The weather in Arizona allows us to do outside activities ten months out of the year. I do not go outside unless it involves being in water during the hottest part of the year. Lately, June seems to be almost unbearable, even in the pool. I have discovered that I really like to hike, it is the kind of exercise that doesn't feel like exercise.
We have a lot of hiking trails in the northwest valley! I haven't even come close to hiking all of them, so I can't give you my honest opinion on the trails I haven't done. But I plan on hitting every single one of them eventually, so I will let you know what I think as I hit them. Here is a comprehensive list of all of our hiking trails. Check them out and let us know which ones you LOVE!
Stay tuned for my review of each trail as I work my way through the northwest valley hiking trails.
Arizona canal trail
The ACDC is a non-vehicular trail, meaning that it is designed for walkers, joggers, strollers, bicyclists, and horses. This is a 26 mile long trail that runs from 75th Avenue to Hayden Road. I don't know if I will ever make it through this entire trail, 26 miles is a bit much for me. This trail system aligns with the Skunk Creek Trail, Cave Creek Wash Trail, Crosscut Canal Path, and the Indian Bend Wash Trail. Most of these trails are not in the northwest valley, so I will not be discussing them in this post. I would imagine if you are a biker, this would be a great trail for a nice long ride, I don't own a bicycle, but I plan to, so I might try it then.
Calderwood butte trail
On 99th Avenue, north of Jomax Road, you will find the trailhead for Calderwood Butte. This trail is an easy 1.6 mile long loop trail that is open from dawn to dusk. There is off street parking available for this trail, so please avoid parking in the adjacent neighborhoods when accessing this trail.
east wing mountain trail
East Wing Mountain is located at the Sonoran Mountain Ranch Park in Peoria. This trail is only 1 1/2 miles in length, so it is a great trail if you are looking for a quick hike. The park has off-street parking, restrooms, and chilled water and is open from 6am to 10pm, but the trail is only open from dawn to dusk.
lake pleasant regional park
Lake Pleasant is a quick drive from the valley, located in Morristown. The lake has approximately four miles of hiking trails built for pedestrian use only. They range in length from 1/2 mile to 2 miles and are all moderate trails.
New River trail
This trail accommodates walkers, joggers, strollers, bicyclists, roller blades, and horses. Eventually there will be more than 25 miles long with more than 18 miles of trail. Currently the trail is approximately 12 1/2 miles, and runs from Bethany Home Road to Williams Road. It aligns with some of Peoria's local shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, which makes it a fun way to reach your destination.
sunrise mountain trail
Another easy hike, Sunrise Mountain Trail, is located within Westwing in Peoria. You will find the trailhead at Westwing Park, which also has services such as restrooms, parking, and chilled water. This trail is a little longer hike as it consists of a 4 1/2 mile loop. I have done this hiking trail several times while waiting for my daughter at soccer practice. It is conveniently located. Please note that although Westwing park is open from 6am to 10pm., the hiking trails are only open from dawn to dusk.
Skunk creek trail
Skunk Creek is approximately 1.5 miles, although the current length is only 5.7 miles and connects the New River Trail with the Arizona Canal Diversion Channel. This trail connects to the Peoria Sports Complex, so it is a convenient and fun way to see a baseball game in the spring! It accommodates walkers, joggers, strollers, bicyclists, roller blades, and horses. You will find the trailhead for Skunk Creek Trail on 83rd Avenue, just north of Greenway Road.
thunderbird conservation park
Thunderbird Conservation Park is located on 59th Avenue, north of Deer Valley in Glendale. It is a 1,185-acre park in the Hedgpeth Hills, and is a conservation park dedicated to preserving the desert environment in the valley. There are eight trails within the park ranging in length and difficulty.
westwing mountain trail
I have walked this trail several times over the years during my daughter's club soccer days. It is a quick and easy hike. You will find the trailhead at Westwing Park where there is also parking, restrooms, and chilled water. Westwing Mountain is a loop trail that is about 3 miles long. Keep in mind when using this trail that although the park is open from 6am - 10pm, the trail is only open from dawn to dusk.
White Tank mountain regional park
The White Tanks is located just west of Surprise in Waddell, Arizona. This park is also part of the Maricopa County Parks systems, so there is a per vehicle entrance fee. This is one of my favorite hiking places! The White Tanks has about 14 trails that cover approximately 30 miles, most of which are shared-use trails. Hiking trails range from just shy of 1 mile to almost 8 miles in length.
My favorite trails within the White Tanks are the Waterfall Trail, especially right after a storm when the waterfall is flowing, and the Black Rock Long Loop, because it is absolutely beautiful in the spring with the desert is blooming. Here is a quick description of all of the White Tank trails:
Every year, people have to be rescued from our hiking trails. When hiking in Arizona, please remember to stay on the designated trails, make sure that someone knows where you are planning on hiking, and take more water than you think you need. Keep in mind, that we live in the desert and there are animals native to the area that you may come in contact with while out on your hike. Have fun and be safe!