ARIZONA HIKING: 15 TOP-RATED HIKES IN ARIZONA




Thinking about go hiking in Arizona and are not sure where to start? I get you, it can be hard since Arizona has an absurd amount of hiking options – All the hikes in Arizona are unique and you cannot go wrong when you pick one (or a couple) of best hiking in Arizona to do. So I hope this guide can inspire you and help you to start planning your amazing Hiking trip to Arizona!

This guide compiles the best varieties and options to go hiking in Arizona, from the high country to the low desert, and everything in between.

There are hiking trails in Arizona that are sure to challenge you and views that are sure to amaze, including some stunning hiking in Sedona – one of the best places to hike in Arizona.

In order to optimize your time and help your research prior to choosing the best hikes in Arizona, check this guide with the most spectacular hiking in Arizona. This guide is separated by easy, moderate, and challenging hikes in Arizona.

Here you can also find all the information you need for planning for your trip to make sure you are well-prepared while hiking in Arizona. 

This guide is illustrated with stunning pictures of the best hikes in Arizona, and also, has all the practical information you need to choose your bucket-list hiking for your next adventure vacation in Arizona. 

Many of these hikes are easy and can be done by anyone. A couple of the hikes are epic and I recommend following a Plan for Hiking Fitness preparation prior to attempting any long or challenging hike. 

Plan your next adventure with this complete list of best hikes in Arizona and safe travels. 

Hikes in Arizona breathtaking landscape
Hiking trails in Arizona

BEST ARIZONA HIKES OVERVIEW

EASY HIKESINTERMEDIATE HIKES DIFFICULT HIKES
HORSESHOE BENDTHE WAVEBRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL
ANTELOPE CANYONHAVASU FALLSSOUTH KAIBAB TRAIL
CAPE FINALDEVIL BRIDGESEVEN FALLS
CANYON DE CHELLYWILDCAT TRAIL
BLUE MESA TRAILECHO CANYON LOOP
OAK CREEK
SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO

PRACTICAL INFORMATION BEFORE YOU GO HIKING IN ARIZONA

Before jumping into the Best hikes in Arizona, I would like to review some practical information to help you to plan and prepare for your amazing trip to Arizona.

If you are going to travel to Arizona, pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for, will help to make your travels far more successful and safe.

In this section, you will final all the essentials to plan a fun trip and to have the best time when you go hiking in Arizona:

10 ESSENTIAL TIPS BEFORE YOU GO HIKE IN ARIZONA

  1. Start Early: the afternoon heat is much more punishing than the morning. Also, to avoid traffic. 
  2. Get a Red Rock Pass for hiking in Sedona: You will need a Red Rock Pass in order to go hiking in Sedona.
  3. Navigation is Important: Arizona has a lot of dead zones, so please do not rely on cell service. 
  4. Difficult Hiking Trails: “Difficult Hiking Trails” are characterized by steep elevations, increasingly difficult terrain, and longer distances. Experienced hikers should only attempt these trails
  5. Be physically prepared:  Many of these hikes are easy and can be done by anyone. A couple of the hikes are epic and I recommend following a Plan for Hiking Fitness preparation prior to attempting any long or challenging hike. 
  6. Bring plenty of water: Remember you will outdoors in the sun you will need to drink a lot of water. My LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle. has been my life safer I can refill this bottle anywhere and it comes with a carabiner to connect it to my daypack
  7. Be Aware of the Wildlife: Snakes, spiders, and scorpions all come with their own threats and have their own treatments. Make sure you know how to identify the dangerous creatures and what to do in case they decide to make you their prey. I recommend carrying bear spray with you. 
  8. Check the Weather:  Especially in the summer and monsoon seasons. Be sure to check the weather for your intended location, as well as the surrounding areas. The weather can change very quickly in the desert, with storms rolling in with little to no warning
  9. Travel safe: Don’t forget to buy Travel Insurance. Considering that anything can go wrong with any trip, we don’t want to risk the fun, right? 
  10. Leave no Trace: Be a responsible traveler, it is all about enjoying nature and ensure you help to preserve the environment. 

