Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Phoenix
Looking for kid-friendly hikes near Phoenix that your whole family will love? Look no further than these hiking trails everyone will enjoy.
One great thing about Phoenix is the unlimited amount of sunshine and beautiful weather. Whether you live here or are just visiting, the Phoenix area is a hiker’s paradise. From super difficult trails to flat easy walks, there is a hike for everyone.
But are there kid-friendly hikes around Phoenix? Absolutely! From toddlers to teenagers, there are many hikes you can take your kids on based on their skill level. And all are fun and enjoyable.
Discover some really cool things to do around Phoenix HERE!
Is Camelback hike kid friendly?
In short… not really. Camelback Mountain is definitely one of the most famous hiking trails in Arizona. Mostly for the dramatic views at the top. But Camelback is also known as one of the most difficult trails in Phoenix also.
Camelback is an intense hike that goes straight up the mountain and often requires using your hands to climb rather than just hike. I often compare it more to rock climbing than I do actual hiking.
(Make sure you have good hiking shoes if you attempt to hike Camelback Mountain!)
I have seen several kids attempt this hiking trail and some do great at it! But those kids are avid and experienced hikers. So if you think your child can handle it, then go for it!
But if your child does not have a lot of experience hiking, I would not attempt this hike with them. Since you often need to use your own hands to climb, it’s very hard to help them, hold their hands, or help them balance.
I also do not recommend taking small kids in carriers with you unless you are very experienced with this.
What is the Easiest Hike in Phoenix?
Hiking with a toddler or a very young child? No Problem! Check out the Hole In the Wall near Papago Park. This very small hiking trail is easy enough for toddlers, dogs, and even the elderly. The front looks super impressive like it’s way up high, but the trick is the path in the back that gently goes to the top.
And as a bonus, this hike is located next to the Phoenix Zoo and near Papago park which has a small river and picnic tables. Which would all make for a really fun day!
If you’re looking for a very easy hiking trail in the mountains, check out the Judith Tunnell Trail at South Mountain. This hike is only 1.3 miles long and is very flat. It’s also mostly paved, making it easy for wheelchairs and strollers!
The Best Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Phoenix
Phoenix and the surrounding areas have way too many hikes to list, literally, there are hundreds of them! These are some of my favorite kid-friendly hikes near phoenix that are easy to attempt and fun enough to keep the kids entertained!
Penny Howe Trail – A simple and easy trail only a half mile long with no elevation gain, this trail is filled with plants and wildflowers.
Pima Wash Trail – Located in South Mountain, this 2.7-mile hike has little elevation gain and is considered to be very easy. You’ll have great views and even get to see some old stone houses.
Javelina Trail – Located in Scottsdale, there is plenty of parking and this trail is completely paved, making it great for strollers! It’s a loop and going all the way around will only take about an hour or so. There are even benches all around for when the little ones need to take a break.
Piestewa Peak – Located in Scottsdale, this hike is a popular one so get there early! While there is a good amount of incline, the trail is generally easy to navigate. So probably not best for tiny little legs. But it is a great option for tweens and teens that will enjoy a great view of Phoenix below!
Best Hikes For Kids Near Superstition Mountains
Butcher Jones Trail – This trail is located at Butcher Jones Beach at Saguaro Lake. I love this trail because it’s pretty flat, but also offers the best views. The beginning of the trail wraps around the lake so you always have a great view of the lake.
The entire trail is 5.8 miles so you might not be able to do it all. But don’t worry! The first 1-2 miles are the prettiest. So hike as far as you can and then turn around when the kids get tired! It starts and ends at the beach, which makes for some really fun play time.
Wave Cave Trail – This is a 3-mile out-and-back trail that has a slight elevation change to it. But generally is a very easy trail to hike. And what’s best is that it ends in a very large cave with a rock that looks like a wave. The cave is a great place to also take in the views and stop for a picnic lunch before heading back.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum – This Arboretum is a great place for some fun family hikes! They have an assortment or easy to navigate trails. And because it’s an arboretum, there are tons of plants and flowers to discover along the way. Even some old abandoned log homes and cars.
Discovery Trail and Lost Dutchman State Park – I love this easy hike for many reasons. It’s very kid-friendly and only 1 mile long. But it takes you through some very pretty parts of the mountain and gives you great views. It’s also located at a State park where they have camping, picnic tables, and even the Goldfield Ghosttown nearby for more fun!
Kid-Friendly Hikes With Waterfalls
Hieroglyphic Trail – This fun hike has a gentle uphill trail that takes you to a small waterfall and swimming area. It is a 3 miles out and back trail. But because of the fun water features, most families hike here and then take a break to swim, eat and relax before heading back down.
Blue Wash Trail – Located in North Scottsdale, this easy hike takes you through a small canyon area and ends in a waterfall where you can swim and play. The scenery is amazing and kids will love the water feature at the end.
Wagon Wheel Falls – If you are willing to drive a little bit outside of Phoenix, check out wagon wheel falls near Payson. This easy hike is a favorite of ours! It follows a small river and ends up in the best swimming hole with tons of flat rocks. Perfect for dogs and kids to play. We typically pack a lunch and spend all day here.
The Best Time of the Year To Go Hiking With Kids Near Phoenix
Taking kids hiking is fun but should always be done with caution. You dont want to overwhelm them, especially if it gets too hot or too cold.
Hiking in the Summer – Please take extreme caution when hiking with kids in the summer. Several adults need to be rescued because of heat stroke or dehydration every summer in Phoneix when the temps are consistently over 100 degrees.
And with desert vegetation, you won’t get much shade on your hikes. Going early in the morning is best, but as a rule of thumb, do not hike with kids if the temperature reaches 100 degrees.
If you want to do hiking in the summer, consider some day trips up north to Flagstaff, Prescott, or Payson for some great hikes in the tall pines. Or go on a hike near water like Butcher Jones. Do the hike in the morning and end up swimming in the lake to cool down when it starts to warm up!
Hiking in the Winter – Believe it or not, Phonix can get pretty cold in the winter. We even get some frost and light snow here at times. So make sure it’s not too cold to hike!
But in general, you will want to go on kid-friendly hikes near phoenix in the winter as often as possible! Don’t underestimate the sun… you’ll still need lots of sunblock and water to keep your kids safe.
What to Bring When Hiking with Kids
Here are some of my favorite (and necessary) items to bring on your kid-friendly hikes near phoenix…
Waterproof Hiking Shoes – Slipping is one of the easiest ways for kids to get hurt when hiking. Get them a good pair of shoes with grips because more than likely, they are going to find something to climb as well!
Sunblock – The Phoenix sun is no joke! Even in the winter, the sun is out in full force and can easily burn your kids.
Kids Hydration Pack – This is my favorite hydration pack for kids. It comes in an assortment of colors, holds a lot of water, and even has extra pockets so kids can bring their own snacks… or even have a place to keep treasures they find along the way!
Kids Binoculars – Not a necessity, but super fun for kids to have! These are affordable and come in tons of colors and will get kids more involved in searching for wildlife.
Sun hat – Kids don’t typically like sunglasses, so I find that a good sun hat works best. This keeps the sun off their face but out of their eyes as well.
Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Phoenix
Do you have any kid-friendly hikes near Phoenix that you can recommend? Please leave it in the comments below for someone to discover!