Off the Beaten Path: 4 Escape from the City Trails

If you’re anything like us, by Taco Tuesday every week, you’re already thinking about escaping the rat race and taking your next awesome weekend adventure.

Luckily, Phoenix is nestled in the valley of an amazingly beautiful desert with an abundance of outdoor trails and adventure spots.

Unluckily, most of the best spots are usually packed with other people.

There’s nothing worse than picking out a (seemingly) perfect hiking spot, only to arrive and realize everyone else in the city had the same exact idea, forcing you to spend time searching for parking instead of hitting the trail.

Fortunately, being a local comes with some great benefits, including knowing about some awesome spots that have amazing views, minus the crowds competing to see them.

Here are 4 trails definitely worth the trip:

Head south of the city to the South Mountain Preserve to find the first trails on our list. There, you’ll find a ginormous park filled with serene spots where you can hike in secluded desert beauty.

1. Geronimo Trail

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You’ll find parking and the trail head on the 20th Street/Dobbins bend, just south of Baseline Road and the end of the Boy Scouts of America campgrounds. This moderate 5-mile hike is lightly trafficked with sights of the city, plenty of desert scenery, and multiple wash crossings. It connects to the National trail, one of the more popular trails in the South Mountain Preserve, where you can continue to hike, or turn back after conquering this section.

#FrayLife Tip: Go later in the evening and pack a headlamp or flashlight to enjoy some night hiking under the stars since the parking for this trail is a small pull out off the bend behind a small cluster of homes.

2. Alta/Bajada Trail

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Enter the South Mountain Preserve through Central Avenue and head toward the triangle where Summit Road and San Juan Road cross. The 9-mile loop begins at San Juan Road and, aside from some random groups of cyclists training for an upcoming race, you’ll spend the entire hike away from signs of civilization.

#FrayLife Tip: There is shaded ramada where the Alta Trail meets the Bajada trail, so pack a lunch and blanket for a quiet picnic with great views of Phoenix and Quarts peak.

If you prefer to head north instead of south,  the Phoenix Mountain Preserve is home to trails for all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts, including:

3. L.V. Yates to Two Bit Peak Trail

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Parking and the trail head can be found at the end of 40th St South of Shea Boulevard. It may only be a 4-miler, but the hike is about as difficult as it’s sister peak, Piestewa Peak. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll experience lovely desert views, wildflowers (when in bloom) and spectacular looks at the greater Phoenix area from that summit.

#FrayLife Tip: After completing this hike, check out an amazing brunch spot at O.H.S.O Brewery just a few streets to the east..

We’ll wrap up our trail tour by taking a trip east of the city towards the expansive Tonto National Forest. There you’ill find:

4. The Apache Trail 

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Think you need to like hiking to enjoy awesome trail views? Think again. Check out this 128-mile driving loop, which is paved in most parts, and unpaved for about 11 miles between Fish creek and Roosevelt dam. This trail boasts a ghost town, scenic pull outs, 3 Lakes, a dam, national monument, and quite the array of adventurous fun spots for a quick day trip. If you’re adventurous enough, there are some hiking spots in the Lost Dutchman State park, and a few trails off the main driving trail.

#FrayLife Tip: If 128 miles is too much, check out the Tortilla Flats General store and bring a dollar bill with you to add to their wall of bills. Also, catch a ride on Steamboat Dolly for a great afternoon on Canyon Lake.

Do you know of any other isolated trails you can hit when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Next time you’re out on the trail, make sure to tag us in any pictures you post on social with #FrayLife.

Need something to cool you down after a long hike? Check out these awesome ice cream spots in Phoenix!

View More Articles By Daniel Rojas




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