Outdoor Recreation

A Mountain Tempe

Outdoor Recreation

In Tempe you can focus on exploring the great outdoors and staying fit at the same time. You’ll love discovering 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.

Fall is the perfect season for enjoying outdoor activities. Daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s, plenty of sun and blue skies are the ideal combination for spending time outdoors.  Be sure to use sun screen, wear a hat and drink plenty of water and you’re good to go.

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.
  • 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 Valley Metro Rail stop.
  • Tempe is now offering bicycles that can be rented through the Grid Bike Share program, including neighboring cities Mesa and Phoenix. Tempe’s system includes 300 bikes, 425 racks and 30 stations, located near the light rail line, the ASU Tempe Campus and community centers.

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.

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