best winter hikes in arizona - hiker overlooking canyon

4 Best Winter Hikes in Arizona

There are a wide variety of gorgeous hiking trails spanning Arizona. But hiking isn’t just a summer sport. The best time of year for hiking many Arizona trails is in the winter and spring, so you can beat the heat while you take in the stunning scenery. Here are some of the best winter hikes in Arizona to check out while the weather is cool. 

Four Best Hikes to Enjoy On a Winter Day in Arizona

1: South Mountain, Phoenix

With its expansive 16,000 acres, South Mountain is one of the largest municipal parks in the country, so there’s plenty of room to explore. If you love a challenge and want to plan an all-day excursion, the National Trail is the perfect choice at 14.3 miles. However, there are also many other more moderate trails along South Mountain to enjoy, such as the Beverly Canyon Trail which is only 1.7 miles and a great hike for dogs as well. 

2: Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa

There are over 29 miles of trails at Usery Mountain Regional Park. One of the most popular ones is the Wind Cave Trail, which is a 3.2 mile round trip. The Wind Cave is a natural arch eroded by wind that frames the winter landscape beautifully. This hike can get extremely hot in summer, so winter is the perfect time to go. 

There’s also the Merkle Trail, which is easy and short (only 1 mile long) and best viewed in the fall, winter, and spring. Dogs are welcome at both trails, as long as they are on a leash. 

3: Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, Tucson

If you’re looking for a hike with a breathtaking waterfall view, take the Bear Canyon trail to Seven Falls in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. As its name suggests, Seven Falls is home to seven gorgeous waterfalls that are well worth the trek. Late winter is a great time to go on this hike, because the falls are sure to be roaring due to melted snow. 

The hike to Seven Falls is an 8.4 miles round trip, even after you take the Bear Canyon Tram to the trailhead. The tram is an open-air, emission-free shuttle that drives the two miles to the trailhead with a few stops along the way. 

You can also take a tram to upper Sabino Canyon for the 2.5-mile Sabino Dam East Trail that’s perfect for beginners. No matter which tram you take, you can listen to an insightful audio tour along the way that explains how the canyon was formed, and tells which native plants and wildlife you can find in the area. 

4: McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale

There are plenty of trails to explore in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. One popular hike is the Granite Long Loop. This trail is an easy, family-friendly 6.1-mile hike that takes you around the majestic Granite Mountain. This trail is a beautiful hike at any time of year. 

Another favorite is Tom’s Thumb trail, which is somewhat short (3.7 miles) but challenging. The trail leads you up to Tom’s Thumb Spur, where you can take in an astonishing view of the Mcdowell Mountains and the city below. 

Start Your Estate Planning Journey

Hiking is an excellent opportunity to pause and reflect on what matters most to you. Similarly, estate planning allows you to reflect on how you want to provide for those who matter most in your life after you pass.

If you haven’t started your estate planning journey yet, contact the Phelps LaClair team. We’ve been providing Arizona families with peace of mind for over 40 years. Call 480-892-2488 today to schedule a free consultation at one of our many Arizona locations

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/4/2023).Photo by Diego Lozano on Unsplash

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