Peoria, Arizona, is home to some amazing natural landscapes that are perfect to explore while hiking, which can be a wonderful family activity, no matter how young your kids are. There are many trails that offer easy enough terrain for young kids to join and other trails with more challenging terrain for experienced young hikers. Check out these five trails in and around Peoria that offer fantastic hiking for the whole family.
New River Trail
“Swimming Mountains” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by donnierayjones
New River Trail is a fully paved trail that covers 13.5 miles of ground along the New River. The trail officially starts now in nearby Glendale at Bethany Home Road and travels all the way up to Pinnacle Peak Road in Peoria. In addition to it being paved, it’s also a very well-kept path that features no interruptions, making it an easier trek on kiddos and parents with strollers. And with multiple trailheads, you can hop on or off after a few miles to cut it short or just break up the hike into a few parts over multiple trips.
You can find lots of convenient parking at Rio Vista Community Park, one of the best trailheads, where you and your kids can also enjoy sitting by the lake, zipping around the skate park, and cooling off at the splash pads. Plus, you can even take New River Trail to Skunk Creek Trail in this park, too.
West Wing Mountain Loop
The West Wing Mountain Loop is about 3.5 miles of moderate terrain that’s perfect for a challenging hike, run, or nature walk. This loop trail offers plenty of scenic views of surrounding West Wing Mountain and surprisingly lush landscape during the spring season. Also, there are a few variations you can take to make your hike easier or more challenging. For example, the main trail is a relatively straightforward loop, while there’s a more difficult portion that takes you to some seriously beautiful overlooks.
You might want to leave the little ones at home for this one and keep an eye on your older, more experienced little hikers since the trail’s path is a bit on the rougher side. Overall, the path is rocky due to the basalt and tuff, there are a few steep hills to climb, and it can get a bit narrow at parts. But when you take the tougher paths up to the scenic outlooks, it will be well worth it. Many hikers report that the whole trip takes about two hours.
Parking is located at Westwing Park, home to the West Wing Mountain Trailhead. Consider leashing up your dog and bringing them along for the trip, too.
Sunrise Mountain Trail
Located in the Sunrise Mountain Preserve is the Sunrise Mountain Trail, which is approximately 4.5 miles of moderate trail that takes anywhere from 1.5 hours to just over two hours to complete. However, there are many variations you can do to make each trip to this awesome trail a unique challenge every time. Sunrise Mountain Trail has nine different segments that you can cover over a few different trips, ranging from less than a quarter-mile to almost 1.75 miles.
One of the trail’s best features is its landscape, which is full of gorgeous wildflowers, hazy mountains in the distance, and challenging rock formations. While this trail is pretty popular, with many hikers and bikers at any given time, many people report that their hike was actually very quiet and peaceful. In many places along the trail, shade can be hard to find, so consider going early in the morning to beat the heat (as much as you can in Arizona) and bringing plenty of water and sunscreen. This is especially true if you plan to bring your dog (on a leash, of course) and your kiddos.
Calderwood Butte Trail
Calderwood Butte Trail is short and sweet at just 1.5 miles. This loop trail is really easy to follow thanks to well-kept paths, but it can get a bit rocky in parts. If you’re looking for a real workout, this trail offers plenty of steady, uphill climbing in addition to the challenging terrain. However, it’s a really quick trip that you can do between 30 and 45 minutes.
The views are so fantastic that you may want to turn back around and do trip number two after you’ve completed it. And kids who love spotting different local wildlife will love this trail because many hikers report seeing butterflies, various birds, lizards, and even a roadrunner or two.
You can start this adventure at the 99th Avenue trailhead, where you’ll find a dozen or so parking spots.
Eastwing Mountain Trail
Eastwing Mountain Trail is a total of 2.1 miles located in Sonoran Mountain Ranch Park and Eastwing Mountain Preserve. It’s another moderate-to-difficult trail that’s best for experienced hikers, though beginners can tag along with experienced hikers to traverse this area as a team. This trail features a few different segments of varying lengths and elevation gains, so you can truly customize the kind of hike you want to have when you’re here.
There’s a relatively easy half-mile, uphill climbing segment that offers some of the best views in the Peoria area. The trail gets a bit harder when you move on to the intermediate segment with even steeper inclines. The most difficult section involves a bit of a rocky climb that’s steeper than the previous intermediate section and then an equally rocky descent from the amazing 360-degree view.
And that view is breathtaking. You can see the Phoenix skyline to the south, West Wing Mountains off to the western side, and, if you look closely, Lake Pleasant to the north.The mountain and river trails as well as the trailheads are all open from sunrise to sunset, so you get plenty of time to enjoy these areas. Did we miss any of your favorite hiking trails or spots in and around Peoria, Arizona? Contact Crème de la Crème of Peoria, Arizona, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!