Throughout the picturesque state of Arizona—from the majestic Grand Canyon to the hauntingly beautiful Saguaro National Park—one-of-a-kind hiking trails beckon to nature lovers of all ages. There’s no denying that the Grand Canyon State has an abundance of scenic beauty to offer. All you have to do is find the trails that will take you to the best views possible.
Here we count down seven of our favorite Arizona hiking trails that offer the very best views and are only a short drive from Phoenix or Tucson:
1. Bear Canyon Trail.
A quick drive out of downtown Tucson, Bear Canyon Trail provides a challenging hike up to Blackett’s Ridge. The six-mile round-trip trail rises 1,700 feet, past Instagram-worthy Saguaros, rocky cliff faces, and sweeping views of the city. At the summit, you’ll get to enjoy incredible 360-degree views of the city, mountains, and desert before prepping your legs for the hike down.
2. Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain.
Camelback Mountain towers over Phoenix, providing nature enthusiasts with unmatched panoramic views of northern Arizona. This trail takes you straight to the summit and is one of the highest hikes in the city. It’s just 2.4 miles out and back, but it gets tough at times. You’ll need your hands free to truly climb up a few spots, but the 2,704-foot-high summit and its 360-degree views are well worthwhile.
3. Pinnacle Peak Trail.
This 3.5-mile out-and-back trail is located in Pinnacle Peak Park, just northeast of Phoenix. The well-groomed path gradually winds up 2,750 feet, past stark rock formations and towering cacti. Near the top, you’ll enjoy incredible panoramic views of the desert below.
4. Romero Canyon Trail.
Hiking up to this oasis outside of Tucson will give you a rare glimpse of water at Romero Pools, plus spectacular views all along the trail. This popular hike is relatively easy but totals 5.65 miles out and back. When water is flowing (usually in the early spring and late summer), you’ll enjoy dipping your toes in the impressive waterfall and sandy-bottomed pool.
5. Siphon Draw Trail in Lost Dutchman State Park.
Head west out of Phoenix toward the Superstition Mountains for a six-mile round-trip hike that will really get your heart rate going—both because of the steep climb and the breathtaking views. At times, you’ll need to climb on all fours and maneuver through unmarked pieces of the trail, but the payoff is incredible: The view of Flatiron Mountain will stop you in your tracks. At the top of the trail, a nice flat clearing provides great vistas back toward Phoenix and creates the perfect spot for a hearty picnic lunch.
6. Tom’s Thumb Trailhead in McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Just outside of Scottsdale, this 4.6-mile out-and-back trail is challenging but worthwhile. The big draw here is Tom’s Thumb, an enormous thumb-shaped rock formation that’s irresistible for photo opps and is surrounded by otherworldly boulder fields. This climb is perfect for nature lovers who enjoy a good challenge—especially if you’re also craving a bit of legitimate rock climbing.
7. Tumamoc Hill.
The Tucson mountains offer spectacular opportunities to watch the sun set and rise over southern Arizona. The relatively easy hike up Tumamoc Hill winds up a paved road and only totals about three miles round-trip. When timed right, you won’t believe the gorgeous colors that the sunset or sunrise will create.
As you well know, natural splendor is one of the best parts of living in Arizona. At Adair Homes, we’re proud to be a part of the state, helping residents to build beautiful custom homes, from Phoenix to Tucson and everywhere in between. Visit your local Adair office to learn more.