Hiking is a fantastic form of exercise for people of all ages, and it’s a great bonding experience when you bring the kids along, too. What’s more, hiking allows you to explore the natural landscape around you, which is a stunning sight in the Chandler, Arizona, area. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Chandler has put together this list of eight of the best places to hike near our hometown.
Pima Park is a small community pack that’s centrally located off of N. McQueen Road. Walking the entire 0.9-mile loop takes less than 30 minutes to complete, so it’s perfect for a quick walk or a series of laps to get your 10,000 steps in. This nearly 1-mile-long paved trail welcomes bikers, runners, and people with dogs or strollers. There are also a few wheelchair-accessible entrances to the path, which allows for people in wheelchairs or those using other mobility equipment to enjoy the trail, too.
While you walk this loop trail, you can enjoy the quaint scenery of Pima Park, including the playground, ball fields, towering trees, and sunny open grass.
Paseo Vista Recreation Area
The Paseo Vista Recreation Area was once the site of a landfill, but it’s now a beautiful park with a walking trail, one of only four dog parks in Chandler, an educational playground, a disc golf course, and an archery range. The 1.9-mile-long Paseo Vista Loop takes you along the Consolidated Canal, over desert landscape, and up to an outlook point that provides amazing views of the mountains, the Sonoran Desert, and the nearby neighborhoods. This path takes about 45 minutes to complete, and some of it is paved, while other portions are natural paths with sand and stone.
This park also provides access to the Chandler Paseo Trail, which is a portion of the much longer Consolidated Canal Path. That means you can explore one part of the trail for a little while before committing to a day-long hike.
Chandler Paseo Trail
The full Chandler Paseo Trail is 6.5 miles long and features both paved and natural dirt-and-stone pathways. You can hike, bike, or even ride a horse along this trail and take in more of the desert landscape you’d see at Paseo Vista Recreation Area. This trail safely blends in with road traffic, thanks to multiple crossing signals along the path for pedestrians. You can access the Chandler Paseo Trail at many portions, including in many neighborhoods and at various parks around town, like Pinelake Park, Crossbow Park, and Paseo Vista Recreation Area, as well as near Bear Creek Golf Complex.
Consolidated Canal Path
The Consolidated Canal Path runs along the namesake canal, which has been in the area since the late 1800s. The 18-plus-mile trail goes north-to-south path, traversing through Chandler, Mesa, and Gilbert. Like the Paseo Trail, there are portions of this larger trail that are paved and others that are a bit more rugged, though it’s still easy to push a stroller along. You might consider taking the kids for a long bike ride along different portions of this trail on different days and making pitstops at various local parks, like Meadowgreen and Harmony Parks in Mesa, Freestone District Park in Gilbert, and Tumbleweedand Crossbow Parks in Chandler.
Wild Horse Pass
At the Wild Horse Pass resort property in Chandler, you can also go for an awesome hike along the 2.9-mile Wild Horse Pass Interpretive Trail, which takes just over an hour to complete. Or, ride your bike or go for a run, which can trim the time down. This out-and-back route is pretty easy, with a slight elevation gain. This trail is definitely worth the trip, too, because it offers amazing views of the whole property and the fantastic desert landscape all around.
However, the trail doesn’t offer much shade, so be prepared for a lot of direct sun or try to hit the trail in the early morning or late evening. Also, there are some spots that are closer to traffic around busier areas of the resort, but you can find some spots that offer more respite from city noise.
Veterans Oasis Park
Located right here in Chandler is Veterans Oasis Park, home to 4.5 miles of nature trails and paved paths. Parts of this small trail system take you around the lake, providing you that namesake oasis view. You can also make your hike an educational one for the kids; take the Solar System Walk featuring monuments and placards that teach about the sun, stars, and planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, or visit the Chandler Nature Center, which has displays, programming, and events on the wildlife that call the area home.
South Mountain Park and Preserve
South Mountain Park and Preserve has more than 50 miles of trails, many of which interconnect so you can have a choose-your-own-adventure-style hike or bike ride each time you visit. There are multiple fantastic traiheads to start your exploration. The Beverly Canyon Trail, which is 1.7 miles, runs along the southern portion of the park and features a 250-foot elevation gain. The Javelina Canyon and Ridgeline Loop Trail connects to the Beverly Canyon Trail and is about 3.5 miles long with nearly double the elevation gain at Beverly Canyon. But the climb is worth it for the views.
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
The San Tan Mountain Regional Park also has miles of interconnecting trails, but these paths see less foot traffic. That makes it an awesome hiking place for animal lovers of all ages because you have a better chance of spotting cool desert wildlife. The Goldmine Trail is one of the best in the park, taking just 2.5 miles to get to an outlook with stunning views. Need an easy trail? Try the Moonlight Trail, which is about a mile.
You can also sign up for one of the park’s guided hikes or bike rides. Each event has a difficulty level and special theme, like the Desert Walk and Talk where you’ll hear stories of local historical people and events or the Wildflower Hike that’s more focused on identifying various plant species.
Go enjoy these eight amazing hiking destinations in and around Chandler, but don’t forget to pack lots of water and sunscreen! Did we miss any of your family’s favorite local hiking spots in Greater Phoenix? If so, contact Crème de la Crème of Chandler to let us know, and we’ll be happy to add it to our list.