With the weather cooling off and more individuals flocking into down, there are bound to be people looking for some trails to hit. Whether you are in town for a few days or a few weeks, you can enjoy some of the local trails around the Phoenix area. This guide is geared more towards the average hiker and won't include any overnight excursions. There are plenty of trails around the Phoenix area that are less populated, but still moderate.
Hidden Valley via Mormon Loop-
Located a few miles South of downtown Phoenix lies the countries largest city park and some of the best trails in the area. The Hidden Valley is just as it sounds and is located in the heart of South Mountain. There are multiple ways to access this trail, but the preferred method is to begin at the Mormon Trailhead South of Baseline Road on 24th Street. The trail climbs steadily till it tops out and ends at the National Trail intersection. Enroute to this intersection you will pass another junction, but the one you are looking for is further South. At the National Trail junction head West till you encounter another junction with the Hidden Valley/Fat Man's Pass signage. Follow the trails through Hidden Valley and you will eventually be dropped off on the National Trail once more. Continue West on the National Trail and you will arrive at the junction with the Mormon Loop. Backtrack and enjoy the views of downtown Phoenix.
Near where the Loop 101 and Bell Road meet (In Scottsdale) there lies the McDowell Mountains. Just North of the intersection of 104th St and Bell Road there is a small parking lot that marks the beginning of this hike. The hike takes you up a solid climb and gives expansive views of the valley. From the parking lot take old road to the Levee Trail. Take this trail till it ends at the Paradise Trail where you will head North till it intersects the Gateway Trail. Head East on this till you come to the beginning of the Bell Pass Trail. Continue climbing along the Bell Pass Trail till you arrive at the pass (AKA Bell Pass). Enjoy views of the valley and catch your breath before you continue back the way you came, while enjoying the sweeping views of the surrounding area.