GETTING TO ARIZONA

Arizona is the sixth largest state in the US and is a fast-growing state. As a result, it attracts many people from all over the world. It is therefore not surprising that airports in Arizona receive a large number of national and international visitors.

The Arizona International Airports are the Laughlin Bullhead International Airport, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the Tucson International Airport, the Yuma International Airport, the Bisbee Douglas International Airport, and the Nogales International Airport. Other major airports are Duncan, Grand Canyon Village, Marble Canyon, Page and Kayenta, and Sierra Vista.

There are many options for flights going to Arizona. I recommend downloading the app to compare prices to find the best options for you.

WHERE TO STAY IN ARIZONA

Arizona offers a large variety of options of places to stay – Hotels, Motels, Resorts, B&B, Cabins, RV camping, Hostel, and vacation rental homes – it only depends on your budget and personal preference. 

Check here for some amazing options of places to stay in Arizona:

SEDONA: The are great places to stay in Sedona like the amazing Casa Sedona Inn or another great option is the Junipine Resort

TUCSON: I recommend staying at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort or Canyon View if you are staying in Tucson

FLAGSTAFF: There is a nice Drury Inn & Suites in Flagstaff, or you can stay at the Sonesta ES Suites for a nice stay at Flagstaff.

PHOENIX: There are tons of hotel choices in Phoenix, including and the Hampton Inn Phoneix Midtown Downtown and the Westbng Phoenix Downton for great locations.

PAGE: Great options to stay on Page are Day Inn & Suites by Wyndham Page Lake Power to stay nearby main attractions and another great option is this Modern Home close to Lake Powel and hiking.

GETTING AROUND ARIZONA

Arizona is a big state (the sixth-largest), and because many of the state’s top attractions are national parks, national monuments, and other natural areas, a car is almost a necessity for getting the most out of a visit to the state.

Because Phoenix and Tucson are major resort destinations, both have numerous car-rental agencies. Rental rates in Tucson can be a bit lower than in Phoenix, and you’ll save even more there on taxes and surcharges—in Phoenix, taxes, and surcharges add more than 50% to rental car costs if you rent at the airport; in Tucson, you’ll probably pay $5 to $10 less per day. I recommend comparing prices before you rent a car in Arizona.

If you’re heading out of a city, keep your gas tank topped off. In many parts of the state, it’s not unusual to drive 60 miles without seeing a gas station. In Arizona, a right turn on a red light is permitted after a complete stop. Seat belts are required for the driver and for all passengers. 

WHEN TO GO HIKING IN ARIZONA

Arizona is a year-round destination, although people head to different parts of the state at different times of the year:

March-May: Can be a fantastic period with its pleasant temperatures and unbelievable blooms. This is when the number of visitors slowly starts to rise, but you can still make it to peaceful Antelope Canyon to catch a sunset.

SUMMER: Arizona is hot and crowded, and many attractions are packed shoulder to shoulder with visitors. So it’s better to inhale the fresh air by Cibecue, Havasu, or Tanque Verde Falls.

SPRING & FALL: This is a joyful time to head to Arizona with warm weather and plenty to do.

WINTER: If you’d prefer to save some money or can’t stand messing with crowds, numerous light parades and festivals will happily welcome you.

HIKING IN ARIZONA MUST-PACK ITEMS

Wear sturdy shoes for hiking: The most important thing is to protect your feet and avoid twisting your ankle and get injured. I recommend investing in a good hiking boots brand such as Teva, Salomon, or even Keens

Moisture-wicking clothing: These clothes help to pull the sweat away from your body and stay cool and dry during your hiking such as light hiking pants & long sleeves shirts

Bring a light jacket: Early morning or late night can get cold in the Sedona desert, so it is important to bring layers and a light jacket is always a must!

