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Get out and explore The Valley of the Sun!

Get out and explore The Valley of the Sun!

Frank Lloyd Wright once stated, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” We believe this to be true as well. We are lucky to live in such a spectacular place. After even a minor amount of exploring, it is easy to see why Wright chose to build his beloved winter home and desert laboratory, Taliesin West, right here in the Valley of the Sun.

Now that the weather is starting to cool off in the Phoenix Metro area, it is the perfect time to head outdoors and explore the plethora of multi-use trails in and around your neighborhood. Whether you want to hike, bike, go horseback riding, take a Jeep Tour or sit and observe nature, there are so many fabulous places to go right here in the Valley of the Sun. We even have several paths in or near Phoenix that have been deemed “barrier free” which means that anyone can enjoy these particular trails even if they are using a wheelchair, pushing a stroller, encouraging young children or slower walkers to hike, recovering from an injury or just beginning a fitness routine for the first time. Having these trails close by is just one of the many benefits of moving to Arizona!

While we realize that this incredible state has much more to offer in the way of trails, we thought it best to narrow our focus and dedicate this particular post to a few of our favorite trails in and around Phoenix. Feel free to click on any of the red text below to read more about these magnificent parks and trails.

Phoenix Parks/Trailheads

  • Camelback Mountain
  • Deems Hills Recreation Area
  • Lookout & Shadow Mountain
  • North Mountain & Shaw Butte (The Penny Howe Barrier Free Trail is barrier free)
  • Papago Park (the Crosscut Canal Trail & Elliott Loop Trails are barrier free)
  • Piestewa Peak & Dreamy Draw
  • Rio Salado Habitat Restoration (The North Overbank and South Overbank Trails are barrier free)
  • Sonoran Preserve (The East Skip Rimsza Paseo and West Skip Rimsza Paseo Trails are barrier free)
  • South Mountain Park/Preserve (The Judith Tunell Accessible Trail is barrier free)
  • Reach 11 Recreation Area (Barrier Free Access Nature Trail is barrier free)

Scottsdale Parks/Trailheads

  • Brown’s Ranch Trailhead  (The Jane Rau Trail is barrier free)
  • Gateway Trailhead (The Bajada Trail is barrier free)
  • McDowell Mountain Regional Park trailhead (The Nursery Tank Trail is barrier free)
  • Lost Dog Trailhead (Lost Dog Wash Trail is barrier free)
  • Pinnacle Peak Park has a trail for hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing.

Cave Creek Parks/Trailheads

  • Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area Map (PDF)
  • Cave Creek Regional Park
  • Desert Foothills Land Trust

East Valley Parks/Trailheads 

  • Usery Mountain Park in Mesa (The Merkle Barrier-Free Trail is barrier free)
  • Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction (The Native Plant Trail is barrier free)

Physical activity and fresh air might be more important now than ever before. While we encourage you to get out and be physically active, we also want to make sure you stay safe. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC recommends the following when visiting public parks and recreational facilities such as the trails and trailheads mentioned above:

  • Visit parks and recreation areas that are close to your home.
  • Don’t visit crowded parks or campgrounds.
  • Carefully consider use of playgrounds, and help children follow guidelines.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands often and don’t share items with people you don’t live with.

If you are looking to move to Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, Peoria, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler or any of the other surrounding cities, let us know. Our team of agents at azarchitecture can help you find the neighborhood that best fits your lifestyle. Contact us directly at, and we will put you in touch with an agent in your desired area.

“Leave the roads, take the trails.” – Pythagoras