Wheelhouse Journey

Best Arizona Park Hiking

by Mar 10, 2018Reviews

Hiking in Arizona state or regional parks can get pricey, especially if you are going on a few hikes per week and paying entry fees each time. Sure, you can buy a state park pass, but it’s usually good for just that park, and at around $70 you need to go more than 10 times in order for it to pay for itself. Since our plan was to stay in Arizona for only 2 1/2 very short months, it didn’t make sense to opt for the pass. Being budget conscious, we set out to find the best Arizona park hiking that was inexpensive, yet gave us an amazing experience and was pet friendly!

Finding Trails

So how do we find the best Arizona park hiking? AllTrails! The AllTrails mobile app has been fantastic and easy to use. It’s our go-to app for finding hiking trails which allow you to filter for mileage, elevation gain and dog friendliness. Listed below are our best hiking trails in the areas we stayed. Furthermore, for all of you budget-aware travelers, many Arizona park entree fees cost around $7. While that is a small fee, as you’ll find in our list you can experience many other trails for free!

Hiking in the Phoenix Area

Piestewa (Squaw) Peak and Freedom Loop Trail

Where: Phoenix Mountain Preserve | Entry fee: free | Miles: 4.9 | Elevation (ft): 1692
Best for: A strenuous hike and 360 degree surrounding sunset views of Phoenix

Massacre Grounds Trail

Where: Lost Dutchman State Park | Entry fee: free | Miles: 5.3 | Elevation (ft): 1089
Best for: A lightly trafficked and steady uphill hike for those wanting wilderness views instead of cityscapes

Massacre Grounds Trail
Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail

Where: Lost Dutchman State Park | Entry fee: $7 | Miles: 6.2 | Elevation (ft): 2933
Best for: A technically challenging and strenuous hike for rewarding 360 degree views

Wind Cave Trail

Where: Usery Mountain Regional Park | Entry fee: $6 | Miles: 2.9 | Elevation (ft): 761
Best for: An easy hike among Saguaros, ending in a wind-carved rock formation

Hieroglyphic Trail

Where: Superstition Wilderness | Entry fee: free | Miles: 2.9 | Elevation (ft): 570
Best for: An easy hike for all skill levels, ending in a discovery of rich Arizona Indian history

Blevins Trail and Cat Peaks Pass

Where: Usery Mountain Regional Park | Entry fee: $6 | Miles: 4.4 | Elevation (ft): 314
Best for: An easy stroll and sunset hikes among a wide variety of cactus

Hiking in the Tucson Area

Guindani Loop Trail

Where: Kartchner Caverns State Park | Entry fee: $7 | Miles: 4.2 | Elevation (ft): 875
Best for: Moderate hiking with sweeping eastern desert landscape views, and a relaxing walk along a rambling creek on the western side

Molino Canyon Vista to Ridgeline

Where: Coronado National Forest | Entry fee: free | Miles: 5.1 | Elevation (ft): 787
Best for: Immediate hiking away from the desert of Tucson

Josephine Saddle via Super Trail

Where: Mount Wrightson | Entry fee: $5 | Miles: 6.1 | Elevation (ft): 1637
Best for: A moderate hike in the high-country, scents of pine and amazing views of the desert along points on the trail

Hiking in the Sedona Area

Soldier Pass to Brins Mesa Loop

Where: Coconino National Forest | Entry fee: free | Miles: 5.0 | Elevation (ft): 830
Best for: A moderate hike through stunning red rock formations and rich green vegetation

Until next time, Arizona

After arriving in Arizona, we had no idea of the sheer number of trails available for hikers! I personally have hiked more miles than I ever have, and have just barely skimmed the surface of possibilities. Being full-time RVers has afforded us to be able to go many places and experience many different things. However, it doesn’t need to be expensive! We were able to find some amazing hiking trails that are very dog friendly, and for the most part, very affordable. All of these hikes cost a total of $31 in entry fees; that’s around $3 per hike! If you want to experience some awesome trails in some of the major cities around Arizona, try one of these out!

For more photos of our adventures, please see our gallery.



Eric is a freelance engineer, self-taught web developer, photographer & adventurer. He loves the outdoors and exploring the country with his wife and pup.


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