Packing for winter hiking: During winter it is cold, so make sure to have a good quality hiking jacket and pack a warm pair of pants for your hiking/ 

Wear a hat and sunglasses: It is always important to protect yourself against the sun. Bring a hat with a good face cover like this one and wear a don’t forget to pack a pair of polarized sunglasses

Bring along some food or snacks: Eating on trails is prohibited (with good reason), but it’s a good idea to pack trail mix or cereal bars to munch on at visitor centers or in the car.

Bring your Camera: The Everglades landscape and wildlife are incredible, so don’t forget your camera, or check some great options for great value here

PACK SMART ALERT!

If you are planning to carry a backpack during your hiking in Arizona I have compiled a very detailed review of the Best Backpacks for Travel in the market today – Also, it doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter, you will need a good jacket to go hike in Arizona, so check my complete review guide on the Top Jackets for Travel and pack smart!

EASY HIKES IN ARIZONA

1) HORSESHOE BEND – Easy Arizona hiking with breathtaking views

  • LOCATION: South of Page
  • DISTANCE: 1.4 miles
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy
  • BEST FOR: Breathtaking views of the cliff and the Colorado River
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best option and aviability
Horseshoe Canyon Hiking in Arizona

Let’s start this list of the best places to go hiking in Arizona with Horseshoe Bend. One of those wonders was carved out over millennia by the waters of the Colorado River as it made its way down through the Grand Canyon.

The hike will start from the parking lot and is extremely easy to follow. The first part of the trail up to the gazebo is all uphill, but it is a gentle climb. Dogs are also able to use this trail, but they must be kept on a leash all the time. 

To visit and hike the Horseshoe Bend you need to pay the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area fee of $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are visiting by bike or foot, the fee is $15 per person. Or you can always purchase the National Park annual pass for $55.

You can also see the amazing views of the Horseshoe Bend from helicopter flights.

The afternoons and evenings are the best times to take pictures of Horseshoe Bend. Since the bend is so wide, you’ll want to have a wide-angle lens to fit the entire bend in your photograph, although pretty much any picture taken there will be impressive. Check Hotel Deals in Page

2) ANTELOPE CANYON: One of the most fascinating hikes in Arizona

  • LOCATION: Page
  • DISTANCE: 0.3 mile (Upper Antelope Canyon), 1.1 miles (Lower Antelope Canyon)
  • DIFFICULTY: easy (Upper Antelope Canyon), intermediate (Lower Antelope Canyon)
  • BEST FOR: colorful sandstone
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Hiking Antelope Canyon Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Ellie from Ellie’s Travel Tips

Known by the Navajo as “the place where water runs through rocks”, Antelope Canyon was formed over the course of hundreds of years by water running through the delicate sandstone.

With the upper section of the canyon sitting at around 4,000 feet above sea level, the nooks and crannies are remarkably intricate.

Hikes during mid-day will pay off with extraordinary sights as the sun shines through the sandstone shafts, illuminating the canyon’s gold and orange walls. This effect has been captured by some of the world’s most famous photographers, making Antelope Canyon one of the most sought-after destinations in the world.

There are two hikes offered at Antelope Canyon—Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon.

Upper Antelope Canyon, sitting at ground level, is the most popular entrance to the park. This hike is quite simple and accommodates thousands of visitors every year and it is recommended to book in advance.

The Lower Antelope Canyon requires walking up and down several flights of stairs and ladders found throughout the canyon. While the lower loop is more challenging than the upper, it is definitely worth the effort for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Check Hotel Deals in Page

3) CAPE FINAL: A hidden-gem Arizona hiking trail

  • LOCATION: Fredonia
  • DISTANCE: 4 miles round trip
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy
  • BEST FOR: The best barrier-free views of the Grand Canyon (seriously!) without any crowds around.
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Cape Final Best Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Meg from Fox in the Forest

If you’re in the mood to experience some of the most astounding views of the Grand Canyon without having to share them without anyone else, then the Cape Final hike in the North Rim is just what you’re looking for.  

