Arizona Hiking Trails

Arizona Hiking TrailsArizona Hiking Trails traverse many areas in the Chiricahua Mountains in SE Arizona
Joshua Tree Forest AZHike a Trail off of the Joshua Tree Parkway

Hiking trails throughout AZ will suit your needs! Whatever your particular expectations for hiking - Arizona has it!

  • Mountains
  • Desert
  • Riparian
  • Through meadows
  • In forests
  • Along lakes or rivers
  • Into wilderness
  • Onto high plains

How long do you want to hike? Arizona hiking trails give you a choice of short, medium or long hikes.

How challenging do you like your hikes? You can choose AZ trails that are...

  • Difficult hikes
  • Medium strenuous hikes
  • Easy hikes
  • Super easy hikes - like a stroll!

What is your hiking experience? AZ has trails to meet your expectations - no matter your prior experience!

  • Trails for experienced hikers
  • Trails for moderately-versed hikers
  • Trails for beginners
  • Trails for true novices

Come to Arizona for an incomparable hiking experience! You'll like what you find. You'll have a fantastic experience!

Arizona Hiking Trails by Micro-Climate and Terrain

Hikes in desert mountainsFrom Hiking the Desert Trails - Unique Scenic Views All Around!

Arizona's terrain includes a lot of desert areas. But the setting changes depending on your location. The temperature and rainfall make the landscapes of Arizona quite varied!

The elevations go from a little above sea level to mountains over 12,000 ft.  Rainfall often comes in extremes. There are very dry months with nearly none, to rainy monsoon and stormy winter months.

Elevation's Effects

Yes, Arizona's weather pattern is unique - see more here! You'll find plant-life sustained here unusual and amazing. That's what makes hiking in Arizona so wonderful!

Climb in elevation along a trail. The temperature generally drops about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit for each 1000 ft upward. Yet the sunlight still has a warming effect. Especially true when facing South-West.

A cooling effect happens going downhill in North-East sloping small canyons. They direct heavier cool air within them. Keep this in mind - and prepare with layered clothing.

Arizona Hiking in Ponderosa ForestTo Higher Elevation Trails Through Ponderosa Pine Forests!

Desert Climes

AZ has 3 basic desert micro-climates. These ecological areas have different average temperatures and elevations. This influences each area's plant-life. That in turn affects the animals that prefer the area, to some degree. We can describe them based on elevations:

  • Low Desert
  • Intermediate Desert - Generally has the most varied plant-life. Home of the Saguaro Cactus
  • High Desert

Mountain Climes

AZ then has different mountain climates. Their ecology varies by elevation. The elevation affects temperature averages and rainfall/snowfall. That in turn affects plant life, which attracts specific wild-life.

With such variety within one state, you decide on the type of hiking experience you'd like! Whatever you decide - you're sure to have magnificent scenery and wonderful memories. 

The essential foundation for hiking in AZ is to know your terrain and be prepared for any extremes you may encounter.

We have useful tips, and hiking adventures for you here...

Hiking Trips

Ready to plan a day of hiking? It's your choice of many interesting, unique and scenic areas. Arizona hiking trails will not disappoint!!

We've itemized hikes for you according to the terrain. Then categorized according to the length of the hike and/or the difficulty.

The hikes here span a day or less. You can drive in to a trail head, park, and then head back. Some of them include entrance to a park, with a fee. Others don't. See our suggestions: Available here>

Back-Country Hiking

If and/or when you're ready to up your hiking effort, there are options for you. Some are way "off the beaten path" - to those that are popular (because they're so very fantastic!). [Back-Country Details Here]

Prepare well, and you won't be disappointed...

Here's help with your preparation! One thing is arranging your pack. Good tips for you: Read more here> 

A terrific book for back-country hiking is written by Chris Townsend. He's very experienced! He explains things quite logically, in a step-by-step manner. It's a good read if you're new to back-packing. Or if you have some trips under your belt - but want to get some good advice!
Reasonably priced latest edition: The Backpacker's Handbook, 4th Edition.

Check information on back-country trail choices at the Grand Canyon by clicking here >

There's a lot to know and prepare for when choosing the trail not often traveled! But back-country hiking has its rewards, for sure! Read more here>

Another thing is finding the right campsites. There are so many! They can be a starting point for choosing a trail, or beginning a vacation. Campsites can be free, or nearly so - and have good access to great hiking. I love the book we purchased to find these sites. It's called Guide to Free Campgrounds We're just so glad we have this book. It's invaluable! Well organized, with great informative details that you need.

Hiking Vacations

Are you the super hiking enthusiast? Maybe you want to plan your trip fully around your hikes. Why not make it convenient to do that? Planning for Arizona hiking trails as the main event for your trip could make it a great vacation! 

One idea is to plan your vacation around the Grand Canyon. AZ is the Grand Canyon State - after all! Let's see on a map where it's located...

If you know the approximate location of Las Vegas - well the Grand Canyon is over the border into AZ! Flagstaff is the nearest major AZ town. You can fly into the largest AZ hub of Phoenix. It's about 2 to 3 hours South of Flagstaff.

What about hiking the Grand Canyon? There are hiking areas to suit everyone - from the most rugged hiker, to the family outing. See the details - more here >

All around the state are super Arizona hiking trails. You can find one to plan a hiking centered vacation!

Other Helpful Hiking Tips

Hiking requires preparation, for sure. Here's assistance in your planning to get on some Arizona hiking trails. Check it out...

  • Backpacking checklist - Do you plan on making your hike into a backpacking trip? Efficient packing is needed. Make sure to have essentials, but not over-pack. See helpful check-lists here >
  • Hiking maps - Some trails are confusing. Signage can help. But sometimes it's gone or has never been placed! Forks in the road can confound you! A map can help. In the back-country maps are needed. Essential tips here>
  • Hiking for kids - With a family, do you have to avoid hiking trips? Not really! You may have to adjust them. Plan to get the kids involved! Here are tips on how to do that! See them: click here >
  • Backpacking tours - Hiking into some areas with a guide is a good idea. Someone who is very knowledgeable about Arizona hiking trails and the area adds to your trip! They can even provide a lot of your needs, if that is the way you want to go!