Explore 2017 To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017 To Do Map
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Parking is the only bummer.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike if you want to beat the crowd at Squaw Peak summit trail.

This is a great training hike!

hiking
3 days ago

This is a great beginner hike to get in shape.

it definately has opportunity to try different trails. it does spider off and connect to other trails randomly. the trail makes you feel like you're in the middle of the desert but you know that the freeway is close by. I have run into a snake before, no big deal. the wild life is very scarce. great starting area!

Great trail to take the pup on!

hiking
7 days ago

There are nice views along the trail and at the end, where you'll find the petroglyphs. The petroglyphs aren't subtle, either, so you'll have no problem finding them. :)
I wouldn't recommend hiking this trail if you don't have proper hiking or trail shoes. You do need the grip here and there.
There is a nice sized parking lot, too, so unless you're hiking this in peak season on a weekend, you'll find a spot.
If you go during monsoon season, be mindful of a flash flood risk. At the end, where you'll find the petroglyphs are pools and a waterfall. Don't get caught in there if it's raining. The rocks would be too slippery to confidently be safe.

hiking
7 days ago

Love, love, love this trail. It's a must-do, essential for any passionate hiker in the Phoenix vicinity. ...or any surfers. :) Everyone needs a pic of themselves "riding the wave" at some point to use as desktop wallpaper.
The hike itself is fairly easy, though the last part up to the cave is the most challenging, hence the "moderate" rating. But it's absolutely something you can do, because YOU HAVE TO! Your reward isn't just the view, but the cool air in the cave. It's remarkably cooler. Be sure to bring a lot of water if it's warm out because there's no shade along the way.

Whether you like this trail depends on what you prefer. If you don't want to see a lot of people and prefer a more challenging hike nearby, review trails in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. It's not paved and a lot of people like biking here. But I like this trail because I have so many sentimental memories around this loop and in this park. Because it is easy to walk and easy to find and at a central location in the East Valley, I visit this trail annually. Bonus is the amphitheatre located on the north end of Big Butte Loop. I sometimes bring a yoga mat to this and practice on the pavement for a little while.

I used to hike this regularly years ago when I lived in Ahwatukee. I love this trail because it offers cardio, lovely views, and is challenging enough to make you feel like you hiked, rather than took a walk. It's fairly populated but not so on major holidays (i.e. Christmas Eve, Easter morning, Thanksgiving morning, the morning of Dec 31, etc.) That's when I hiked it most, for the solitude and lack of distraction. This is an out and back trail with the last part up to Telegraph Pass having the steepest grade. I don't necessarily recommend this to tourists who don't have proper hiking or trail shoes, because there is a lot of loose dirt and stones/pebbles. But if you have the proper shoes and lots of water, the view from the top of Telegraph Pass is lovely.

Classic Arizona hike that all should do at least once. Well marked, great valley views and a good workout. We completed in less than 2 hours and that’s including breaks to admire the view. Go in the morning, when at least part of the trails are still in some morning shade.

on Shadow Mountain Trail

9 days ago

Easy hike? I’m not sure

Great running trail. Plenty of moderate ups and downs to get good workout. I've been using this trail, among others in the area, for 35 years.

Always a good time love this trail

hiking
13 days ago

Great views! Nicely groomed trail. Saw lots of lizards.

Our group from Gold Canyon AZ chose to hike the loop counter clockwise (about 3 miles), and then climb to Piestewa Peaks via the summit trail last so we could take a long lunch break before heading back to the parking area.

hiking
14 days ago

Silly Mtn is just across Hwy 60 from our RV Resort and every time we pass the parking lot we see many cars parked there. Finally my hiking group walked over from Canyon Vistas RV Resort and hiked the loop you see here, plus every "cross path" for a total of about 6 miles. The group marked it Easy to Moderate but there wasn't much in the easy category... but the scenery was a big surprise and I'm glad I did it!!!!!!!

This trail is what you would expect. Its fairly easy however there is a small portion on the mountain itself that is slightly difficult, but beginners would still be okay. This is a personal preference but I hated that it was almost a mile to the actual hike, the hike itself, then another 'almost mile' back out. This trail is 3/4 desert walking (very little shade) and 1/4 hike.

We went early morning in July, I mean 6 a.m.. the beginning of the tail is in direct sun light. once you get to larger rocks, it's more shaded as the sun hasn't come over the ridge yet. BEAUTIFUL. lovely views. we only went half way (per the trail on the map here)

Nice trail, some rocky parts. Beautiful views.

hiking
21 days ago

Moderate rating is accurate. I would suggest hiking the loop clockwise. This will provide a more gradual incline to the summit. Descending is with less small rocks and scree.

Good Hike. a lot of rocks on trail due to the rain but still manageable. good quick workout

hiking
23 days ago

This is a nice beginner trail, and trail to take children to - it has placards along the way that identify plantlife. Pick up a brochure at the entrance so that you can read what each placard references - you'll learn about packrats, for example.
And as much as I enjoyed this trail, it's not one to hike if you're looking for an exertion.
I like that there were only few other hikers. Parking was easy - it's a large, large parking lot.

hiking
23 days ago

I've heard people in my hiking group argue that this isn't a real hike, which I think is ridiculous. Their argument is that because this trail has a lot of placards along the way, identifying plants, it's more of a walk. I disagree - if you complete this trail to the end, there is absolutely some decent cardio. And, although there is no need to climb rocks, this is a trail that still requires grippy shoes because the texture of the trail is small gravel and loose dirt.
Views are nice, however all are of surrounding neighborhoods - you're not in a remote location, where you'll see minimal signs of life.
I like this trail because it enables me to maintain a decent cardio pace. It goes up, down, up, down. Then you return. This is why it's one of my fav hikes, and I go fairly regularly - it enables me to maintain a decent cardio.
This trail is well maintained with a staffed station at the entry, complete with bathrooms.
There are a lot of parking spaces, and typically I am able to easily park near the trailhead.

Gotta love this Hike!
It starts out rather easy but about half way you do get a little bit of an incline through big rocks yet it's not crazy difficult to get up to the Cave.
On the day hiked it there was another family with about 6 kids ranging from 14 to maybe 7 years of age, so yeah, if kids can do so it, why cant you!?
Anyhow, the sights from the top are quite nice and definitely one cool cave to go see!

Decent views. Easy to access. A bit too close to the highway for my liking.

Great family hike. Interesting petroglyphs.

My favorite trail easy to get to in middle of the city.
Wide, clean, and easy trails great for children and dogs. Clean restrooms with limited parking.

Great trail! It's probably best to go in the winter but I went in the summer and it wasn't too bad (bring lots of water though!) I recommend going early in the morning otherwise you will lose the little shade there is on the traim. The tunnel is awesome and I love the saguaro like usual. Definitely a beginner's hike and can be done in a couple hours even with some breaks.

hiking
26 days ago

Did this hike with my son who isn't as enthusiastic about hiking in 110 heat as I am. We chose this hike for the moderate elevation gain and distance. The views are ok and the trail is well marked. The highlight are the hieroglyphics at the end. As many of the other reviewers have said, the bees in the pool below make hanging out by the hieroglyphs problematic.

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