Our collective isolation coupled with the great uncertainty Covid-19 has wrought over the last six months, has left us yearning to roam free and recalibrate our bodies and minds.
Hiking not only allows us to reconnect with nature but also enhances our mental and physical wellbeing; it helps relieve stress, lowers blood pressure and sugar levels as well as strengthening the core.
Hiking in Scottsdale, Arizona, is synonymous with wellness and boasts a number of trails from the challenging Camelback Mountain that helps focus the mind to the more leisurely Pinnacle Peak which allows thoughts to wander freely.
Hiking in Scottsdale – our five top trails to rejuvenate the body and mind.
McDowell Mountain Park
Just north of Fountain Hills on Scottsdale’s north eastern border is the immensely beautiful McDowell Mountain Park. Covering over 21,000 acres in the lower Verde River basin and over 50 miles of trails, visitors to the park can enjoy a range of activities including biking, hiking and horse riding. Trekking along the Scenic Trail, travellers will discover picturesque views of the Verde River, Superstition Mountains and glorious springtime wildflower blooms. There are also spots along the trail to reflect and marvel at the awesome natural landscape.
For those seeking a revitalising challenge, why not trek a mountain that’s higher than the Empire State Building? With an elevation of 2,704 feet, the Echo Canyon trail is a steep climb to the summit and is the most challenging hike in Scottsdale. Conquering Camelback Mountain is a great boost of confidence and reaching the summit provides a real sense of achievement. The views along the way are sensational and offer plenty of opportunities to pause, meditate and appreciate how far you’ve come. Not only will Camelback Mountain challenge hikers physically, but it’s also guaranteed to improve their mental wellbeing.
The 150-acres at Pinnacle Peak offer a moderate hike with an elevation of approximately 1,300 feet. This loop trail has a very smooth tread with a number of ups and downs over the course of the 1.75-mile trail, with the highest point on the trail marking 2,889 feet, the lowest 2,366 feet. Climbing this trail will take hikers to spectacular views of the Valley.
Tom Thumb’s Trailhead
This popular five mile long trail takes hikers along the north flanks of the McDowell Mountain with scenic viewpoints, iconic geological rock formation, beautiful wildflowers and cacti along the way. The two ascent culminates as the base of Tom’s Thumb – a unique butte that points like a finger towards the sky – from which hikers can enjoy panoramic city views, the peaks of the Cave Creek Mountains as well as glimpses of Tonto National Forest.
The Bajada Nature Trail
Located at the Gateway to Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, The Bajada Trail is a great introduction to the Sonoran Desert and perfect for families. There are three nature trails that aim to create the sense of being immersed in the desert environment, to see wildflowers and natural vegetation as well as animals and birds. Along the trail, there are 15 interactive stations with photographic panels, games and information about the bajada