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Hikers, bikers and climbers in Greater Phoenix have come to the same conclusion as coyotes, roadrunners and jackrabbits: The Sonoran Desert is a great place to play.

How you experience the desert is up to you. Explore the different ways below and visit our outdoor recreation media gallery for more inspiration. 

Fall Safety Tips 

Though summer officially ends in mid-September, Phoenix stays warm through October, with an average daily high temperature of 88°F/31°C for the month. 

Remember these tips as you enjoy the season's pleasantly cool mornings and warm, sunny days:

  • Enjoy the outdoors early in the morning. Not only will it be about 15-20 degrees cooler in the early morning, but it's the best time to view desert critters that are most active at sunrise.

  • Hit the trails at night. Some of the City of Phoenix preserves stay open until 11 p.m. Just be sure to pack a flashlight or headlamp and watch your step.

  • Some Maricopa County parks offer guided nighttime hikes and stargazing events throughout autumn. Check the Maricopa County Parks event calendar for details.

  • Drink water and lots of it. A good rule of thumb is to bring at least one liter of water for each hour you'll be outside. Backpacks equipped with water bladders are ideal when hiking and biking. 

  • Protect yourself from the sun. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are all necessities. Make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen before you head outside, and reapply every few hours.

  • Get more helpful tips from the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.



Brian Jump shares how the mystique of the desert turned an intended short stay in Phoenix into a career as an outdoor guide.


Explore the listings below for professional tour guides, equipment rental, activities and more.