Meet Kim. She works in our marketing department here at Visit Phoenix and is an avid hiker. So, we asked her to share some of her favorite hikes and insider tips with you.
Kim and Zoe.
Not only is Kim the mastermind behind our free Trail Guide, she also routinely participates in the Phoenix Summit Challenge — ascending Phoenix’s seven urban summits and traversing 26.4 miles of trail in the span of an 11-hour day. We asked her to share some of her favorite hikes as well as insider tips with you.
This multi-mountain trek inspires hikers to look beyond Phoenix’s iconic peaks for their next excursion.
What is your favorite thing about hiking in Phoenix?
How peaceful it is and how many trails are available to hike within the city limits at all levels. It’s a great source of exercise.
Which hike has the best view of the city? Where’s the best place to watch a sunrise or sunset?
Lookout Mountain. You can see in every direction — north to the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, south to South Mountain, east to Four Peaks and west to the White Tanks ... and everything in between.
Piestewa Peak is great for both sunrises and sunsets. Hike the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve at sunrise and you might see hot-air balloons rising in the morning sky.
What mountain park do you recommend for an avid hiker who’s visiting Phoenix for the first time?
South Mountain Park and Preserve (over 16,000 acres makes it one of the largest municipal parks in the country). You can get a little bit of everything there, from difficult trails to long trails to easy trails.
What is the most difficult hike you’ve completed?
In town, probably Piestewa Peak. It’s only a mile, but you gain 1,300 feet of elevation in that mile.
What is a good trail for quick and easy hike?
One of the Papago Park loops or the Hole-In-the-Rock Trail.
What kind of wildlife have you encountered while hiking in Phoenix?
Rattlesnakes. But they’ve all been off the trail and minding their own business. I’ve both heard and seen lots of coyotes. I also saw an owl at Desert Vista and javelina at North Mountain, which still surprises me.
What is your “go-to” hike? Why?
Shaw Butte, because it’s on my way home and it’s a quick five miles with just the right amount of difficulty.
We gather Zoe is an avid hiker too; where are the best dog-friendly trails in Phoenix?
Yes. And Phoenix has quite a few trails that welcome four-legged hikers to choose from.
Things to know before you go:
Please help us keep these sites preserved for future visitors by not touching the rock carvings, staying on the trail and packing out everything you came with (nothing more). For additional details, check out the National Park Service's tips for visiting a petroglyph site.
All trails require dogs to stay on a leash. And, when the temperatures rise, be aware of your dog's safety. Dogs are prohibited on all City of Phoenix hiking trails when the temperature is 100 degrees or warmer.