Exploring New Heights

Where to hike and explore in the East Valley.

When the breeze brushes against your skin, the temperate weather of an early desert Spring, it beckons you to venture outdoors. Hiking in Arizona has been a long-time popular pastime. The trails, the vistas, the nature all create a tempting landscape that seduces any adventurer to traverse and explore. We are fortunate that there are so many beautiful and diverse trails in the surrounding area, so you don't have to go far to indulge in a love of nature.

Keep in mind the basics of hiking in our desert parks and make sure you take precautions. Always bring along enough water. A good measure of when to turn back is when you get through half of your water. Wear durable, closed-toed shoes, a hat, and sunscreen is always a good idea! One final reminder to stay safe is to stay on the path. No matter how interesting another area may look or in an attempt to get a great photo, always keep to the designated trail. Now that we've covered the basics, here is a collection of some of the most scenic places for you to roam.

San Tan Regional Park

Easy Hike: Moonlight Trail

Hard Hike: San Tan Trail

Size: 10,000 acres

What to Expect: Plenty of trails, horseback riding and cycling as well. Lots of desert vegetation and wildlife.

Lost Dutchman State Park

Easy Hike: Jacob's Crosscut Trail

Hard Hike: Siphon Draw Trail

Park Fee: $10 per vehicle

Highlights: Bird watching

Usery Mountain Regional Park

Size: 29 miles of trails

Easy Hike: Merkle Trail

Hard Hike: Pass Mountain Trail

What to Expect: trails are all multi-use with great vistas due to the elevation.

South Mountain Park

Size: 16,000 Acres

Easy Hike: Pima Wash Trail

Hard Hike: Ma Ha Tauk Trail

Highlights: Dobbins Lookout for great views of the Valley

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