Hiking through the great outdoors is a wonderful activity for the whole family. With a few exceptions we’ll share later in the article, many of the best places to hike near Goodyear, Arizona, are all located around Estrella Mountain Regional Park. There’s a park access fee of $7 per vehicle. The park is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily between May 1 and October 31 and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. between November 1 and April 30. There’s also a Nature Center with various amenities open all year.
Most trails around Estrella Mountain are dog-friendly but require that you keep your dog on a leash at all times. There are also trail options for families who love to bike as well as hike. Make sure to bring plenty of water, and choose your time to hike carefully. The paths are all beautiful but also have few opportunities for shade, so you may find your hike more enjoyable if you set out earlier or later in the day. Don’t forget protective clothing and sunscreen for everyone.
Image via Pixabay by MaBraS using Pixabay License
The Horseshoe Trail at Estrella Mountain Regional Park is an excellent trail for families as it’s relatively flat and has no particularly steep inclines. It’s a 1-mile out-and-back trail, meaning that you walk 1 mile to the end and then walk 1 mile back the way you came. You may encounter other hikers, mountain bikers, or people on horseback.
As you make your way along the trail, you and your kids can stop to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers in the area. This trail is also great for bird-watching and admiring the view. Your kids will love that this trail ends at the park’s rodeo arena, where they can visit the horses.
This half-mile trail is an easy hike that’s especially great for families because it’s so straightforward. It’s lightly trafficked, and you’ll usually only see other hikers. A trip on this trail lets you admire the views and read signs with information about the area. A wonderful feature of this trail is that it’s highly accessible for wheelchairs, motorized scooters, and strollers, meaning you can take your whole family with you on your day out. There are also plenty of benches along the trail, so you can take as many breaks as you need.
Gila River Trail
The Gila River Trail is unique among the other trails on this list since it includes a walk along a river. It’s an easy 1.9-mile loop trail that’s perfect for any skill level. This trail is accessible year-round, and it’s great for activities like nature trips or bird-watching. The Gila River Trail is also a good place to see local wildlife.
Depending on the time of year and recent weather, some spots of the trail may be muddy, and it’s a little more rugged than some of the other trails listed here. However, none of this prevents it from being a fun choice for your family’s hiking trip.
The Quail Trail is another short trail that’s great for families with kids. It’s a 1-mile out-and-back trail with views of Estrella Mountain’s gorgeous wildflowers along its gentle rolling hills. This remote trail has mixed traffic, including hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. It can be a little rocky in places, but it’s a smooth hike overall. Admire the views, and keep an eye out: This trail is a great place to spot local wildlife. At the end of your hike, you can head to the nearby family park if the kids still have energy to burn.
This is the longest trail on our list, but it’s still a good choice for energetic and athletic families. It’s a 3.9-mile out-and-back trail with moderate traffic, including other hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Enjoy the peaceful, rolling terrain, beautiful views, and abundant wildflowers. You may even see some local birds circling or nesting in the area. Keep in mind that this trail isn’t completely flat and has very few benches, so you’ll likely be active on your feet from start to finish.
The Baseline Trail is one of the top suggested trails for beginners at Estrella Mountain Regional Park. It’s a 2.6-mile loop and moderately trafficked, mostly used by hikers, runners, and walkers. While there are a couple of steep spots, it’s mostly made up of flat trail and easy hills. It’s well-marked and maintained, so you’ll have no trouble following it as you admire the nature around you. Like many of the trails at Estrella, this one has incredible views that will have you pausing in admiration.
Rum Runner Loop
Not part of Estrella Mountain Regional Park but still in the area, the Rum Runner Loop is a 3.4-mile loop trail. You’ll mostly encounter other hikers and local wildlife on this trail. It starts at Estrella Foothills High School and leads to a waypoint called the Circle of Trust. The route goes up a hillside, then follows an uncharted trail before heading down back toward the school. It’s a meandering walk that mostly follows fire roads, and it’s suitable for any skill level.
Lucero Hills Loop
Another local trail not part of Estrella Mountain Regional Park is the Lucero Hills Loop. This trail is 3.8 miles long and is great if you want to take in particularly scenic views. The trail has no major obstacles to contend with, despite its length, and you’ll find it easy to follow. Keep an eye out for quirky trail decorations scattered along your walk.
This trail is near a housing development, so it’s best for people who don’t mind a little neighborhood or construction noise while on their walk. It’s a great choice for those who want the easy, scenic hike without the isolation of nature.
Have you and your family gone hiking on any of these trails? Do you have any others in the area you’d recommend? Contact our team at Crème de la Crème of Goodyear and let us know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list.