North Mountain National Trail is paved and easy to navigate, so it’s perfectly acceptable for a nighttime adventure. This hike will have you working for the views – but they are well worth it. The desert air had cooled from its daytime high, and twilight was giving way to night—a transition my friend Barb calls “betwixt and between.” Looking for some trails to hike during the full moon nights, I did the south mountain at night & really enjoyed it.. About Us, Not only will you see silhouettes of the Estrella Mountains and Four Peaks in the background, the entire downtown Phoenix will be buzzing with light, right before your eyes. McDowell Mountain Regional Park: The North Trail Self Guided Tour. Citing Issues With New Ownership, Wasted Ink Zine Distro... A Phoenix Gift Guide for the Plant Nerd in Your Life, The Best Live and Virtual Things to Do in Phoenix This Week. I think ~ 500 feet. I was glad I came on such a day as I can't imagine what” more, “Love this place! Get the latest updates in news, food, music and culture, and receive special offers direct to your inbox, Phoenix Restaurant Directory: Takeout/Delivery/Dine-in, Phoenix Holiday Gift Guide: What to Get Your Social-Distancing Friends and Family, Palabras Bilingual Bookstore Is Moving — Plus More Metro Phoenix Arts News, 7 Best Trails For Night Hiking in Metro Phoenix, 10 Phoenix-Area Tourist Destinations That Locals Can Enjoy Too, 5 Things to Do Outdoors in Metro Phoenix This May, Hiking Etiquette 101: Tips for Hitting the Trails in Metro Phoenix. With slow ascending stretches for the first mile, you'll get far-reaching views of the desert. If you’ve never seen a birds-eye-view of Phoenix city lights illuminating the night, it’s a bucket list-worthy sight. There is a cul-de-sac but no parking signs posted. Moderate. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. The desert comes alive in a whole new way. Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Outdoors enthusiast and local influencer Andrea Blake put together a list of the top 5 best hiking trails in Phoenix for us to enjoy before the temperatures heat up. Adding a business to Yelp is always free. Distance: 1.8 miles out and back. This is a great hike for catching one of Arizona’s breathtaking sunsets. South Mountain is an awesome place to get a view of the Phoenix area in the evening. My first evening hike was at Cave Creek Regional Park. Ash Creek Falls. Be sure to make the hike at sunset; these buttes claim rights to the best sunset views in the Valley. You can either go up there and have a nice 10 minute walk, or go for a long trip and spend 3” more, “This is still one of my favorite hikes within the city of Phoenix that I love to frequent when in town. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is a 21,099 acre Sonoran desert park located northeast of Scottsdale (about 4 miles north of Fountain Hills). Waterfall Trail in White Tank Mountain Regional Park. And where is safe to park for the hikes? 3. Copyright © 2004–2020 Yelp Inc. Yelp, , and related marks are registered trademarks of Yelp. Careers, It wasn't an in-the-mountain cave like I expected, but super cool nevertheless. All rights reserved. With such great year-round weather, it’s impossible to not explore the Valley’s best trails. This lookout point is widely considered one of the best places to watch the sunset. Patty Jimenez: Bring a celebration snack (an orange is perfect after the tough hike) to enjoy while you get a 360 degree view of Phoenix. We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. Camelback Mountain. With an estimated elevation gain of around 1,100 feet, this hike will no doubt get your heart pumping. Feels like stairs the whole way up. This is a trail for experienced hikers. I will admit I even took a couple girls here at night back when I was a crazy high schooler to do some star gazing. Wind cave trail: Located in the Usery mountain this hike is a moderate hike with young kids. Nice hike but since it is somewhat similar to Camelback and Piestewa but 30-45+ minutes out of the center of town it didn’t make the cut. It is a separate city that is home to 200,000 people, but due to its close proximity falls under the umbrella of Phoenix. But I'm new to phoenix.. Need…, Bowling, night hike, that speakeasy with the drink they light on fire in old town, music in the garden at botanical gardens, find some live jazz, see…. Trail is only a mile to the summit and back but there is a moderate amount of elevation gain. Search for T. T.'s review (contains the address 5080 N. 40th St” more, “Hubs and I wanted to get out and go for a hike to start off our 12 year anniversary in nature. Definitely uphill the entire way and the ground is uneven. Piestewa PeakPhoenix Mountains Park and Recreational Area Park Hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (trails open until 11 p.m.) Distance: 2.4 miles round trip Level of Difficulty: Moderate Average Time: 1.5 to 2 hours. All of this will be forgotten once the views from the top come into play – they are spectacular. In Phoenix, most trailheads open at 11 p.m. and hence a moonlight hike would be a perfect adventure late in the night. For those a little skittish about being on the trails at night, a majority of this hike is on a paved road. This hike is not for the weary, still kicks my butt every single time” more, “I came on a Thursday morning, and the parking lot was somewhat full, started the hike at 11:40AM. Be sure to bring a camera, as these sunset views tend to be nothing less than outstanding. These trails are pretty close to sunnyslope which isn't the best area. Wind Cave Trail. The most popular hiking spots in Arizona include the likes of Piestewa Peak in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and the South Mountain. Yet, switchbacks the whole way up help in lessening the exhaustive blow that kind of elevation can carry. This shuttle hike starts near the popular Seven Springs area northeast of Carefree and traverses the southern edge of the Tonto National Forest, ending at the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in Cave Creek. This hike is just under 3 miles roundtrip and give yourself a generous 3 hrs for the hike if you have young children. Again it … The views on the way up are incredible (and might have you thinking less about heart rate). North Mountain is an awesome short, steep hike in north Phoenix. This is a short hike that will test your endurance with an estimated elevation gain of 600 feet in a short .82-mile trek to the summit. Hiking is a major understatement - more of a 5 min walk. As the sun sets, the desert begins to change and wildlife become much more active. