The summer in Phoenix is brutal. While the rest of the country is excited for summer and planning epic hikes, Phoenicians cannot wait until summer is over. But this doesn’t mean we have to spend time hibernating indoors. The quickest way for any Phoenix hiker to escape the heat is to head north to higher elevations, where the temperature will be cooler.
Here are 5 of our favorite day hikes that make for great trips from Phoenix:
#5 – Thumb Butte Trail
This moderate trail is 2 miles and will take you past the base of Thumb Butte. While hiking you will be able to feel the cool wind on your face and be surrounded by tall (and shady!) ponderosa pine trees. With being only 3 miles away from Downtown Prescott, you’ll feel like you’ve left city life far behind you.
#4 Devil’s Bridge – Coconino National Forest
This 4.5 mile hike leads hikers to a natural arch formation within the red rocks of Sedona. Hikers are able to stand upon this bridge and gaze out at the amazing view. While this may be known as the Devil’s Bridge, you are almost certain to feel a non-hellish, cool breeze while standing on it.
#3 Railroad Tunnel Trail – Tonto National Forest
Ready to discover the ultimate shady spot? This trail leads you towards an unfinished railroad tunnel inside a mountain. Built in the late 1800s, this mining company’s abandoned project is incorporated into this moderate 3 mile hike.
The Lynx Lake Recreational Trail travels around the entire circumference of Lynx Lake. This is a 2.5 mile loop hike that is very easy to follow and good for families, too. You’ll have plenty of shade and almost always be in sight of that refreshing blue lake — which should put you in a nice and relaxed summer mood right away!
With 13 water crossings across Oak Creek, this trail is sure to cool you and your feet off. This 8 mile trek follows along Oak Creek, which runs through Sedona. While hiking along the tall red rock canyon the lush green vegetation and the clear water in the creek will enchant you.
Depending on where you live in the Valley, these hiking trails will only be a 2 -3 hour drive away. So make a day out of it and have a summer of adventure while getting relief from the intense Phoenix heat. Happy Hiking!
See also: 9 Rules for Hot Weather Hiking