Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Deem Hills Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Really happy to be back in the saddle for hike season 2k19. Deem Hills is a gorgeous preserve. It's far more lush than the surrounding mountains and trails in Phoenix. In terms of difficulty, I'd call it moderate, but an easier moderate? The Ridgeline trail felt a little longer than I expected, but it drops you off back on the circumference trail after the 1.5 miles. I wish I had done the entire circumference trail, and hadn't cut through by taking ridgeline. All in all, a real sight to behold, and one I can't wait to return to.

It was the first cool weekend of autumn and the hikers were out in force. It was difficult to find a parking space in the west parking lot. I decided to start going north and instead of taking the Circumference Trail the entire way, I branched off to the Basalt trail to Palisades and back to Circumference Trail for a total of 5.7 miles. Steady incline and very rocky in places, so a good workout. Scenic views were average and I felt that the Basalt trail had the best views.

My daughter and myself took her 2 and 4 year old boys today. The boys were troopers and did a great job. We just each took one of the boys by the hand, stopped for water breaks along the way, watched for lizards, sang some songs and had a great time. Definitely, a moderate hike, tho’!

Echo Canyon is my absolute favorite Phoenix hike, but this is close to our house and so convenient. It's a great hour-long hike with plenty of incline to get the heart pumping, and nice scenery. Also, many good trail-running opportunities. Deem Hills confuses me at times, because there are so many trail variations available, but I'm sure I'll appreciate that, once I'm more familiar with the area. It allows for the opportunity to shorten or lengthen a hike, if desired. I suggest bringing water for sure, and maybe a snack, if you're not familiar with the area. It's difficult to get truly "lost," since the canal or some other landmark is almost always visible, but it's very easy to end up going in circles, if you have no GPS. I speak from personal experience.

One of my favorite scenic trails. It’s about 2 hours and a good steady hike and it’s quiet.

3 months ago

The trail starts out on a dirt service road. Be careful to watch the left side for the start of the trail proper. The marker was slightly hidden by a bush when I was there but look for the yellow fire hydrant. After that everything is marked very well. You start on the circumference trail then about .8 in is the Ridgeline loop. You don't really hit the absolute summit even though this was used as a summit in one year of the Phoenix 7 summits. There are great views of the Arizona Canal, a blue streak through the brown desert. The trail is mostly hard rock and loose medium size stone with patches of flat dirt trail. I started at 7:30 and was out at 9:30 (I'm not the fastest hiker) and it was getting bit hot. I won't start that late again during the summer. It's a very nice walk though with nice elevation change without being crazy like Piestewa.

This is a great trail for beginners.

Great mtn biking trail, not that much switch backs but very rocky in some areas. Take lots of water. Didn’t run into any snakes which is good. Hardly any hikers.

A great and well marked trail that took us about 2.5 hours to complete with a few breaks to hydrate. We started at the park trail head (West) at 6 am. A lot of beautiful desert scenery on this moderate-easy trail including a view of I-17 and the CAP canal.

horseback riding
5 months ago

Great trail for horses!

5 months ago

The trail is clearer than others we have walked so there is less risk of rolling an ankle. Nice views of the surrounding mountains. There are three options of trails in this range to allow for those who would rather not take on any altitude hiking. You can hike the perimeter base.

great trail to hike for all levels and also a challenging one for biking

Good day hike. Gets hot mid day.

Loved this hike! So many different types of scenery. Nice that there was water about half way through to refill our bottles.

6 months ago

Love doing this hike before work and see the sun rise from the top! Easy up but don’t think it’s well marked.

This is one of my regular hikes. There are crowds on the weekend, but during the week if I have a chance I love this trail. It is well maintained and a good workout. It's also great for trail running. Bring your dog, but keep an eye out for chuckwallas, and snakes.

Well maintained, fairly easy trail with beautiful views, however the absence of the flag at the summit was the biggest let down!

Got smoked on this trail! SUCH a good workout no matter which trail you take. I’ve mixed it up quite a bit and have gotten really warped! Good times. Be sure to bring a snack or two if you plan on staying for the longer hikes. I definitely got hungry and was desperate for energy.

Super cool. Probably the most beautiful trail I’ve been on North of Phoenix so far. It’s rugged, the terrain changes from beige, soft sand to red dirt and black rocks, to white, fine sand. It feels like you’re in the wild. I didn’t see people for about an hour. I like that it’s lightly trafficked on a weekday evening.

I took my dog with me. She kept me going up the steep side to the ridge line. It was worth every step!

This trail is one of my favorites. The trail easily expands by using adjacent trails. I stick to the length on the map to have a great after work hike. The profile and length offer a great workout. The trail offers variety in vistas, plants and wild life. A road runner slightly trailed me for a half mile last month allowing a number of pictures and a hike highlight.

Moderate is apt rating but it is not strenuous.

Really nice easy going hike! I only ran into 4 other people! I think it would be a beautiful hike at sunrise or sunset!

Nice long hike. Feels like you’re further out in the wilderness than you actually are. We did see a very large Coyote. But we just hung back until he moved on.

great trail, nice variety of terrain

trail running
9 months ago

I'm still exploring, but this is my favorite trail to run in the area so far. Great distance, good elevation, plenty of small trails to add on, and beautiful scenery.

Took us about 2 hours to finish this at a more fast pace with short stops. Started 7:15am, ended 9:35am. I brought snacks but I feel I could have just left them in the car. Of course, water is always needed. Saw maybe 5 people there but looked to get more busy around 9am. I'll most likely come back when I need a quick trail to do close by.

Great trails.

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