Explore Scottsdale Hiking: Find the Perfect Trail


hiking SMB

September is here and you know what that means. . . Fall is in the air. Well, technically fall won’t arrive for another month or so in Scottsdale, but temperatures are starting to cool down in the morning. It’s the best time to hike and get acquainted with the outdoors! Not certain which hike is the best for you?

Explore Scottsdale Hiking and find the perfect trail for you. Make one or all part of your Fall bucket list!

Want to get a great workout and enjoy beautiful scenery?  

Camelback’s Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail will get your heart racing and muscles moving. At the peak, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the city. Echo Canyon is the more challenging of the two hikes. It is 1.2 miles to the summit – don’t be fooled, though, it is moderate and difficult to climb portions of this hike. Cholla Trail is 1.6 miles in length and is generally less crowded than Echo Canyon. Toward the end of the trail, it becomes slightly more vigorous in the “saddle.” Both trails require parking and if you don’t want to scramble for a spot, come early! Be certain to bring plenty of water and have your smartphone handy to capture spectacular views.

Looking for a nice family hike?

Bajada Trail is an easy and accessible trail for the whole family to enjoy. Take a leisurely pace or even sprint on the 3.5 trail. If you want more of an active workout, mountain biking is popular on this trail. The average hike time (one way ) is approximately 2 hours. Mexican Poppies graze the hillside during the year and if you don’t want to hike the entire trail you have the option to turn around – a practical option for every age, from small children to the elderly!

Love hiking with your dog? 

Do you want your dogs to come along on your hike? McDowell Mountain Preserve has several trails which are friendly to four-legged friends. Deemed Arizona’s backyard, you have the possibility of encountering birds, reptiles and desert plans as your make your way through the trail. You are able to hike the trail alone or find an adventure company for a guided tour, rock climbing or an off-road tour. With six different trailheads, you will definitely find the hike that’s best suited for you and your dog.

Enjoy gazing at wildflowers while you hike? 

Do you enjoy pausing as you hike to look at the color of a wildflower or stop for a photograph? Quartz Trail will provide a variety of wildflowers for your viewing enjoyment. The trail is moderately difficult and spans almost 9.2 miles roundtrip. There is a unique view of the quartz on this hike which is well worth the effort and you will certainly feel like you are enveloped by the desert as you move further and further into the middle of the trail.

Like to mix history and exercise? 

Lost Dog Overlook is known for its history – it is a former Native American tool making site. This is a relatively easy trail for kids to enjoy. They will enjoy spotting wildlife as they navigate the trail as explorers and adventurers. You will also be able to get a view of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, Taliesin West on the trail. It is approximately 5.2 miles roundtrip.

What hikes do you enjoy in Scottsdale and why? Would love to hear your suggestions. 

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Rudri Patel
Rudri Bhatt Patel is a former attorney turned freelancer writer. Prior to attending law school, she graduated with an M.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She is the managing editor for The First Day and her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Brain, Child, The Huffington Post, The Review, Review Role, Reboot, The Mid and elsewhere. She writes her personal musings on her blog, Being Rudri, and is currently working on a memoir that explores Hindu culture, grief and appreciating life’s ordinary graces. She enjoys reading, writing and running. Rudri has lived in the Valley since 2009 with her husband and daughter (9). You can find Rudri on Twitter, Facebook and Being Rudri.


  1. […] Grab the kids and go hiking: Do your restless kids want a day outdoors? You are in luck because there are several family friendly hikes in our area. Grab the water, equip yourself with a few snacks and tell your kids to get ready to enjoy adventure and spectacular views from cool mountain peaks. Find a trail just right for you and your family by taking a look at some of these hikes.  […]

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