5 Hikes Near Saguaro

By Vanessa Howard

If you spend any time in Scottsdale, Arizona you’ll quickly discover that it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. The Sonoran Desert offers adventure and just begs to be explored on foot. The Scottsdale area has plenty of hiking options, whether you are looking for family-friendly walks or a challenging adrenaline pumping scramble. Use this list of 5 hikes near Saguaro to pick the perfect hike for you. 

Best Time To Hike In Scottsdale

The best time of year to hike in Scottsdale is early spring or late fall. You can hike during the summer and winter months as well, but the conditions are not ideal. During the summer the desert becomes swelteringly hot and heat exhaustion and dehydration are real threats. If you do choose to hike in the summer months, go first thing in the morning and bring plenty of water.

Where To Stay In Scottsdale

Arrivls Saguaro 

This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom desert oasis in Scottsdale, Arizona is thoughtfully designed and family-friendly. You’ll love the sun-soaked and spacious interior spaces and a gorgeous backyard retreat. Cook a delicious meal for the family in the fully equipped kitchen, or fire up the BBQ. Enjoy a meal outdoors, lounge on the gorgeous sundeck, or splash in the pool.  Your kids will love the play and picnic area! 

Book Saguaro today for your next Scottsdale adventure! 

5 Hikes Near Saguaro

Pinnacle Peak Trail

Distance: 4 miles

Rating: Moderate 

Elevation Gain: 1,033 ft 

This Scottsdale hiking trail offers spectacular views of the surrounding areas. You’ll get panoramic views of both McDowell and Camelback Mountains from this beautiful out and back trail. This popular hike typically takes about 2 hours to complete. If you are looking for a bit more peace and quiet on this trail then consider hiking in the early morning or on a weekday. 

Gateway Loop Trail

Distance: 4.4 miles

Rating: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 721 ft 

The Gateway Loop Trail is located on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The trailhead is open from sunrise to sunset and this dog-friendly hike generally takes around 2 hours to finish. During the spring you’ll find plenty of beautiful wildflowers along this trail. To avoid crowds, it’s best to hike Gateway Loop Trail in the early morning. 

Lost Dog Trail

Distance: 4.2 miles 

Rating: Moderate 

Elevation Gain: 1351 ft 

This out and back trail approaches Sunrise Peak in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This quiet and comfortably gradual climb provides vast desert and rolling hill views that are both breathtaking and worth the climb. This dog-friendly trail has little to no shade, so make sure to plan accordingly and bring plenty of water for both you and your dog. 

Tom’s Thumb Trail

Distance: 4.7 miles

Rating: Difficult 

Elevation Gain: 1,400 ft 

You’ll find Tom’s Thumb within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This is consistently ranked among both local and visitors’ favorite hikes in Scottsdale. This out and back trail features switchbacks and stunning views of the McDowell Mountains and Phoenix. Like many others in the area, this trail offers very little shade and you should plan accordingly when hiking in the desert. Try to hike Tom’s Thumb early in the morning and make sure to pack plenty of water. 

Echo Canyon Trail

Distance: 2.3 miles 

Rating: Difficult 

Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft 

Gaining the summit of Camelback Mountain is an initiation to hiking in Scottsdale for locals and visitors alike. This challenging hike will get you to the most famous mountain summit in the valley. The trail is the shortest way to reach the Camelback Mountain summit, but it also has steep sections, scrambling, and even some rails in a couple of areas. Camelback Mountain is by far the most popular place to hike in Scottsdale. 

Tips For Safe Desert Hiking

  • Make sure to pack more water than you think you will need
  • Once you get halfway through your water it’s a good idea to turn around no matter where you are on the trail 
  • Watch for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion, such as stumbling or being out of sorts. Be sure to bring electrolytes with you in case of emergency 
  • If temperatures are above 85℉ it’s best to leave pets at home 
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself 

These are some of the best hikes in Scottsdale near Arrivls Saguaro. Have an adventure on the Echo Canyon Trail or enjoy the Gateway Loop Trail knowing that you have the perfect place to relax after a day out adventuring, Saguaro.

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