Many people who have lived in Phoenix their entire life take the desert for granted. However, those who move here can’t get enough of the unique atmosphere that the desert offers. Watching the landscape come alive with the sunset, and marveling at the cacti and succulents is something that you will never grow tired of. Below are a few places in Phoenix that you will want to visit as your infatuation with the desert grows strong.
North Mountain Park
This vast expanse of land is found at the northern tip of the city. This is a great place to hike as the trails are nicely maintained without taking away from the ruggedness of the area. They are marked well, so as long as you pay attention to the signs you won’t get lost. There is also a picnic area that gets fairly busy on the weekends.
Hiking this mountain will give you a serious workout. Although the route is only three miles roundtrip, expect to take several hours to complete. The trail is rocky, and there are some places where you will need to use your hands to climb. Watch out for snakes! Pack a lot of water and an energy bar; going down is actually a lot harder than going up. Make sure you have bandages in your backpack too.
South Mountain Park
There are a ton of trails here, and you will want to explore every last one. There are bathrooms at every trailhead and at the bottom of the mountains. The trails here are pedestrian, bike, dog, and equestrian-friendly, so cranking up the music on your iPod is not a good idea. This park is huge, so pay attention to the signs. Just driving from one end to the other is about 15 miles, so there is potential to get turned around. If you are on a bike, the Desert Classic trail is recommended. If you want the more isolated and intense trails that happen to offer the best views, stick to the east side.
Desert Botanical Gardens
This certainly is not a place where you will get any exercise, but it is still beautiful to visit. There are always weddings here on the weekends if that tells you how amazing the grounds are. When the butterfly exhibit is in bloom you absolutely have to visit. They will swarm all around and even land on you. The footpaths are wide, and lined with a variety of plant specimens. Also, the wildflower loop trail will delight your senses with a rainbow of colors and fragrance.
Phoenix Mountains Preserve
It gets hot here and there are a lot of snakes to watch for, but when you live in Phoenix long enough, the slithering creatures will barely phase you. The trails are pedestrian, bike, equestrian, and dog-friendly, but do make sure that if you bring animals, you pack enough water for them too. There is no place to fill a bottle once you are on the trails. Also, note that the further out you go, the steeper it gets.
When moving here don’t forget to check out the best movers in Phoenix.