Explore the most popular trails near Mesa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.



nature trips

trail running


dogs on leash

wild flowers


mountain biking

kid friendly


horseback riding

dog friendly

Mesa, Arizona Map

The trail itself to me was boring. And with the noise pollution of other park goers with kids, it's easy to be detracted. BUT, the horses. (sigh) And sometimes horses in the river playing around. There's just something about the horses that brings me back to this trail almost quarterly. Every time I go, I sit for a solid 30-60 minutes watching them. I typically always bring out-of-towners here if we have time, because the horses are so special and it's not a trail you need hiking or trail shoes for.
If you're not into wild horses, look for a trail elsewhere.
The horses are (unfortunately) people-friendly because idiots feed them. Last year, sadly, someone shot two of them. My point is that these horses are trusting and will come close to you. So please don't give them reason to fear by acting loudly around them; be respectful that you're in their habitat as only a visitor. And, PICK UP YOUR TRASH, this includes orange rinds and apple cores. Do not feed the horses!!
The parking lot is quite large, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a spot.

Fun quick hike. It is def off the beaten path a little- you can drive right past it if you aren't paying attention. The incline is step but fun. Once you get half way there is a great view and place for standing rest if needed. IMO the 1at half is harder than the 2nd half because the loose rocks and lack of a trail. Ive taken our dogs and they did great. They needed water half way and again at the top. This is a quick hike (30 mins total with a small break for water and pics)

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.

14 days ago

Great hike through the desert. Relatively close to the East valley. Well maintained and we'll traveled. Great views at the top.

Nice and easy trail for July. Views of Pass Mountain, with Four Peaks and the fountain of Fountain Hills in the distance. Probably only 3 stars in the winter - too short and flat for me then.

Good hike with kids. As with all AZ hikes, bring water! There were bees at the summit when I was there so watch out. The "caves" aren't really caves. But its fun anyway.

Fun trail! Not a moderate hike in my opinion, more on that easier side. There is a gate entry fee of $7.

Has an awesome sandier portion with banked turns on the leg between Usery Pass and Phon D Sutton.

27 days ago

Great Morning Hike! We beat the heat :) Good Times!!!

27 days ago

Amazing!!! Beautiful views and clean bathrooms!

Fun trail occasionally hard to find. Some great views of red Mountain and the salt River. There are many other trails and washes that intersect. This makes it easy to take a quick short cut back to the beginning. We cut about 2 miles off the main trail by doing this. We didn’t want to do the whole 7 miles. We did about five.

Park for free by the bridge just before Granite Reef recreation site or roadside just after. Granite Reef requires a paid pass.

This is a great MTB trail. I was hiking and went off trail most of the time. I did a Little Rock hounding and found some nice quartz.

It’s straight up desert crossing, not featured, maintained hiking trails. I like that.

Decent views - started at 0615 finished at about 0855 as we stopped for lunch - I hike a lot in Arizona in the summer but the last mile was oppressively hot. At 108 my backpack thermometer read 120 in direct sun. I’d recommend not doing this one during July/Aug unless the high is below 105

Badly badly marked, maybe not at all, more just weaving little sandy trails. Half the time we dead-ended in the river or bushes. Very little shade on the trails that are accessible. Busy spot for the river, bbqs and little rc cars. The river was gorgeous and we saw a small herd of horses and a big bull across the water! Pretty wild flowers and trees too.

1 month ago

Decent trail if you don’t want to drive to the park, though you still have to pay. Views of the Superstitions and Pass Mountain.

This hike is absolutely beautiful! You really get to experience a little bit of everything this desert has to offer. The views are fantastic and the hike easy, so even with the 100+ degree temperatures it was pleasant. Tips- Pack lots of water, be mindful of snakes!

Nice little hike up to the saddle. Enough exercise for me on a hot June morning.

I think the only parking area is about a mile away from the trail. You have to get a permit at the Walgreens on the way in ($8). I skipped this trail.

paddle sports
1 month ago

So much fun! Great for any skill level too. Renting a kayak is the easiest option— a bus will pick you up at your desired location and take you back to your car. Take a friend!

1 month ago

Interesting trail that was much more of an adventure than I expected!
Warning: This trail is more remote than most other trails in the area. It is a combination of regular trails, a few dirt roads and several washes.
Pay close attention to your map! There are a few well placed cairns, but it is not obvious which way to go on several occasions and it is quite easy to get off track.
I am in decent shape and have done a fair amount of hiking, but I went off trail twice, had my phone down to 10% battery, ran out of water, and ended up quite dehydrated on a “cool” June morning with only 90F.
Be smarter than me! Bring at least 2 liters of water if you go when it is hot, and make sure you have enough battery power if that is your only way to navigate.
I saw a dead horse in a wash and not a single person during the hike...and was happy when I made it back to my car. Be safe in the heat.

1 month ago

If you like rock scrambling, continue on past the wind cave! Very fun but definitely some climbing

Fantastic loops! Make your own distance by adding loops or subtracting...... good elevation not too much, good for trail running and bikes! This is a great easy go to trail system!

on Butcher Jones Trail

1 month ago

One of the most surreal moments of the trip was to arrive at the trailhead (sunrise) to witness the beauty of the Salt River wild horses. Amazing. The hike is beautiful with incredible views. Be cautious as the trail is quite narrow and steep at times. The narrow part can create an issue with rattle snake encounters... as we experienced on this hike. We expect to run into all sorts of wildlife during these hikes but did get ourselves into a pickle on the trail. Our issue was upon our return to the trailhead where we encountered a coiled rattler in a covered brush area near the shore. It’s beautiful in this small patch of area but you only have one way to pass through. There is no where to climb up or around in certain areas so if your trail is blocked, it may pose additional impediments. Just be cautious and aware of your surroundings on this trail. I suggest a walking stick of sorts.

2 months ago

Hiked to the cave on April 30 2018 beautiful morning nice trail

2 months ago

The wind cave itself was an interesting feature but if you want to make the most of this hike then go past the cave and up to the summit. It does not take much longer and the views were amazing!! I don’t know why other people don’t do this.

Fun short trail. Not difficult at all.

2 months ago

There is nothing moderate about this hike. Lots of people all the time. It seems people stay here overnight. If you want to enjoy this hike, go there at night in the Summer. Otherwise early morning.If you do not stop to rest or drink water this is a great workout.

A bit too flat, very little shade. Nice blossoms beginning to show.

2 months ago

Easy up and back. Sadly, not worth the $7 entry fee. We were super excited about this hike, but were slightly disappointed once we reached the “cave”. Left much to be desired ...

2 months ago

Beautiful trail but not lightly trafficked. A lot of mountain bikers out. Still... The desert beauty was amazing. Easy trail, saw lots of birds and lizards... Even a rabbit.

Load More