill
Conquer the second highest peak in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the entire Greater Phoenix region. The semi-intense 1.2 mile trail will leave you breathless (from the view) at the finish line.
2701 E Squaw Peak Dr, Phoenix 85016
Summit of Piestewa Peak (bc_az on Flickr)
Get your blood flowing on a smooth desert trail that allows you to get up close and personal with some of the desert plants and views of North Scottsdale and the surrounding area.
26802 N 102nd Way, Scottsdale 85262
Enjoy the city views from Lustre, a shady oasis on Hotel Palomar’s 3rd floor deck, while you sip on a cocktail or take a dip in the rooftop pool.
2 E Jefferson St, Phoenix 85004
Hotel Palomar: 602-253-6633 / Lustre Rooftop Bar: 480-478-1765
Dine on Talavera’s patio for a locally-sourced meal and dramatic desert vistas from the foothills of Pinnacle Peak.
10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale 85262