10 Best Hiking Trails in Arizona
The state of Arizona has some of the most diverse landscapes open to hikers.
From desert environments to high elevation peaks, there are plenty of hiking options in Arizona’s over 600 non-motorized trails.
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Hit the Trail in the Grand Canyon State
If you’re planning a hiking trip in Arizona, then this article is for you.
Below you’ll find our list of the top 10 hiking trails in Arizona.
This list isn’t arranged according to any ranking as each trail has its unique charm.
1. Broken Arrow Trail: Stunning Views All-Around
The Broken Arrow Trail is an out-and-back trail located in Coconino National Forest near Sedona, Arizona. This popular trail attracts hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers alike and is also considered to be one of the best jeep trails in the world. Dogs are also welcome on this trail but they are required to be on a leash.
Prepare to be awed by the stunning views of the unique rock formations, like Submarine Rock, and surrounding scenery. The trail also gives visitors a neat opportunity to view the local wildflowers and wildlife.
The Broken Arrow Trail is generally considered to be moderately difficult at 4.5 kilometers long and an elevation gain of 122 meters. The average completion time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. This trail is open 24-hours but the best time to visit is between 9 am to 3 pm.
2. Hieroglyphic Trail: From Hieroglyphs to Petroglyphs
The Hieroglyphic Trail can be found in Arizona’s Superstition Wilderness. Just like the first entry on this list, this trail is a moderately difficult out-and-back trail that’s 4.5 kilometers long. The average time to finish this trail is usually around 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Hiking this gently sloping trail during springtime leads you through Hieroglyphic Canyon, fields of beautiful wildflowers, then to a boulder-filled canyon before you get to the petroglyphs.
The Hieroglyphic Trail is quite popular among hikers so don’t be surprised to find some traffic along the way.
3. Cochise Stronghold Trail: Looks Can Be Deceiving
If you’re looking for a more challenging route, then the Cochise Stronghold Trail may be more to your liking. This trail is located near Dragoon, Arizona.
The way into this trail is somewhat gentler but don’t be fooled. At 14 kilometers with a moderate uphill, this trail takes around 4 hours and 13 minutes to complete. You can enter this trail either from the west or east end (where the Cochise Stronghold Campgrounds are).
This trail is quite popular among campers, bird watchers, and hikers so there’s a high chance to meet someone else on the path. The best times to visit are between October and April. You can bring your dogs along as long as they are leashed.
4. Wildcat Trail: Walk on the Wild Side
Another moderately challenging trail you can find in the Copper State is the Wildcat Trail. This trail can be found near Monument Valley and forms a 6.3-kilometer loop that takes around 1 hour and 35 minutes to complete.
If you fancy yourself an adventurer, then this hike is for you since it’s the only one in the valley you can access without a guide. That said, we still recommend bringing a guide along when you hike this trail.
The trail has some loose, sandy surfaces but, for the most part, it’s mostly clear and obstacle-free. The best times to visit are between April to October. Dogs are welcome as long as you keep them on a leash.
5. Inner Basin Trail: Hike in a Volcano
It’s not-so-common knowledge that the Inner Basin Trail is located inside what was once the caldera of an extinct ancient volcano.
The Inner Basin Trail is a moderately challenging out-and-back trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona. Expect to take about 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete all 5.5 kilometers of this walk.
This trail is quite popular among hikers so expect to encounter other hikers down the path. The best time to visit is between May to October, specifically during weekdays. You’re welcome to bring your furry best friends along so long as they’re on a leash.
6. The Devil’s Bridge Trail: Heavenly Scenery
The Devil’s Bridge Trail is located in the Sedona area of the Coconino National Forest. This out-and-back trail is considered moderately challenging and stretches 6.3 kilometers with a trailhead elevation of 4,600 feet.
If the walk towards the top doesn’t leave you breathless, the surrounding scenery will. The trail is famous for its naturally-formed sandstone arches crescendoing to the largest arch which gives the trail its name. For something called “The Devil’s Bridge”, the trail’s record-setting natural sandstone arch is heavenly to behold.
Expect to encounter other hikers along the way as this trail is very popular. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash.
7. Oak Creek’s West Fork: Avoid the Heat
Another popular trail in the Coconino National Forest is Oak Creek’s West Fork trail. This out-and-back, moderately challenging trail stretches 10.5 kilometers and takes around 2 hours and 35 minutes to complete.
The trail cuts through steep canyon walls and is semi-shaded by trees. This hike is perfect if you’re looking to avoid the Arizona heat.
Expect to find other hikers along the way as this trail is quite popular. Dogs are welcome as long as you keep them on a leash.
8. Campbell Mesa Loop: Long and Easy Loop
The Campbell Mesa Loop is a trail system located near Flagstaff, Arizona. This 8.9-kilometer loop takes around 2 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is great if you’re looking for a long easy trail.
Walking this loop leads you through beautiful seasonal wildflowers and frequent wildlife sightings, including the local birdlife.
This trail system is popular with other hikers, bird watchers, and mountain bikers so expect to encounter other people along the trail. You can bring your dog but they’re required to be on a leash and you’re required to pick up after them.
9. Superstition Ridgeline Trail: A Rite of Passage
The Superstition Ridgeline Trail is located near Apache Junction, Arizona.
Considered by many hardcore hikers to be a rite of passage in the Valley of the Sun, this point-to-point trail is 17.2 kilometers long and is generally challenging. Expect to spend, on average, 6 hours and 30 minutes to complete this trail.
This beautiful trail is open year-round and is open to visit at any time. At the end of the trail are the rewarding panoramic views from Superstition Peak – a view not many people see.
10. Bright Angel Trail: Hike at Your Own Risk
We can’t make a list of Arizona trails without including the Grand Canyon. While this wonder of the world does have several awesome trails, we had to narrow down our pick to just one – the Bright Angel Trail.
The Bright Angel Trail is, by far, the single most dangerous trail in all of Arizona. This out-and-back trail stretches 24.6 kilometers long and takes around 8 hours and 9 minutes to complete.
Whether you plan to take a short or long walk on this trail, remember that you’ll be around 6,000 feet above sea level, walking on a 6-foot wide path with no guard rails. While the Bright Angel Trail is the most popular in the Grand Canyon, it also sees the most 911 calls and rescues than any other trail.