Lace up your athletic shoes, grab a cold water bottle and put on some sunscreen and explore Tempe’s desert landscape. The best time to take a hike in Tempe during the summer and early fall is first thing in the morning. The temperatures are much cooler than at high noon and a hike makes for a perfect activity before breakfast or a day at the pool. If you time it right, you can even see a gorgeous Arizona sunrise from one of the many cactus-lined trails in town.
Rent a bike from The Bicycle Cellar or Tempe Bicycle to traverse the trails around Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park. We love our bikes in Tempe – we’re a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award winner and there are 175 miles of bike paths and trails in our 40-square-mile city.
See the city skyline from up above at South Mountain Park and Preserve. This South Mountain Park map shows you how to get to the closet trail head to Tempe hotels. View a hiking map and trail descriptions for South Mountain on the City of Phoenix website. This scenic area is one of the largest municipal park in the U.S. with more than 16,000 acres.
With its convenient location in the heart of the Mill Avenue District, the “A” Mountain trails are well-traveled all year round. From the top, you can get a great view of Tempe Town Lake and downtown Tempe. The “A” stands for Arizona State University and before the fall semester at ASU, it will be whitewashed and repainted gold again to mark the beginning of the year school year. Learn more about “A” Mountain history at the City of Tempe’s website.
With a quick jaunt to the top of “A” Mountain, also known as Hayden Butte, in the Mill Avenue District, hikers are rewarded with views of the lake, ASU and rock drawings left hundreds of years ago by the Hohokam people.
Want to experience the REAL Arizona? Get outside with 360 Adventures! We create amazing and memorable outdoor experiences for our guests with our mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and canyoneering tours, each created especially for you. From our knowledgeable guides to our beautiful Arizona locations, your perfect adventure awaits! Whether you want a half-day jaunt for one or a multi-day expedition for many, we’ve got you covered.
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Cholla Trail is the located along the ridge of Camelback Mountain, the highest point in the Phoenix Mountain at 2,704 ft. This trail increases in elevation over a longer distance than the Echo Canyon trail, making the assent to the top less steep. Hikers experience a steady climb with a fairly exposed section of ridge hiking towards the top. The length of this trail is 1.6 miles one way.
Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon is well-known for being one the more difficult, but rewarding, hikes in Phoenix. The trail ascends rapidly over a short distance. Hikers can experience a climb over rocky trails and boulders. The length of this trail is 1.23 miles one way.
The City of Tempe boasts 175 miles bikeways, including bike lanes, desert trails and canal paths. Go for a ride around Tempe Town Lake, cruise down Mill Avenue or ride some of the trails at Papago Park. Visit the website for more information and a bike map of the city. In 2011, the League of American Bicyclists re-designated Tempe a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award winner.
Enjoy this 296-acre Tempe park with softball fields, lagoon, picnic ramadas, hiking and biking trails, archaeological site and natural desert areas.
Located in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves, Piestewa Peak has numerous trails for hiking and trail running. At 2,610 ft., it’s the second highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, next to Camelback Mountain. Hundreds of residents and visitors hike Piestewa Peak per week because it offers great views and a great workout. Hikes to the peak usually take anywhere from 25-60 minutes, depending on the experience of the hiker.
At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park and Preserve is the largest municipal park in the country. The park includes 51 miles of scenic desert trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking leading to breathtaking views. Reservable picnic ramadas are also available.
Tempe Bicycle is one of the largest bike and bike rental shops in Arizona with an average of over 500 bikes on the floor at one time and a full range of accessories, bicycle clothing and a full-service repair department as well. It is conveniently located near the Light Rail Station on Rural Road.
The Bicycle Cellar is a bicycle commuter support facility offering secure parking, showers, lockers, towel service, bike rental, accessories and repair and sales of new and used bikes. Members are allowed 20 hour per day access 7 days per week.
Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.