Hikes In Scottsdale: The 3 Top Trails You Can’t Miss

Scottsdale, Arizona, is a place that I call home. Besides the “dry heat” (an acquired taste, I must say!), what keeps me in this area is the easygoing atmosphere and the stunning beauty of the Southwest desert. After this brief intro, are you ready for some local wisdom? Here are my top three hikes in Scottsdale.

Papago Park

hikes in scottsdale
Phoenix skyline during sunset at Papago Park.

Papago Park is located near Old Town Scottsdale. Most likely, if you’re driving to Scottsdale from the airport, you’ll drive through the park, receiving a warm desert welcome. What I appreciate about this place is the blend of nature and accessibility. Here, you’ll discover a desert oasis: a lagoon surrounded by palm trees. The Papago ponds provide an excellent backdrop for portrait photography.

The location at Papago where everyone wants to hike during sunset and snap a photo is the “Hole in the Rock.” It can get pretty crowded here during the peak tourist season. The reward for making this short hike is a stunning view of the Phoenix skyline. Also, while you are in this area, don’t miss the Desert Botanical Garden.

Camelback Mountain

camelback mountain scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale

Camelback Mountain definitely is one of the best scenic hikes in Scottsdale. It can be accessed either from 64th street or the Echo Canyon entrance in Paradise Valley. This trail is anything but a walk in the park, yet it promises a gratifying hiking adventure. Both locals and visitors are drawn to it, not only for exercise but also unquestionably for the stunning views.

Pinnacle Peak

scottsdale gateway
Into the West

Pinnacle Peak is my favorite. I’d call it the perfect city break. It’s a relatively easy trail, it takes about 30-50 minutes to complete. This is the hike tailor made for you If you’re looking for a real flavor of the Arizonian desert without going too far from town.

hikes in scottsdale
Best Hikes in Scottsdale

What I find here that’s different from other popular Scottsdale hiking trails is my personal sense of a genuine desert hiking experience. I find Pinnacle Peak to be highly worthy for my photography, with the surrounding cacti extending their arms towards the sky and that Wild West feel. The views here are truly remarkable, with valley vistas cradling the residential areas of North Scottsdale.

Urban Escapes

These three hikes offer not only an opportunity for your Scottsdale’s outdoor adventures but also a great chance to capture lasting memories of your Scottsdale gateway. Since this blog focuses on creativity, adventure, and photography, why not exploring Gallery Canyons? It’s a fascinating photo art gallery conveniently located at 4165 N Craftsman Ct in Old Town Scottsdale. This presents a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the artistry of local photographers and perhaps find inspiration for your own photography adventures.

You now have my top three Scottsdale hiking trails: Papago Park, Camelback Mountain, and Pinnacle Peak. Each has something special for everyone, making them perfect choices for hikers and photographers alike.

Are you passionate about photography, seeking artistic inspiration and eager to stay updated with the creative journey?

About Sal

I’m Sal Giudici, an adventurous photographer based in the Arizona desert. I strive to capture uncommon views that can challenge perspectives and ignite the imagination.

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