Arizona’s Best Fall Hikes
Camelback Mountain, in Phoenix, is a favorite hiking spot for visitors and locals alike. With a peak at 2,704 feet above sea level, this sandstone mountain offers two different, yet equally beautiful trails: Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail.
When you embark on the Echo Canyon trail, you’re in for about a 1.15 mile hike. Echo Canyon will get steeper than Cholla Trail, so this is an excellent workout. Cholla Trail is a bit longer, at 1.3 miles, but not as steep.
However, it does get quite rocky and increasingly dangerous by the ridgeline. This trail is not recommended for less experienced hikers, or children. On either hike, you have the chance to view some of Arizona’s most common smaller animals: cottontail rabbits, Harris antelope squirrels, lizards, rattlesnakes, and birds. Rattlesnakes are a massive safety threat, so make sure you pay extremely close attention to your surroundings.
Mormon Trail: Hidden Valley
You’ll find this trail at South Mountains in Phoenix. Hidden Valley part of the reward for finishing this 3.5 mile-long Mormon Trail. National Trail is the first section of the hike – the first 1.5 miles, and this contains Fat Man’s Pass. You may be thinking to yourself, “what a strange name,” but once you see it, you’ll understand. Fat Man’s Pass is a natural narrow gap created by massive boulders on the trail. This natural tunnel is where the ironic name is derived from. Much like Camelback Mountain, snakes are very common on this trail, so extreme attention must be paid.
West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon
West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon is tucked away in the gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon of Sedona. Part of the Coconino National forest, this trail gets absolutely breathtaking in the fall with all of the changing colors. Adding to the beauty, the trail envelopes the stream at the bottom of the canyon, making this easy hike, a bit more challenging in places. During the hike, or stroll, you’ll be required to cross the stream. This means boulder hopping or stepping across stones in the water. Because of these sections in the hike, it is advised to bring an alternate pair of shoes and a walking stick if your balance is not quite superior. Venturing on this entire hike will gain you 14 miles of spectacular Sedona views. If you are not looking to hike 14 miles, however, there is 3-mile trail available.