Mostly known for its resorts and its sunshine, Phoenix in Arizona might not be the first destination to think of when bringing your pet. However, the city has a lot to offer when it comes to hiking and adventuring around the desert area with your four-legged friend.
Phoenix might be a big and busy city, but its surrounding nature will give you and your furry friend plenty of options to stretch your legs and go for extended walks. Try the Phoenix Mountains Preserve for starters and choose one of the many hikes around secluded valleys and with viewpoints over the city skyline. If you are looking for specific recommendations, check out Lookout Mountain, Shadow Mountain, and North Mountain Park.
For mountain climbs, make your way up Shaw Butte and North Mountain. Alternatively, you could challenge yourself to make your way up the 2,608-foot Piestewa Peak, which can be reached from the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area and Dreamy Draw Recreation Area. For the highest summit of the preserve, choose Camelback Mountain, which can be accessed from the Echo Canyon Recreation Area or Cholla Trailhead.
Central Arizona's dry desert heat is particularly challenging for hikers. Even in winter, hikers and cyclists should wear lightweight opaque clothing, a hat or visor, and high UV-rated sunglasses as well as sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Do not forget to apply it to your hands and feet as well. Additionally, you should carry plenty of water to stay hydrated. A liter per hour is the recommended minimum.
Should you plan your visit in the glowing summer months, be warned not to be active hike from one hour after sunrise until a half hour before sunset. This goes for May 1 until October 1. Also be watchful of dangerous wildlife, such as rattlesnakes and scorpions. If you follow these general safety requirements, nothing will be in the way of you and your pet enjoying wonderful Phoenix and surrounds. It is definitely worth it.