The Phoenix Sonoran Desert provides the ideal backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. With several trailheads located in Anthem itself, as well as within just a few miles, you'll never be at a loss for your next destination. Head out early to be treated to some of the stunning hot-air balloons that grace the skies each morning. And since most nearby trails welcome bikes, if you prefer wheels instead of feet, you'll be just as at home. Here are some of our local favorites. Hungry for more? The AllTrails app and website serve up several options for every fitness level.
Next to Gavilan Peak, Daisy Mountain is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Anthem. At an elevation of 3,143 feet, it represents a bit of a climb. There are two ways to approach the peak: from a neighborhood at the end of Navigation Way or from inside the Country Club. The former is a 6.6-mile trek, while the latter is half that at 3.4 miles. Either way, your efforts are rewarded with a stunning view of the aforementioned Gavilan Peak and all of Anthem below.
Although not in Anthem itself, Deem Hills is just 15 miles away, to the north of Happy Valley Road and 51st Avenue. The Deem Hills recreation area offers a dog park, playground, various sports fields, and of course, the trailhead. Take your pick of how you choose to traverse the hill itself, with options that allow you to enjoy the length and elevation that work for you, from just over one mile to nearly eight. Wildlife abounds in the area, and you'll be treated to a bird's-eye view of the Central Arizona Project canal on the north-side trails.
Desert Hills Trailhead
When you want to sneak in an easy-to-moderate hike that's a breeze to get to with ample parking, head to Desert Hills Trailhead. Located on the southside of Carefree Highway and 7th Avenue, this trailhead is always buzzing but never too busy. The most popular hike here is Sidewinder to Ocotillo, which lets you experience a good chunk of the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve in a quick 5.2 miles with 531 feet of elevation. This is a fitness trail for hikers, bikers, and runners alike, so be ready to share the trail on your outing.
Black Canyon Trail
There are many ways to access the Black Canyon Trail, but if you start at the Black Canyon City Trailhead, just west of exit 242 on I-17, you'll find one of the few local areas with running water much of the year. Go after a good rain, and you'll be rewarded with enough water in Slate Creek to soak your toes and enjoy an afternoon at "the beach." Some people don't even go further than the creek, but if you do, you can access Cottonwood Gulch after about eight miles. Or just turn around when you're done for the day. And be sure to stop by Rock Springs Cafe for a piece of their world-famous pie before heading home.