Despite it being a relatively easy hike with plenty of sweeping views to match, this hike still remains a little bit of a hidden gem in Arizona and it’s my go-to recommendation for anyone who wants to avoid the heaps of people that you’re bound to find in most other Grand Canyon trails. 

As you make your way to Cape Final, you’ll get to hike along the rim of the canyon and get treated to some of the most insane barrier-free vistas

Moreover, you’ll have Jupiter and Vishnu Temples (two prominent peaks) and the awe-inspiring views of the eastern rim in the backdrop. What’s best? The remote location means not many people know about Cape Final, and you’ll likely only have to share the trail with a handful of people! 

At the end of the trail, there’s a campsite that offers THE best views of the Grand Canyon thanks to its exclusive location right on the rim. Note that you’ll need to snag a permit in advance to spend the night at the Cape Final campsite.  Check Hotel Deals in Grand Canyon

4) CANYON DE CHELLY: The opportunity to go hiking with a Native American guide

  • LOCATION: Near Chinle
  • DISTANCE: 2.7 miles
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy
  • BEST FOR: gorgeous canyon views and Native American ruins
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Canyon de Chelly Best Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Sam from My Flying Leap

In the northeastern part of Arizona outside of the typical tourist path is the breathtaking Canyon de Chelly.

It’s located next to the town of Chinle on Native American lands. 

You are required to have a local approved guide to enter the canyon except for a few trails you can hike on your own. Stop at the visitor’s center for information. 

Drive the rim and stop at the pullouts for the stunning views of Canyon de Chelly.

The Spider Rock Overlook offers one of the most spectacular views in the canyon of the Spider Rock spire. Hike the White House Trail to visit the White House ruin.

You can also hike the Sliding House Overlook trail to see a cliff-dwelling ruin high in the canyon wall.

Don’t miss the opportunity to go into the canyon with a guide. Not only do you get amazing views from hiking inside the canyon, but you’ll get to know about the local people and how they live.

If you’re really lucky, you may even get invited home to meet some of the family! Check Hotel Deals in Chinle

5) BLUE MESA TRAIL: Hike the Petrified Forest

Blue Mesa Trail Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Ale from Sea Salt and Fog

Petrified Forest National Park is one of the most underrated of our park system, which means it’s likely you’ll have gorgeous hiking trails all to yourself. One of these hidden gems is the Blue Mesa trail

This trail is a short loop that begins with a steep descent into the badlands of the park. Here you’ll be surrounded by a sea of purple and blue soft earth rising above you – the badlands.

Look up and you’ll notice the bands of colors that make this trail unique. Some of the badlands are striped with blues and purples.

In others, you’ll see coral stripes at the top. These wrinkly hills are incredibly picturesque, especially in the early morning light. 

Plus, you’ll come across petrified wood, for which the park is named. Millions of years ago, a forest of trees used to stand where you’ll be standing.

These beautiful, crystallized logs of wood remain, some so perfectly cut that it boggles the mind that they were done by nature. 

Note that there’s no shade on the trail, so bring a hiking hat. While the trail is fairly easy, the steep descent at the beginning means you’ll have a steep climb on the way back. Check Hotel Deals in Holbrook

6) OAK CREEK: Hiking trails in Arizona to enjoy the nature

  • LOCATION: Between Sedona and Flagstaff
  • DISTANCE: 2 miles round-trip
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy
  • BEST FOR: Incredible views of the creek
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability

CONTRIBUTED BY: Tatiana from Family Road Trip Guru

An amazing to-go hike in Arizona is Oak Creek, and it is a must-do if you looking for things to do in Flagstaff.

Oak Creek Canyon is a beautiful river gorge (formed by Oak Creek) located in Northern Arizona between Sedona and Flagstaff. It is a wonderful place to hike in Arizona for many reasons.

