This itinerary is for explorers who like to feel sun on their skin and dirt beneath their boots (or bike tires). You'll get moving. You'll make a splash. You'll get amazing photos.
Day 1: Easy Phoenix hikes
Ease into your desert adventure with some easy-to-moderate trails.
Walk (or bike) around the red buttes at Papago Park. Get Instagram-worthy pics at the iconic Hole-in-the-Rock formation.
Get panoramic views without scaling too high at Piestewa Peak's Quartz Ridge trail, part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.
See American Indian petroglyphs—ancient rock carvings—along these local trails.
Day 2: Guided adventure
Let the outdoor experts at REI Co-Op Experiences guide you through a day in the Sonoran Desert. With their customizable full-day tours, you can hit the trails on two legs or two wheels in the morning, then raft or kayak the Salt River in the afternoon.
Salt River Rafting
Day 3: Hike an iconic Phoenix peak
Now that you're plenty warmed up, it's time to conquer one of our iconic peaks.
Camelback Mountain can be scaled by either the Echo Canyon or Cholla trails, while Piestewa Peak's summit trail is the only way to the top.
The peak trails at both mountains are very popular and can be crowded during peak seasons. The trails are also rated as difficult, so inexperienced hikers may want to consider less-strenuous options, especially during Phoenix's warmest months.
Day 4: Explore with a tour company
Kick up your feet and let someone else do the driving or rafting or flying the final day. The knowledgeable guides at local tour companies can allow you to experience the desert by jeep, Hummer, raft, hot air balloon, Segway and more.