Hiking is one way to expert the desert landscape in and around Phoenix. // © 2013 Visit Phoenix
Outdoor enthusiasts in Greater Phoenix, Ariz., have probably hiked Camelback Mountain, but the area offers a variety of other spectacular hiking trails as well.
Though located in the middle of the city, the Nature Trail at Piestawa Peak in Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreational Area is no mere natural stroll. This 1.5-mile hike offers a great opportunity to learn about the desert, due to informational plaques along the trail.
Located in South Mountain Park, Fat Man’s Pass makes a great family hiking outing. The trail takes its name from a 20-foot passage between smooth granite boulders that are only a foot apart in some places. Or, for a dog-friendly option, check out the Coach Whip to Sunrise Pass hike in Thunderbird Conservation Park. This two- to five-mile hike (depending on the return route) looks down on homes and golf courses from the top of the Hedgepeth Hills.
To check out some ancient petroglyphs, head to the southwest corner of the Superstition Wilderness Area to hike the Hieroglyphic Canyon Trailhead. This 2-mile hike leads to a spring where clear water pools in the rocks, next to stone cliffs with several petroglyphs carved by the Hohokam.
A Phoenix area hiking map is available online from the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.