Any fellow Phoenician knows that the closer the calendar inches toward May, the less time we have with precious sub 100° weather. This is the perfect time to hit the parks and trails around Gilbert and the Valley before waking up at 4am becomes a requirement for a pleasant hike! There’s always a weekend retreat up north to look forward to, but why not enjoy our surroundings while we can? The following is a short list of suggested hiking trails around town to enjoy this spring before the triple digits strike! When you’re back from your adventure, be sure to contact Lifetime Family Dental for a quick dental checkup before the summer vacations begin!
Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley
This roughly 4 mile long trail is part of South Mountain Park near Ahwatukee not too far from Gilbert. The Hidden valley loop is one of the many trails in this area that provides beautiful views, tunnels and dry waterfalls. The trail is fairly rough and a bit steep with many rock steps and switchbacks so be careful!
One of the most famous and distinct mountain ranges in Arizona. Take either Echo Canyon or The Cholla trails to reach the the ridgeline and peaks. Echo Canyon ascends about 1,300 ft up the western side of Camelback, while The Cholla from the east is more challenging as it gets a more and more rocky and steep the further up you get.
Piestewa (Squaw) Peak
One of the more well-hiked trails perhaps due to it’s close proximity to Scottsdale and Phoenix. This trail offers stunning views from it’s short but steep 1,100 ft climb to the peak. Consider taking the Circumference Trail on the way back down to avoid some of the crowds.
Bonus: Bell Trail’s “The Crack” (Camp Verde)
Once the heat does strike you’ll be looking for an escape up north. Camp Verde is only about an hour and fifteen minutes north of Phoenix and is home to the family-friendly Bell Trail complete with an awesome swimming hole called “The Crack”! Hike alongside Wet Beaver Creek and the cottonwoods and sycamores until you come to a 70-foot-long channel in the shadow of narrow sandstone walls. There are several other offshoots to smaller beaches along the 3.3 mile trail to explore as well.
Happy hiking from Lifetime Family Dental and remember to always bring plenty of water and avoid peak heat hours of the afternoon whenever possible!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/14/2016) Becky Stern