First of all, the canyon is truly gorgeous and it is sometimes called a Younger Brother of Grand Canyon. Secondly, The Creek does not dry out during the dry season so it is a year-round destination. Since the Creek runs in the forest, there is a lot of shade to hide from the intense Arizona sun.

Finally, Oak Creek Canyon is also great for seeing wildlife, especially birds, including magnificent blue herons.

Oak Creek runs along HW 89A and there are many options to stop and start hiking. The trails with the best views run along the Creek.

We hiked from Cave Springs Campground. The trail in this area is easy. You can hike half a mile along the Creek and then connect to West Fork Trail which is 3.3 miles long.

Even if the campground itself is closed you can park along HW 89A and walk from there or park directly at West Fork trailhead. Check Hotel Deals in Flagstaff

7) SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO: Arizona hike trail in the Lava Flow

  • LOCATION: Flagstaff
  • DISTANCE: 1 mile (1.6 km) round trip
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy
  • BEST FOR: Enjoy views of viewing Sunset Crater Volcano, the Bonito Lava Flow
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Sunset Crater Volcano Best Hiking in Arizona

One of the most unique hikes in Arizona is located on Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument which is located less than 25 miles north of Flagstaff Arizona, off-highway 89 – one of the main routes to the Grand Canyon. It is an easy stop and even if you only have a couple of hours.

One of the highlights of visiting Sunset Crater is exploring the Lava Flow Trail. While exploring the trail you can see lava “Squeeze ups”, spatter cones, and lava bubbles.

There is no climbing allowed on Sunset Crater Volcano itself. You can climb the one-mile-long Lenox Crater Trail to hike up a cinder cone within the park.

There isn’t a lot of hiking, but each hike is different. Other options to hike are Bonita Vista Trail (0.3 miles), A’A Trail (1.6 miles), Lava’s Edge Trail (3.4 miles)

Get started on the hike from the parking lot. The first quarter-mile is paved and very easy to walk. The rest of the trail takes you to the base of the volcano through lava flows and tubes. This is an incredible landscape to take in along your hike. Check Hotel Deals in Flagstaff

INTERMEDIATE HIKES IN ARIZONA

8) THE WAVE: One of the most epic hikes in Arizona

  • LOCATION: Half way between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah
  • DISTANCE: 8 miles round trip
  • DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
  • BEST FOR: Epic sandstone views
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
The Wave Hike in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Lauren from Ready, Set PTO

The Wave is one of the most epic places to hike to in Arizona. This bucket-list destination is known for its beautiful red and orange wave-like sandstone formations. It’s absolutely amazing!

However, you must be the lucky winner of the permit lottery to be able to hike to this epic spot. Each day, 64 people are allotted permits to hike there – 48 through the online lottery, and 16 through the walk-up lottery.

You can apply to the online lottery 4 months in advance, or you can show up at the Grand Staircase Escalante Visitor Center in Kanab, UT the day prior to trying your chance at the walk-in lottery.

The hike itself is about 8 miles round trip, starting from the Wirepass Trailhead. It’s about a 1-hour drive to the trailhead from the town of Kanab. While the hike isn’t super strenuous, it can be hard to navigate as there is little signage on the trail.

I highly recommend hiring a local guide (like Dreamland Safaris) to do the hike with if you aren’t super skilled with route-finding.  Once you reach The Wave, it’s time for some awesome photo-ops! It seriously looks like another planet up there. It’s stunning!  Check Hotel Deals in Page

9) HAVASU FALLS – A phenomenal hike in Arizona with a waterfall

  • LOCATION: Havasupai Reservation in the Grand Canyon (4-hour drive from Las Vegas)
  • DISTANCE: 25 miles round-trip
  • DIFFICULTY: Intermediate to Difficult
  • BEST FOR: Incredible Waterfalls
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Havasu Falls Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Allison from She Dreams of Alpine

Havasu Falls is not only one of the best hikes in Arizona, but it is seriously one of the best hikes anywhere!

