Despite its reputation for being hot, Phoenix is the perfect destination for outdoor activities. While summer temperatures frequently surpass 100-degrees, the winters in the Valley of the Sun are simply glorious with highs in the 60s. Bright blue cloudless skies and crisp, chilly mornings greet you as you slip outside for some fun in the sun. Let’s go on a western adventure, get your heart pumping, and stay active while you explore these four great places to break a sweat in Phoenix.
Iconic Papago Park is one great place to break a sweat in Phoenix. The Park’s massive bright red sandstone buttes call to visitors from miles away. Come out and climb to the top of “the eye” for a magnificent view of the city, or drop your fishing line in one of the park’s many ponds stocked with largemouth bass and catfish — but don’t feed the ducks. There are plenty of covered ramadas for picnicking and miles of trails for walking and biking. Find Papago Park at 625 North Galvin Parkway.
McDowell Mountain Preserve
Northeast of downtown in Scottsdale you’ll find the magnificent park of McDowell Mountain Preserve. Flaunting its iconic summit, Tom’s Thumb is a steep traverse that isn’t for the faint of heart, but there are literally miles of easy to navigate trails along the mountain’s base. The picturesque view from the preserve is one of the most stunning sights you’ll ever see of the Sonoran Desert. The rock formations along the trail speak of ancient times when the desert was covered with water. Arrive at 15525 North Thompson Peak Parkway early to evade the worst of the heat, and don’t forget water.
Thunderbird Conservation Park
When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and the crowded hiking trails in Scottsdale, head on over to Thunderbird Conservation Park less than a half hour from downtown. A bit off the beaten path, the park has a beautiful and well-maintained running trail system with plenty of tough inclines. Scattered throughout the park are covered picnic tables for lunch, and the rustic restrooms are reasonably well-cared for too. Start your hike at 22800 59th Avenue in Glendale.
Rose Mofford Sports Complex
Sun and fun for the whole family await you at the Rose Mofford Sports complex on 9833 North 25th Avenue. From basketball courts to tennis and sand volleyball, there is a little something for everyone to break a sweat. Large grassy soccer fields host weekend tournaments, and miles of walking trails take you on a scenic journey of the park. Vending machines and restroom facilities are available to guests, and a few shade trees throughout the park are perfect for a break from the sun.
Whenever you’re embracing Arizona’s old west heritage, stay active and remember these four places to break a sweat outside — not that that’s a hard goal in the Valley, but these locales will get your heart pumping. Be careful with Fido though, as Phoenix has a “never after 100” rule that insists you leave pets at home when it’s over 100 degrees.