Plan A Trip To Explore The Sonoran Desert

March 20th, 2023 by


You might not spot Wile E. Coyote in hot pursuit of the Road Runner, but if you plan a trip to explore the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, you are guaranteed to behold some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ve ever witnessed in your entire life. Those saguaro cacti you know from cartoons are all over the place in the Sonoran. Best of all, there’s something to do during every season of the year. Read below to find out about some exciting opportunities to go hiking, kayaking, rafting, outdoor dining, and even riding in a hot air balloon.

Hiking And Biking

There are plenty of places to hike or walk in the Sonoran Desert, all with some amazing scenery that you are sure to enjoy. In addition, there are trails you may want to bike along, too. Remember, some of these are short and easy. Others are more arduous. Do a little research to see which one is best for you. Here are a few of them.

  • Dragonfly Trail at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
  • Desert Botanical Garden 
  • Phoenix Mountains Preserve Superstition Wilderness
  • Lost Dutchman State Park 
  • Weaver’s Needle
  • Peralta Trail
  • Dobbins Lookout
  • South Mountain
  • Holbert Trail
  • Different Pointe of View
  • El Chorro
  • Paved Trail at Papago Park
  • Hole-in-the-Rock
  • McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Kovach Family Nature Trail (ADA-accessible)
  • Waterfall Trail in White Tank Mountain Regional Park
  • Phoenix Mountains Preserve on the Quartz Ridge Trail
  • The Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail Loop including Fat Man’s Pass
  • Echo Canyon Trail at Camelback Mountain
  • Cholla Trail at Camelback Mountain
  • Summit Trail in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve to Piestewa Peak

Water And Off-Road Adventures

There are plenty of places where you can enjoy kayaking, rafting, or stand-up paddle boarding. Two popular spots are Lake Pleasant Regional Park and Lower Salt River. You can also ride in a two-wheeler, four-wheeler, or other exciting off-road vehicle.  

Scenic Drives

One suggestion here is the famous Apache Trail through the Superstition Mountains. It passes lakes, canyons, and stops such as the Goldfield Ghost Town, Theodore Roosevelt Dam, and the cliffside dwellings of Tonto National Monument.

Balloon Rides

Want to see the desert from the sky? Take a hot air balloon ride and get a bird’s eye view of cacti, wildlife, and everything else the Sonoran has to offer.

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Dine In The Desert

Enjoy fine dining outside in the middle of the desert. Local chefs craft multicourse meals and serve them against the iconic Sonoran backdrop.


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