With an average of 299 sunny days per year, Phoenix’s climate beckons adventurers year-round. Thousands of hiking enthusiasts join memorable hiking tours every year to witness the enchanting beauty of the Phoenix terrain. The trails accommodate hikers of all levels, ranging from those who fancy gentle strolls through the desert’s vibrant flora to those on the lookout for challenging ascents that end with breathtaking panoramic views.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already booked one of these famous Phoenix hiking tours. Well, get ready! Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned hiker, we’ve got some tips to make your hiking experience in the Valley of the Sun absolutely unforgettable. So, grab your hat and sunscreen, and let’s dive into these seven conversational tips for your epic desert hike.

1. Plan Ahead and Choose the Right Trail

Let’s talk about planning first. Typically, the consensus among hikers suggests that an average person can comfortably hike approximately 8 to 15 miles per day. The key is to choose a trail that suits your fitness level and the time you have.

For some breathtaking views and a challenging workout, check out Camelback Mountain. If you’re after a more laid-back, family-friendly experience, give the Desert Botanical Garden trails or South Mountain Park and Preserve a go. Before you set out, make sure you have all the relevant information, including the trail length, elevation gain, and user reviews, to help you pick the perfect hike.

2. Stay Hydrated

Phoenix can be hotter than a jalapeño in July, and you don’t want to get dehydrated. Bring more water than you think you’ll need. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one liter of water per hour of hiking, but adjust as needed based on the weather and the length of your hike.

Consider investing in a hydration pack. It’s like a backpack with a built-in water bladder and a hose for sipping as you go. It is super convenient and keeps you quenched without having to stop and dig out a water bottle.

3. Dress Right for the Desert

When it comes to dressing for a desert hike, think sun protection and comfort. Lightweight, breathable clothing is your best bet, and it should offer some sun protection. Long-sleeved shirts and moisture-wicking pants are lifesavers.

Don’t leave home without a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with UV protection, and sunscreen. Protecting your skin and eyes from that blazing Arizona sun is non-negotiable. As for footwear, sturdy hiking boots with ankle support are your BFFs on the rocky desert terrain.

4. Be Cool around Wildlife and Leave No Trace

The desert is home to some fascinating wildlife, from rattlesnakes to Gila monsters. When you spot these guys, give them some space. Admire from afar and avoid any wildlife encounters that could lead to trouble. Safety first, folks!

Also, please follow the “Leave No Trace” principles. This means packing out all your trash (yes, even those snack wrappers), staying on designated trails to protect fragile desert plants, and leaving no marks on the environment. We want to keep the desert as beautiful as we found it.

5. Hike with a Buddy or a Tour Company

Safety is the name of the game when hiking in the desert, and the same applies to Phoenix hiking tours as well. Whenever possible, hike with a friend or a tour group. There’s safety in numbers, and it’s just more fun to share the adventure.

If you’re going solo, be sure to let someone know your hiking plans and expected return time. Desert cell phone coverage can be elusive, so having a backup communication plan is smart. Consider carrying a satellite communication device or a good old-fashioned whistle, just in case.

6. Learn about the Desert’s Secrets

The Sonoran Desert is a treasure trove of unique plants and critters. Why not bring along a field guide to help you identify what you encounter? Saguaro cacti, desert flowers, and quirky reptiles are all part of the desert’s charm. Learning about them enriches your hike and helps you become a responsible desert explorer.

7. Capture the Memories

Taking loads of pictures is like having a magic wand to freeze time and preserve the beauty of your hiking journey. Why should you do it, you ask? Well, for starters, those jaw-dropping vistas and one-of-a-kind rock formations deserve to be shared and remembered.

Plus, by snapping away, you create a visual diary of your outdoor escapades that you can revisit whenever you please. Sharing these pictures with friends and family not only lets you brag a little (who wouldn’t?), but it also inspires others to embark on their own adventures.

Whether you’re chasing epic views, exploring desert flora and fauna, or just escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, Phoenix’s hiking trails have it all!


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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