Scarlet Canyon

EASY 12 reviews

Scarlet Canyon is a 3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Phoenix, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.0 miles 763 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

road biking

rock climbing

trail running


horseback riding


wild flowers


over grown


washed out

Neighborhood trail part of the Phoenix Parks and Rec department but one of the lesser known trails that remains officially unnamed. You can go around the mountain or over the mountain. Mostly flat with lose sand and gravel. Makes mountain biking a challenge. There are some hills and boulders to navigate and the ascent up the mountain is very rocky. Lots of coyotes and jack rabbits in this park but I've never seen or heard of any snake sightings - still, i know they are there.

3 months ago

It's a great little hike for us when time is short.

7 months ago

I take my dogs no problem and it's pretty dead weekday ams so it's nice. tons of unmarked trails so I explore allowing my hikes to range from 2-7ish miles. to small an area to get seriously lost, off the original goal trail for sure though! Simple nice & quiet.

7 months ago

Unmarked trails. Definitely got lost. I took my dog with me and I don't recommend that. There is some rock climbing evolved if you actually want to get to the submit. It was a definite disappointment.

8 months ago

We went up the center summit, down the back, around half the mountain, back up the higher summit, and back down.
Positives- super close, good workout, pretty flowers, super quiet
Negatives-not sure where to park, unmarked trails (we did get a little lost), would not do it alone

8 months ago

Fun trail! I got to practice some trail running. You can make it as long as you want with some fun inclined to the tops.

cross country skiing
10 months ago

Quiet, beautiful views of the valley, never busy,great for a quick work out. One of my favs that not many people know about.

1 year ago

First I start this hike from 12 street as it is close to home. It is a 4 mile hike for me and my dog Rowdy. Rowdy is my hiking buddy and we hike a lot together.
This trail is easy and I do it as a loop. Lots of different views from all sides. My favorite side is the eastside with all its different huge boulders and lots of spots for breaks.

1 year ago

Scarlet Canyon is not a trail, or even a series of trails, but more a series of half-trails/half-scrambles. The trails are unmarked and largely undefined, but the area is still easily manageable with just a little bit of rock scrambling. Hiking boots with good treads are recommended, although I did see one other man in flip flops, which he might have come to regret. There is a trailhead of sorts, with a little bit of parking. It is a city facility, but there are no signs below showing the name Scarlet Canyon, or at least none that I saw. Arriving this Sunday, June 14th, at 6 am, there were a few other cars in the drive, and I met other hikers soon after I started. I did not find a defined trail at the bottom, so I began the scramble, climbing over boulders and rocks toward the top. As said before, there are two summits. There is one to the north of the park, and that one climbs to about 2,000 feet. 2,076 I was told by a ham radio operator at the top with an altimeter. On top, there is an airport radio box, though for which airport I am not sure. There is also an area near that top that looks perfect for campsite. To the south, there is another summit of sorts, though that one is probably no more than 1,500 feet. The trail to that summit is broad and well defined, though it appears to be the result of run-off. Scrambling up the side of the mountain, and then up and down both summits, and back down the mountain, was a fairly short hike, only 2.72 miles. All in all, an enjoyable hike, even if not very challenging.

1 year ago

Nice quick hike with the option of 2 "summits", A nice day hike.

2 years ago

This is one of those great "Neighborhood Mountains" It is a fantastic course, about 4 miles around or over - your choice, that gives you a wide variety of hiking and biking options. I wouldn't drive from across town to do this one, but it sure is nice to have close to home. This is a textbook example of what makes Phoenix a great place to live.

2 years ago

Lived next to this mountain for years. Hike it a lot. To get to it go north on cave creek from the 101. Turn west on first light. it dead ends and has places to park. I think it's more of a moderate hike. Seen gila monsters, buzzards and rattlers. Heard this is one of the union hills.

hard to find any marked trailhead but once I was closer to the base of the mountain there were several trails to choose from, leading up to two separate summits. some light rock climbing but easily navigated. my mini dachshund was able to make it to the peak but I had to lift him over some of the steep areas. great views of the valley!