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. The birds suddenly quiet as the crickets make their presence known. It is full of amenities, hiking & mountain biking trails, and view points. Papago Park is surrounded by” more, “My go to mountain every time I hike !! Instead of staying home and sitting in front of the television, you could consider traveling to find the best hikes in Phoenix, Arizona. South Mountain. It's also much more difficult than it first sounds. And if you’re looking for this to be a more romantic walk, the bridge often has lights that make a beautiful reflection off the water at night. These are challenging, educational and fun! Would highly recommend summiting before 8am during the summer because it gets HOT. But if you’re not an experienced local hiker, you can rely upon one: The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department offers ranger-guided moonlight hikes at several of its parks across the metro area. Apache Vista Loop TrailPhoenix Sonoran Preserve Park Hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you’re hiking during peak season, expect it to be pretty busy. One of the best hikes in Phoenix and reaching 3,171 feet, Pinnacle Peak trail is an amazing adventure that offers breath-taking views of McDowell Mountains and of the valley at only halfway through. At 9 miles out and back, this trail elevates you about 1,100 feet within the first mile to mile and a half. The trail does have a bit of an incline but easy enough for kids 5 and up. Yet, once you reach the towers at the top of the mountain be prepared for great views including Piestewa Peak to the East, the Estrella Mountains to the West, Lookout Mountain to the North and South Mountain to, well yes … to the south. Circulation, This short but scenic trail in Scottsdale is the most famous hike in the Phoenix area and absurdly popular. Perhaps one of the more iconic hikes around Phoenix, this 3.7-mile (6-km) trail in the McDowell Mountain Reserve weaves through lush vegetation until you reach the Thumb, a large granite bump. The Big Butte Loop Tail is accessible from the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden, and it’s just over a … The breezes hold a sense of mystery while shadows position themselves in the landscape. Support Us Best night hike in Phoenix, AZ 1. With a total elevation gain of just under 1,200 feet, this trek is a stair-stepping, switchback effort to the top. Wilderness adventures. With elevation gain peaking at around 600 feet, this trail will gradually take you up, then gently down and through a couple of drainages, slightly ascending and descending throughout. 5. If you are looking to spend a little time under the night/evening sky, this may be the trail for you. There is plenty of parking and there was plenty of trails which” more. Camelback Mountain's Echo Canyon Trail is centrally located in Phoenix and very popular. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. It is imperative that you stay on the trails and are acutely aware of your surroundings. Distance: 5.4 miles round trip Level of Difficulty: Moderate Average Time: 2.5 to 3 hours. At about the five-mile marker is where the hike begins ascending a little over 1,000 feet altogether, with almost 600 feet of it ascending to the black top mesa alone. It tends to be overly crowded, so try to avoid peak times and the inconvenience of fighting for a parking spot. Here are 3 hikes we took with our family. While this hike offers a bit more of a challenge due to its length and elevation gain, it magnificently shows off the unique desert landscape as the sun begins to fall and the desert begins to turn under the night sky. “This was such a fun and awesome hike. Can drive right up to it too if your not a hiker, in a wheelchair, elderly, etc. Add a sunset or the night lights of the city, and you’ve got a whole new experience. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls. This great city of Phoenix has three remarkable mountain preserves where there exist many trail heads leading to more than 180 miles of … Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Phoenix. What is the best night hike in Phoenix? Just 50 minutes from Downtown Phoenix, located inside of the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Tom’s Thumb Trail is an out-and-back hike that takes about two hours to complete. It is nothing short of magical up at the top with the moon casting shadows on the Western Superstitions. Contact Us, Where is the best night hike in town and where can I park (safely, without risk of tickets, tow, or taking) for the hikes? Camelback Mountain: Take on the steep ridge of Cholla Trail or the cliff-side staircase of Echo Canyon to the top of Scottsdale's local mountain. Black Top MesaSuperstition Wilderness Area Distance: 11.5 miles round trip Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced Average Time: 6 to 7 hours. Tempe Town Lake is one of the best places to take in Phoenix’s famous sunsets. Love it and obsessed with it! Night hiking is a great way to see the desert in a whole new light – or, well, darkness – and to help in forging your next evening trek, here are seven great trails for night hiking in the Phoenix metro area. Jose Armenta: The view is awesome come up to the top.... 14. It’s pretty nice to find this much solitude this close to the city. Pinnacle Peak. Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix. 1. Alta TrailSouth Mountain Regional Park Park Hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (trails open until 11 p.m.) Distance: 9 miles round trip Level of Difficulty: Moderate Average Time: 5 hours. From there, the final half-mile jaunt to the peak opens up to amazing 360-degree views of this northern region of the Valley. Pretty views and other places to explore nearby. Great photo ops. This trail is as much about the scene as the scenery, but if you want to hike the heavy hitters, this one has Kardashian-level notoriety. This trail takes the cake for best family hike. Scottsdale – Best area to stay in Phoenix for nightlife Scottsdale is a town situated 25 minutes northwest of Phoenix (and directly north of Tempe). Most valley hikes near Phoenix are best to explore from September – May due to the extreme heat. A guide to the best beginner and advanced night hiking trails in the Phoenix area, including Black Top Mesa, Holbert Trail at South Mountain, and Piestewa Peak. Elevation gain of around 1,100 feet, this may be best night hikes in phoenix trail roams the North trail Self Tour! From September – may due to the best sunset views in the Escape. 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