It’s officially getting cooler in the Phoenix Valley and you know what that means…that’s right! It’s time to go outside again! We’re huge fans of hiking and rock climbing, so we decided to share some of our favorite Arizona rock climbing and hiking spots with you!
Arizona Rock Climbing
Mount Lemmon in Tucson
Arizona is chock full of great areas for outdoor exploration, but we love Mount Lemmon for its views and various levels of difficulties.
Mount Lemmon is located in Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains at an elevation of more than 9,000 feet. It has over 1,500 climbing routes and countless bouldering spots. You’ll encounter everyone from beginners to experienced veterans climbing near the Wilderness of Rocks. The high elevation and dense forest surroundings make this a perfect getaway spot for locals to escape the Arizona heat.
While the vast majority of the climbs in this area are accessed by the Catalina Highway, there are parts of the range accessed otherwise. This area has been organized based on access and geographical location.
Hazards on Mount Lemmon
Mount Lemmon isn’t without its hazards, even for advanced climbers. Like most spots, there are the dangers of loose rocks, old hardware, the weather, flash flooding, and animals such as Gila monsters, black scorpions, and snakes.
Stay out of arroyos and major drainages, particularly during the monsoon season of July-August! Finally, be advised that many climbing areas within the Santa Catalinas are closed seasonally (mainly January-July) for protection of peregrine falcons and bighorn sheep. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about that much in November.
We highly recommend the Old Man trail on Mount Lemmon for more advanced climbers as it has amazing views. This route ascends the huge, prominent left-facing corner near the south end of South Fin.
Start up the clean dihedral on thin fingers until you can get a stance for pro. Continue up through broken blocks, staying generally in the corner, until you come right under the large roof near the top. While there are a couple of finishes, the most common is to move right under the roof and up around the corner.
This route is long and quite sustained, save for a couple good rests. It is also extremely fun! While at a resting point, be sure to look around and take in the amazing views.
Hanging Gardens in Phoenix
Phoenix is home to over 700 rock and boulder climbing routes, most of which are conveniently located on some of Phoenix’s most famous hiking trails. You have a wide selection of climbable mountains nine months per year.
We recommend Hanging Gardens. All in all, this route is great for teaching climbers the basics of managing a traditional multi pitch. It’s a relatively simple up and down climb that gives beginners a chance to see what real height is all about. It’s a great warm-up for Tom’s Thumb as well!
Hiking in Arizona
Red Rock State Park
If you want a hike with unique and breathtaking views, then look no further than Sedona’s Red Rock country Red Rock State Park supplies panoramic views of the colorful rocks and craggy formations that have made this world-wide destination a travel icon! After hiking through the lush vegetation surrounding Oak Creek, follow the trail up to views previously only imagined. Eagle’s Nest trail is only one of several options available at Red Rock State Park.
The park offers hikes for every skill level, whether you’re going for a relaxed stroll or looking to break a sweat! The diverse wildlife, birds and plant life you’ll encounter on a Sedona hiking adventure offer unique perspectives of this gorgeous area! While in the park, keep an eye out for the local javelina and mule deer.
These park residents are typically quite photogenic as they go about their daily routines. Numerous bird species also call Red Rock State Park home, especially hummingbirds! Pick up a current bird ID list at the visitor center; you’ll be amazed by the number of species that use the park. Please don’t forget to take tons of scenic photos while at this epic destination, this park lends itself very well to creative shots!
Sedona Hiking Trails
The 5-mile trail network consists of interconnecting loops which lead you along the lush greenery of Oak Creek and the famed red rocks of Sedona. These Sedona hiking trails are family-oriented and clearly marked for your safety and pleasure.
The Eagle’s Nest Loop and the Apache Fire Loop are joined together by the Coyote Ridge Trail which creates one of the best trails in Arizona for family enjoyment. Eagle’s Nest is the highest point in the park with an elevation gain of 300′ and offers amazing views of the red rock escarpments that have helped catapult Sedona into a worldwide destination.
Payson, AZ Hiking
Just outside of Payson, the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a sight to behold. This park contains a serene babbling creek at the bottom of a relatively steep canyon, and boasts rocky landscapes that offer challenges and rewards.
What may be the world’s largest travertine bridge can be seen from many angles within the park. From the paved paths on top, visitors will encounter four great viewpoints to help understand the scale of the bridge, while having the opportunity to take in an expansive view of Arizona’s famed rim country. See the quick facts below that help describe how immense this natural bridge actually is!
With all hikes, be prepared for the weather! Payson gets cold pretty quickly compared to the Valley, so bring plenty of water, a jacket, and gloves!
Most importantly, have fun! If you need a boost before your hike or after it, give us a call at IV Revival. We’ll be happy to help soothe your aching muscles with our IV treatments or rehydrate you. Book an appointment today!