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Camelback Mountain

Cholla Trail

6131 E Cholla Ln, Paradise Valley

This 1.5 mile hike to the summit is strenuous and steep and demands some athletic ability—and remember, it’s another 1.5 miles back down. Dogs are allowed on this trail and views include nature, mountainside estates, and The Phoenician Resort’s pool. Painted blue dots mark the trail where hand-over-foot scrambling along the rocky ridgeline becomes necessary. Be sure to descend the same trail, unless you wish to extend your workout with a neighborhood cruise back to the car from the other summit trailhead, Echo Canyon.
Length: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Difficult

Echo Canyon Trail

4925 E McDonald Dr, Phoenix

This is one of the most popular trails in the metro area mainly due to the serious workout it offers. Although the trail is slightly shorter than a mile and a quarter, its formidable incline makes for some intense lower body cardio and strength training. The trail leads to, then hugs, the “camel’s head,” and continues with a steep and steady incline along the “camel’s hump” to the 2,704 foot summit. Descend the same route.
Length: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous

Tom’s Thumb Trail

23015 N 128th St, Scottsdale

Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve is like no other place in the Valley. It is unique geologically. It is home to stunning geography, lush cacti forests and diverse wildlife. It features award-winning trails and facilities. Now is a great time to explore the preserve, stretched across 21,400 scenic acres of Scottsdale. This new amenity lets you access the northern reaches of the McDowell Mountains and 5 miles of new multi-use trails, including the Marcus Landslide Interpretive Trail. No Water available. Parking is free.
Length: 5 miles
Difficulty: Difficult to Strenuous

Gateway Trail

18333 N. Thompson Peak Rd, Scottsdale

The Gateway Trailhead, located on the east side of Thompson Peak Rd. between Legacy Blvd. and Bell Rd., is fully barrier-free and has all the amenities an outdoor recreation enthusiast could want. The Gateway Trailhead is the access point to many unique Scottsdale trails. Even kids in strollers love the games and activities along the Bajada Nature Trail. Kids of all ages are able to explore the Gateway Loop trail and older kids love the challenge offered by interior trails.
Length: Up to 6 miles (some shorter trails as well)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Apache Wash Trail (Sonoran Desert Preserve)

1600 E Sonoran Desert Dr, Phoenix

The Sonoran Desert Preserve is an excellent example of desert vegetation and landscape with both mountainous and flat terrain as well as several expansive arroyos. With the vast network of trails as well as expanses of open desert, the Preserve is an excellent location to explore.
Length: 5.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Cave Creek Regional Park: Go John Trail

37900 E. Cave Creek Parkway, Cave Creek

This is one of the best “just outside the city” hikes because when you hit the north side, you can see mountains and Sonoran Desert for miles without the slightest hint of mankind. The trail is a 5.8-mile single-track loop. Done leisurely, it can take two hours or more. It skirts the mountain going north with no real hard inclines or descents. Elevation ranges from 2,000 feet to 3,060 feet.
Length: 5.8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
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