Outdoor Recreation

A Mountain Tempe

Outdoor Recreation

If you’re lucky enough to be in Arizona enjoying Tempe’s spring weather, you can focus on exploring the great outdoors and staying fit at the same time. There will be no sleeping in when you discover all the trails to hike, mountains to climb, bike paths to pedal and a lake to paddle, all against a backdrop of beautiful desert vistas. You don’t need to go far because all of Tempe’s outdoor recreation opportunities are easy to reach and many are right in downtown Tempe.

From late April  through October day time temperatures can reach well into the one hundreds. Outdoor activities are best enjoyed in the morning and evening. Be sure to use sun screen, wear a hat and drink plenty of water,

Go Hiking

  • Explore the trails of the Sonoran Desert at Papago Park, on foot or with a mountain bike. Trails will challenge everyone, from novices to adventure seekers.
  • Choose one of the seemingly endless trail possibilities at South Mountain Park and Preserve. With more than 16,000 acres, the largest municipal park in the country is popular with hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders.
  • Take an invigorating hike up “A” Mountain in the Downtown Tempe to get a sense of the past while increasing your pulse. The trails are spotted with ancient petroglyphs, reminders of Tempe’s first settlers, the Hohokam people. Pause to take in the  breathtaking, bird’s eye views of Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale from the peak.
  • Discover Tempe Town Lake, a 220-acre urban oasis and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Arizona. You can jog or walk along the art-lined paths surrounding the lake that cover nearly 5 miles. Rent a kayak, pedal boat or go paddle boarding and enjoy the sunny weather.

Take a Bike Ride

  • If you love two wheeling it, Tempe is the place for you. As a designated Bicycle Friendly Community with 175 miles of bikeways, you‘ll be in bicycle heaven! Check out Tempe’s bike paths that range from city streets to desert paths.
  • There are several bike shops, such as Tempe Bicycle, where visitors can rent mountain bikes or cruisers to explore the city on two wheels. The Bicycle Cellar offers bike rentals and bike repairs and service, lockers and showers for bicyclists. It’s conveniently located at the Tempe Transportation Center at the Veterans Way/College Avenue METRO light rail stop.

More fun outdoor activities

  • See the scenery from a horse’s perspective. Saddle up at Koli Equestrian Center or The Stables at Fort McDowell Adventures.
  • Take a guided tour of the desert  in a comfy van with Detours and learn things about the desert even the locals don’t know.
  • Cruise Saguaro Lake on a Dolly Steamboat Tour.  Soak up the sun and beauty of the Sonoran Desert during the 90-minute cruise narrated by your Coast Guard certified captain who describes the history, geology, geography and wildlife of the area.
  • Catch a wave at Big Surf,  featuring the 3rd largest wave pool in the world and rides for the whole family. Big Surf opens on May 6, 2017.
  • From May 27-September 2, 2017, take a Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tour and explore the desert at night. You’ll see nocturnal critters and plants that only come out at night.

Free Visitor's Guide

Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.

Free Visitor's Guide
Request Guide

Stay Connected with Us

Tempe Tourism e-Newsletter

Sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter to learn what’s new in Tempe.