What are Some Outdoor Activities in Phoenix, Arizona?

Sheri Cyprus

If you like desert climates and breathtaking scenery, consider outdoor activities in Phoenix, Arizona. The parks in and around Phoenix offer great opportunities for hiking, cycling, fishing, golf and horseback riding. South Mountain Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Camelback Mountain and Papago Park are just some of the excellent places known for great outdoor activities in Phoenix.

Arizona features sandstone formations.
Arizona features sandstone formations.

Papago Park has beautiful red mountains made of volcanic rock and is close to Phoenix and Scottsdale. The mountains in Papago Park look like rounded, smooth, red sculptures with round open "holes" in some of the rock. One popular and easy hiking trail here leads to a mountain area named "Hole-in-the-Rock." With four easy trails, Papago Park is a good place for beginning or less experienced hikers looking for fun outdoor activities in Phoenix.

Golfing may be enjoyed in Phoenix.
Golfing may be enjoyed in Phoenix.

Camelback Mountain, on the other hand, is known more for its challenging hiking trails. This red sandstone mountain named for its shape is popular with more experienced hikers. There are two trails here that are complex summit trails and the hump-shaped mountain can be difficult for many hikers. However, there are some easier trails at Camelback Mountain as well.

The Phoenix area offers many hiking opportunities.
The Phoenix area offers many hiking opportunities.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park is another nice spot for outdoor activities in Phoenix. The Park contains much of the White Tank mountain range and has both mountain and desert settings. It's a popular place for just looking at the stars because of the clear, dark desert skies at night and stargazing and other events are often held here. The hiking trails range from easy to difficult. Picnicking, camping, cycling and horseback riding as well as running on a competitive track are some popular activities in Phoenix's White Tank Mountain Regional Park.

Stargazing is a popular nighttime activity in Phoenix.
Stargazing is a popular nighttime activity in Phoenix.

South Mountain Park is one of the world's largest parks. It's a natural preserve that is in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve System. Guided horseback riding may be offered here, although usually not during the summer months. Picnicking, mountain biking and hiking are some popular outdoor activities in Phoenix's South Mountain Park. The hiking trails are not very easy here and range from moderate to extremely challenging due to steep rock cliffs.

Guided horseback rides are available in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve System.
Guided horseback rides are available in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve System.
White Tank Mountain Regional Park contains both mountain and desert settings.
White Tank Mountain Regional Park contains both mountain and desert settings.

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