The Sonoran Desert is beautiful from afar, but it’s even more spectacular up close. Experience our desert landscape by hiking and biking in Tempe. Grab your hiking shoes, a water bottle and sunscreen — here are some of our favorite outdoor adventures.
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. Arizona State University was also named a gold level bicycle friendly university by the League of American Bicyclists in 2014.
Get away from it all at South Mountain Park and Preserve, one of the largest municipal park in the U.S. with more than 16,000 acres. This South Mountain Park map shows you how to get to the closest trailhead from Tempe hotels. You can choose a short, easy hike or choose a gradual climb that continues for several miles. View a hiking map and trail descriptions for South Mountain on the City of Phoenix website.
With its convenient location in the heart of Downtown Tempe, “A” Mountain hiking trails are always popular. From the top, you can get a great view of Tempe Town Lake, downtown and the ASU Tempe Campus. The “A” stands for Arizona State University of course. Learn more about “A” Mountain history at the City of Tempe’s website.
You can also go on a guided hiking or mountain biking tour with a company like 360 Adventures. Their experts know the trails like the back of their hand and they provide the gear that you need. All you have to do is have fun.
With a quick jaunt to the top of “A” Mountain, also known as Hayden Butte, in Downtown Tempe, 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.
Phone: (602) 795-1877
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.
This desert preserve features nearly 10 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout 1,200 acres. It is also home to several attractions and museums.
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.