It has become one of the most popular hikes in the United States, thanks to the incredible waterfalls you will find in this desert oasis. Because it is so popular, you have to plan well in advance to even have a chance to get permits in the annual lottery, but it’s totally worth the effort.

The Havasu Falls hike is located in the Grand Canyon on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, which is the most remote village in the US.

A permit and campground reservation are required for the hike, so be prepared to backpack the trail. The hike is 10 miles, and you will be rewarded with a truly breathtaking view of the stunning turquoise waterfalls contrasting against the red sandstone of the landscape.

You can book your accommodation at one of the closest hotels to the Havasu Falls Trailhead, or alternatively, you stay at Havasupai Campground or Lodge. The campground reservation is for three nights, which will give you plenty of time to hike around to all five waterfalls and splash in the water to cool off from the desert heat.

This unique hike is absolutely worth all of the hype, so add Havasu Falls high on your list of hikes to do in Arizona! Check Hotel Deals

10) DEVILS BRIDGE: The most incredible hike in Sedona

  • LOCATION: Sedona
  • DISTANCE: 2-4.6 miles, depending on which trailhead you start from
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy/ Intermediate
  • BEST FOR: Red rocks of Sedona and a natural arch
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Devil's Bridge Best Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Allison from Eternal Arrival

One of the best hikes in Arizona is located amidst the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona: the Devil’s Bridge.  This often-photographed natural arch is a beautiful endpoint to the hike. 

I suggest waking up early to avoid the crowds as this Instagram-famous hike is often quite crowded, especially since Sedona is a popular destination for tourists in Arizona.  

To hike to Devil’s Bridge, you can start at either the Dry Creek Vista Trailhead or the Mescal Trailhead, which then meet up with the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead. It’s possible to start at the Devil’s Bridge trailhead and shave some hiking distance off the trip for a 2-mile round trip hike, but you’ll need a 4×4 car to do so.  

Be sure to bring plenty of water especially if hiking in the summer, and if you are hiking in the winter, be sure to bring proper footwear with good grip or Yaktrax as the trail can often get icy. Check Hotel Deals in Sedona

11) WILDCAT TRAIL: Incredible hiking in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

  • LOCATION: The View complex, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
  • DISTANCE: 3.6 miles/ 5.8 km
  • DIFFICULTY: Intermediate because of the soft sand hill at the end, but mostly easy
  • BEST FOR: Hiking around West Mitten butte and other views of Monument Valley
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Wildcat Trail Best Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: James from Parks Collecting

Monument Valley is the quintessential classic wild west scenery. It is on Navajo land and is officially the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.  For this reason, the Wildcat Trail is the only hike in Monument Valley that you can do without a Navajo guide. 

The trail leaves from near the campground at The View.  At the start, there are panoramic views of much of Monument Valley.  

After a short and somewhat steep descent down soft sand dunes, the trail heads out towards the nearest butte, West Mitten.  For the most part, though, the trail is fairly flat and easy to follow.  

It passes fragrant sagebrush and dips down into a sandy wash at one point.  The hike gives the unique opportunity of seeing West Mitten up close and from all directions.  Seeing its shape change as you circle around is fascinating.  Even more amazing?  In the late afternoon sun, West Mitten glows such a bright orange that it looks like it is covered in molten lava. 

For most of the year, the trail is closed between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm due to the dangers of extreme heat in summer. 

You should register at the Visitor Center before heading out, and take lots of water.  This is the desert, there is virtually no shade, and dehydration is a real risk. The trail itself is free, but there is a fee to enter Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Check Hotel Deals in Monument Valley

12) ECHO CANYON LOOP: Incredible hiking at Chiricahua National Monument

  • LOCATION: Outside Willcox
  • DISTANCE: 3.3 miles round-trip
  • DIFFICULTY: Moderate, some steep sections
  • BEST FOR: Rock formations
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Echo Canyon Best Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Becky from Sight DOING

In the southeastern corner of Arizona, there’s a canyon full of hoodoos, unlike anything you’ll see in the rest of the state. Chiricahua National Monument was formed 27 million years ago by volcanic ash that has slowly eroded into otherworldly shapes and you can see some of the best ones along the Echo Canyon Loop. 

