Phoenix is surrounded by mountains that all have amazing hiking trails. As an avid hiker, when I am in Phoenix I always try to fit in a hike on my trips. After many visits, these are my three favorite hikes to do if you have some free time in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

The Holbert Trail

A photo I took indie the Dobbins Lookout off of the Holbert Trail.

Photo by Sydney Halliwell

I would classify the Holbert Trail as an easy to moderate hike. It is located on South Mountain in Phoenix. It has a steep elevation change, but the views at the top are worth the effort. The trail leads to Dobbins Lookout, and although you can drive to the lookout, hiking to it makes it far more worthwhile.

I did this hike at around 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. It's best to do hikes in Phoenix earlier in the day to avoid overheating as well as hiking traffic. This hike is hands-down one of my favorites and I look forward to doing it the next time I am in the area.

The Mormon Trail

A photo I took on the Mormon Trail at the peak.

Photo by Sydney Halliwell

The Mormon Trail is another one of my favorite trails, and it also happens to be on South Mountain. However, it gives a completely different view of the city and won't disappoint. The Mormon Trail is definitely an easy trail, but it does get steep at times. It was the first hike I ever did in Arizona and I had so much fun! You can hike up to the peak and back, or you can continue around the loop for a bit of a longer hike.

I did this hike in December around 3 p.m. and it was perfect! I feel like the enjoyment of hikes is highly dependent on the weather, so always make sure you hike in the morning or later in the day to avoid getting too hot or dehydrated. If you want an easy hike that still gives a great workout, the Mormon trail is definitely for you!

Camelback Mountain

A photo I took on Camelback Mountain.

Photo by Sydney Halliwell

Camelback Mountain is not for people who want a relaxing Sunday morning hike. Camelback Mountain makes an avid hiker like myself realize how out of shape he/she is. This hike is hard, long, and very steep. Despite that, the views of Scottsdale and Phoenix are definitely worth it. During the hike, I felt out of breath, sweaty and frankly defeated. It's the views at the end and on your way down that makes you enjoy the hike more.

I did this hike in the morning in March, and it still had me sweating. To be completely transparent with you all, I ended up falling victim to heat exhaustion (NOT to be confused with heat stroke) and was sick the whole plane ride home from dehydration. This hike really kicked my butt but it was quite worthwhile. Drink a lot of water before the hike, and take sips during. If you chug water on this hike, you may get sick, as I have both seen and heard. Make sure you pay attention to how hydrated you are during the day as well. This hike is strenuous, but with determination, you can do it.

I have hiked many mountains in both the Northeast and the Southwest. Having hiked a decent amount in the Phoenix area, these hikes seem to prevail. Although Camelback Mountain was not my favorite hike during the endeavor, I felt great afterward. Hiking is a great way to get a workout in while still having fun. Whether you take on these hikes alone or with friends or family, always make sure to enjoy yourself and stay hydrated!