In my mind, Arizona is one of the most underrated states in the southwest when it comes to outdoor activities. The options are endless: from hiking and backpacking, to somewhat unexpected water sports. Arizona has a lot to offer. My goal here is to help expose some of this radical nature to the masses – with Leave no Trace principles in mind, of course.
Best time to visit
This really depends on which part of the state you’re trying to see. The best rule of thumb, though, is to target spring and fall. The summer months in Arizona can be pretty brutal – even in the northern part of the state. That said, there are things to do no matter what time of year you visit.
Winter: go skiing in Flagstaff, snow hiking in Sedona, or perfect mid-day hiking in the Phoenix and Tucson areas (though beware that it gets very cold at night).
Spring and Fall: the state is your oyster. These are the ideal times to visit Arizona. Note that this is not a secret – so areas will be much more populated.
Summer: definitely not the ideal time to visit, but if you so choose, I would recommend swinging up to Flagstaff for a nice alpine hike in the shade. Or grab a resort with a pool and heed this advice.
Explore the Arizona outdoors
To the surprise of many, Arizona offers an extremely diverse hiking terrain – from the expected desert filled with Saguaro cactus, to alpine forests in the northern part of the state. Below, you’ll find some insight into the various trails available within this magnificent outdoor state.