The Echo Canyon Loop combines three of Chiricahua’s best trails into a single loop that takes most visitors about 1.5-2 hours to complete. Most of the trail is only moderately strenuous, especially if you walk counterclockwise, although there are a few steep sections. 

Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of spectacular rock formations, including close-up sections in an area known as “the grottoes”. In addition to the pillars, you’ll see desert life at its best. Keep your eyes peeled for yuccas, agave plants, and prickly pear cactus. If you’re lucky, you may also see white-tailed deer or even black bears. 

Hikers that want to explore more can extend their trek: the loop intersects other popular (but more strenuous) routes including trails to Mushroom Rock, Big Balanced Rock, and the Heart of Rocks. Check Hotel Deals in Wilcox

DIFFICULT HIKES IN ARIZONA

13) BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL: The Most well-known trail from the South Rim of Grand Canyon

  • LOCATION: South Rim of Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon Village)
  • DISTANCE: 9.9 miles/ 15.9 km each way
  • DIFFICULTY: Difficult
  • BEST FOR: Hiking below the rim of Grand Canyon
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Bright Angel Trail Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: James from Parks Collecting

Pictures of Grand Canyon do not do their grandeur and sheer size justice. Most people see it from the rim, but experiencing it from inside and being surrounded by the canyon walls gives a whole new perspective. Another great way to see the amazing views is to go on a helicopter flight.

The Bright Angel Trail is the most well-known trail from the South Rim of Grand Canyon down to the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. 

The trail passes through a tunnel cut through the rock and proceeds down four sets of steep switchbacks, before crossing a suspension bridge over the river and ending at Phantom Ranch. 

If you wish to hike the entire length, you will need to stay inside the canyon, either at Phantom Ranch (cabins and dorms) or a campground.  Reservations are difficult to get, but if you can, this is a unique experience that few visitors to Grand Canyon have. 

There are several lodges in Grand Canyon Village.  The best is El Tovar, which you can easily book on Airbnb. There are also plenty of hotels in Tusayan, just outside the park.  The Grand Hotel is a good choice.

If you are doing this as a day hike, then the last point to turn back is Indian Garden, about halfway down. Indian Garden has trees, picnic tables, natural spring water, and even the remains of ancient structures built by Native Americans, who also had the garden that gives the area its current name. It’s a great place for lunch.  

Along the way, there are also 1.5-Mile Resthouse and 3-Mile Resthouse, where you can stop, hydrate, and rest before either turning back or continuing on. 

Being surrounded by the towering walls of the canyon is a truly awe-inspiring experience.  However, you will need a reasonable level of fitness for the hike.   Check Hotel Deals in Grand Canyon

14) SOUTH KAIBAB TRAIL: A classic Grand Canyon Hike

  • LOCATION: Grand Canyon National Park
  • DISTANCE: Total length varies from 1.8 to 6 miles long
  • DIFFICULTY: This hike can be moderate or challenging
  • BEST FOR: Epic panoramic views of the Grand Canyon
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
South Kaibab Trail Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Jessica from Uprooted Traveler

The Grand Canyon has always been a beacon for tourists.

In years past, private individuals, who owned parts of the park, charged a toll for visitors to hike on some of its trails, like its famous Bright Angel hike.

In 1924, in an effort to circumvent these privately owned trails, the National Park Service constructed the South Kaibab trail.

Even after legal battles resolved the tolling issue along the former privately-owned trails, the South Kaibab trail remains one of the most preeminent hikes in the park, taking visitors from the canyon’s rim and down, via a series of switchbacks, into the belly of the canyon.

