I’ve been lucky enough to move to Phoenix where there are quite a lot of hiking trails and mountains to climb. One of my favorite hikes is South Mountain in Tempe. Although I wouldn’t try to do this hike after April or before September, most of the year the weather is forgiving enough to let you commence the two hour hike.
I love being outdoors. The smells, the fresh air, the breeze, the exercise. It’s not just flipping through channels and laying around on your butt all day. I’m also trying to get back in-shape so this hike is hard enough to break a sweat but not enough to leave you wheezing. Pack plenty of water and make sure to leave enough daylight.
I usually take the trail that leads all the way to the top of the mountain. Not only is the extra exercise helpful but the views of the surrounding Phoenix area are amazing. The ASU campus, the mountains, the hustle and bussle, the buildings, Tempe Town Lake, all seem small yet grandiosely beautiful at the same time. This is where I learned that many people in Arizona have backyard pools and how often they use them. The air feels cleaner up high and the hike to get there is well worth it.
The hike itself has some uneven footings and some full-body-pull-up sections (this is where you have to use your arms and legs to get up to a higher section) but mostly it’s a clear path with a few rocks. It definitely works your legs and core, occasionally your arms too, but it’s a good way to see the lay of the land and get to know Phoenix from a bird’s-eye view. I’d recommend this hike to some just starting out and some experts. There’s a variety of different trails of various difficulties so you’re able to pick the distance and effort you like.
Make sure to take rest if you need it since the Phoenix sun can most definitely leave you more than just sunburned. Dehydration is a common theme in this area. There’s also a bunch of other friendly hikers, mountain bikers, runners, and dogs around so feel free to take your pets if they like a good climb.