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It’s wintertime but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day—especially if you live in Arizona. Winter is when we experience some of our most mild weather with highs in the Phoenix area in the high 60s and lows averaging around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. New Years has come and gone but for most our new year’s resolutions are holding strong. If you’ve resolved to spend more time outside this year and experience what this beautiful state full of deserts and mountains has to offer, we’ve got some suggestions for you. Here are some trails that are more accessible in the cooler weather which may otherwise be too hot to explore any other time of year.
South Mountain National Trail (Phoenix)
For those of us in the Phoenix area, this is just in our backyard. Stretching across 16,000 acres, South Mountain is one of the country’s largest municipal parks. For those truly ambitious you may want to pack lots of snacks and water and explore the National Trail – over 14 miles long! What truly makes this trail exceptional is how it explores the ridges of the park, highlighting Hidden Valley, the jaw dropping Buena Vista Lookout, Chinese Wall, Telegraph Pass, Goat Hill, and ends in the west end of the park with the amazing San Juan Lookout where saguaro cactus reach spectacular heights amongst forests of cholla cactus. Along the way discover abandoned mines, petroglyphs, and rock formations which remind you of how ancient this world truly is.
Wind Cave Trail (Mesa)
Just a short trip from Phoenix—travel out to Pass Mountain, to explore this family friendly trail. The 3.2-mile Wind Cave Trail offers a massive natural arch which frames the desert surroundings with awe. Dog friendly and great trail for running, take breaks to explore amazing caves and beautiful desert views offering native plants and trees. Within some of these caves holds unique ecosystems which may truly shift your understanding of the world we live in.
Seven Falls Trail (Tucson)
There truly is nothing like discovering water in the desert! It may be a drive, but this trail is certainly worth the trip. The Seven Falls trail is 8.5 miles long, so be sure to pack plenty of snacks for the way there and the way back. However once you arrive at the end of the Bear Canyon Trail you’ll discover a breathtaking fountain of youth that attracts visitors from all over the world. Hidden deep within the rocky cliffs, Seven Falls is a tiered waterfall cascading into natural pools below.
Thumb Butte Trail 33 (Prescott)
Prescott is an amazing mountain town full of little shops, sweet eateries, and iconic views. As if you needed one more reason to visit, the very walkable iconic Thumb Butte Trail 33 hike can take you all the way up to Thumb Butte’s summit. The accent is steep and two miles long, but once you’ve arrived, enjoy incredible views of mountains far away in the distance. This one is for those prepared for cold and icy weather as the elevation is rather high so make sure to dress warm and look out for slippery ice!
Echo Canyon Trail (Phoenix)
We’ve all seen Camelback Mountain from a distance, but have you ever wondered what it would be like at the top? Echo Canyon Trail is a quick 2.4-mile ascent up Camelback Mountain. This trail is rather steep so truly for someone who is looking to get their steps in and a pretty invigorating workout. Once you reach the top, you’ll find it’s worth it. One of the best views of Scottsdale and Phoenix at 1,000 feet in elevation. It’s a great way to gain perspective on our daily lives in the big city.
We urge you to spend as much time outside as it suits you. Getting outside can improve your mood and increase your activity level. However, make sure you are conscious of your exposure to the sun. Even in winter, the sun in Arizona carries harmful UV rays which can bleach out our furniture and dull our flooring. In addition, these rays can cause skin damage, cancer. At CC Sunscreens we offer window shades to protect your interior from the harsh bleaching power of the sun as well as patio sunscreens to protect you when outdoors. To find out more contact us today for a consultation!