Several viewpoints along the way, like Ooh-Aah Point and Skeleton Point, offer sweeping panoramic views of the canyon and, from the latter viewpoint, a peek at the Colorado River below, making this trail not-to-be-missed during any stop in the park. Check Hotel Deals in Grand Canyon

15) SEVEN FALLS: One of the hikes in Arizona with waterfalls views

  • LOCATION: Tucson
  • DISTANCE: First option is 7.9 km / 4.8 miles – Second option is 13.7 km / 8.5 miles
  • DIFFICULTY: First option is moderate and the second option is difficult
  • BEST FOR: Unique cacti views
  • ACCOMMODATION: Check best options and aviability
Seven Falls Best Hiking in Arizona

CONTRIBUTED BY: Josefine & Dominik from Red White Adventurers

Another incredible hiking in Arizona, 7 Falls is located right outside of Tucson and begins in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. This is where you can park your car, or hire a local guide, use the restroom and prepare for the hike.

One of the special things about hiking in Tucson and specifically the 7 Falls trail is the amount of Saguaro Cacti you will see along the trail.

This specific cactus can only be found in three places in the whole world; Mexico, California, and right here in Arizona.

The trail itself is easy to follow but we recommend you take the shuttle to the starting point. From there the trail is well marked and easy to follow.

If you are lucky enough you may even see a waterfall at the end of the hike. Depending on the season and the weather it may or may not be possible though.  Check Hotel Deals in Tucson

TRAVEL INSURANCE: SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE

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World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.

Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT HIKING IN ARIZONA

I hope you had some amazing ideas about the best hikes in Arizona and all the tips you need for hiking in Arizona safely. Arizona state definitely is a paradise for hikers, and some of the most challenging, and also, stunning hikes in the Country.

The hikes in Arizona are all unique, and I recommend you choose a couple of options in order to experience the best opportunities for physical challenges, amazing views, and incredible experiences. You won’t regret your option to take a trip to Arizona and get the opportunity to hike here.

If you have any further questions, just leave a comment below and I would love to connect with you to talk about my favorite topic: Travel!

Sedona Hikes
Sedona hiking trail

WHAT IS NEXT

Here is some further information I think you might enjoy if you are planning to go hiking in Arizona:

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14 thoughts on “15 Best Places to go Hiking in Arizona |From Easy to Challenging hikes in Arizona + Tips

    • Paula Martinelli says:

      That is fantastic Tanya – Hike Grand Canyon from rim to rim sounds like a perfect adventure. Curious to hear how it goes

  1. Krista says:

    Thanks for narrowing down all of the best hiking spots in Arizona! There are a lot so I wouldn’t even know where to start – now I do!

    • Paula Martinelli says:

      So glad to hear it Krista – Yes, this guide is a great start point, if you are looking for incredible hikes in Arizona.

    • Paula Martinelli says:

      Taylor, I absolutely loved Page – I had planned to spend 1 day and end up staying for 4 days and still, didn’t explore everything I wanted.

  2. galatia savva says:

    Wow Paula, this is beautiful! Antelope Canyon reminds me of the lost city of Petra in Jordan! Havasu Falls looks like something I would immensely enjoy! Thank you for putting this list together!

    • Paula Martinelli says:

      Really Tia? I didn’t realize that the Antelope Canyon can remind of Petra, this is awesome. Arizona is full of surprises and the nature is so unique and fantastic.

    • Paula Martinelli says:

      Isn’t it amazing Anna? I cannot wait to go back to Arizona and continue to explore around. It is such an incredible state.

  3. Stefanie says:

    I love Sedona! We’ve been traveling from Oregon to Arizona last winter and Sedona was truly a highlight of our road trip. It’s so underrated (at least outside of the US I feel people don’t know it…) There’s definitely so much more to explore in Arizona and am looking forward to our Arizona/Utah trip next year.

    • Paula Martinelli says:

      I know! Sedona is truly amazing! I wish you a fantastic trip to Arizona and Utah – I am just back from a road trip on a RV with my dogs, and we had the best time. What a gorgeous part of the US to explore.

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