Arizona is a hiker’s paradise, with an astonishing array of offerings to the outdoor enthusiast. The state has a remarkably varied elevation – sitting at only 70 feet above sea level at the Colorado River, and as high as 12,633 feet at Humphrey’s Peak near Flagstaff. From the Grand Canyon in the northwest, to Chiricahua National Monument in the southwest, there are adventures to be had in the Ponderosa pines of the Coconino National Forest; the Red Rock area around Sedona; the Mogollon Rim in the high country of central Arizona; the several mountain ranges and “sky islands” near Tucson; and even the many urban trails of the greater Phoenix area. And after having lived in Arizona for more than a decade, I realize that I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.
The map below shows the rough divisions I have made for grouping hikes in Arizona.
The Northern Arizona area encompasses Flagstaff and environs, mainly focusing on Coconino County. I’ve placed hikes around Sedona into this region since the population of Sedona straddles Coconino and Yavapai counties, and many of the hikes are to the north in Coconino County.
Central Arizona/Phoenix is primarily focused on Maricopa and Pinal counties, and includes the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, and the Maricopa County Regional Park System at its core. This section also includes the absolutely enormous, unique, and heavily visited urban national forest – the Tonto National Forest with its several fabulous wilderness areas. I will continue to add hikes from the many urban preserves located in this region.
The Southern Arizona area encompasses Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties, and mainly includes hikes around Tucson, and in the Chiricahua National Monument.