guides

Arizona Best Hikes for Families

By Veronica Leon Macaroni Kid N Scottsdale-PV Publisher

May 1, 2021

Image credit: Veronica Leon 

Find out the scoop on Arizona Hikes and Family Fun in N Scottsdale-PV! Check back often, we will be adding more hikes as they are posted! Get a FREE kid-friendly event calendar for N Scottsdale-PV full of festivals, fairs, activities, and more! Sign-up by clicking HERE!


It’s that time to start enjoying the outdoors and the beautiful weather. Hit the trails with your family this Fall! 

I’m sure your kids have a full Fall schedule of streaming videos, texting friends and passing their days in their bedroom. Despite such a busy workload for all, perhaps you can make some time for some outdoor activity. Head for cooler climes and get a little exercise with these kid-friendly hikes.

Perfect chance to share quality time with the short people living in your house and enjoy the family time and outdoors.

With so much places to hike in the valley here are some of my favorites.

1. North Mountain National Trail: North Mountain National Trail is a 2.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as easy to moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2. McDowell Sonoran Conservancy: Over 30,000 acres to explore for adults, kids and families the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has lots to offer. They have guided hikes, interactive learning and outdoor fun for all ages through their Conservancy Kids program.

3. Camelback Echo Canyon Trail: Echo Canyon has moderate to hard hikes and climbs. There are two trails, Echo Canyon and Cholla. Both trails are difficult, while Echo Canyon is steeper and Cholla is longer. Parking for both trails is only allowed from sunrise to sunset so plan accordingly. I highly recommend taking your time on this hike with little ones as it contains long trails and climbs. You are also hiking uphill and goes up to 2704 ft in elevation to the top, but the views are amazing and well worth the hours of hike to reach the top. 

4. Bajada Nature Trail, Scottsdale: Located at the Gateway entrance to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the Bajada Nature Trail is paved and easy to navigate, even with strollers. The path leads to the preserve, which encompasses more than 30,000 contiguous acres and almost 150 miles of trails. Interactive exhibits provide an educational element to the experience. Open daily, sunrise to sunset and its free.

5. Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, Phoenix: This 600-acre park with 16 miles of paved and dirt trails along the Salt River is home to more than 200 species of birds and other wildlife, including beavers, muskrats, coyotes, jackrabbits, cottontails and javelinas. Also offers interactive exhibits and programs for adults and kids. 

6. Treasure Loop Trail: This trail is located in the Lost Dutchman State Park and parking is $7. The trail itself is easy to moderate and has a gradual inclined with a 2.5 miles round trip loop. You have the chance to rest and take pictures everywhere. 

7. Gilbert Riparian Preserve: The preserve is located on Guadalupe and Greenfield and is a great place to expose your kids to love hiking. I would say this trail is easy to moderate for families. You can take a trail around the man made lake or you can take any of the side trails that can lead you to the bird/wildlife sanctuary to the east of the preserve of which you can feed the birds and ducks. Plus the hike has a playground where kids can climb and run around but best part, you can end your hike at the Greenfield library! 

8. Papago Park Hole in the Rock: Easy to moderate short hike in Tempe which starts at Papago Park. This park covers 1,200 acres of park recreation and extends to the cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale Ramadas and restroom are located on the east side of Galvin Park and are perfect spots for a picnic lunch. For extra adventure you can head to the Phoenix Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo which are located across Galvin Park.

9. Wind Care Trail: Located in the Usery mountain this hike is a moderate hike with young kids. Wind Cave Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mesa, Arizona which features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 

10. San Tan Regional Trail: This trail is located in Queen Creek and has lots of hiking trails. Over 10,000 acres of desert with hiking/biking trails & a visitor's center with wildlife exhibits. San Tan Loop Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Queen Creek, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers.  

What To Bring On A Hike? 

  • Phoebe/Camera to capture this beautiful scenes
  • Appropriate Footwear
  • Map and Compass/GPS
  • Extra Water
  • Extra Food/Snacks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sun Screen and Sun Glasses

I hope that you get to get out and enjoy the outdoors with your family and try the following hikes. Am I missing your favorite hike? I’m happy to hear about your favorite family hike! I will be adding more to this listing so email me your favorite to add and share! (Veronical@macaronikid.com) 


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