Hi everyone, Tyler here and for the past three years we have taken our twin boys on lots of outdoor hiking adventures all over the great Southwest US, but today I am going to focus on four of our top kid friendly hikes in our old hometown of Phoenix, Arizona!
Dreamy Draw Recreation Area - Phoenix Mountain Preserve: This was one of our favorites as it is located close to downtown Phoenix and lots of trail options to take that splinter off the trailhead. Lots of open space and can see the different trails as you hike around. Easy slow incline and our twin boys (two years old at the time) had no issues hiking and exploring the many trail options. On this trail our boys enjoyed using their Kikki packs to carry their own lunch snacks and water and between the halfway point and completing the hike we will find a shady spot for a relaxing break. If feeling more adventurous with either older kids or carrying younger kids in a Kid Comfort Pro, you can hike for miles around the preserve and even hike around to trails leading up Piestewa Peak.
Wind Cave Trail - Usery Mountain Regional Park: This trail showcases amazing desert wilderness, full of a variety of cactuses and tons of wildflowers in the spring. It’s a 2.8 mile out and back so if your kids are younger like ours, we would only go about 1 mile in and turn around before it gets too steep for them. But easily accessible to keep going if you have a Deuter backpack carrier for them or if they are a little older. Once at the top you reach the wind caves with stunning views of the desert and all of the Phoenix valley in the distance.
Hole in the Rock - Papago Park: This is a short hike of only .3 miles and great for all ages. Lots of rocks for the kids to climb and great views of Papago Park and of Downtown Phoenix from the top when looking through the hole itself! There are also two little lakes and lots of trails surrounding the hike to easily make for a longer hiking adventure through desert landscape if interested! This is a high trafficked trail but if you time it out right can find yourself being the only ones enjoying the views though the hole.
Tom's Thumb - McDowell Mountains: Another favorite that is the longest of the five coming in at 4 miles out and back. This trail is more difficult but still wanted to list it as our family loves it. For younger kids I would highly recommend using a Kid Comfort Pro to get up the steep incline switch backs to the top of the mountain range. Once you reach the top it's a steady hike along the trail over to Tom’s Thumb rock formation and lookout point. Once we reach this point we tend to let our boys out of the carriers and hike alongside us. The views are stunning from the lookout point and you can literally see for miles and miles over the Phoenix valley. I also wanted to note that they have tons of parking at the trailhead, great bathroom facilities, and additional trail options, if you are looking for more of a trial without climbing the mountain.