Don't just admire the mountains from inside with the AC, get out there and explore the stunning desert surrounding Metro Phoenix.
Phoenix lies in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun, where a huge metro area bathes in sunshine and warmth year round. The climate is part of the attraction for millions of residents, and the backdrop to the city skyline is a ring of rugged mountains. Ironically, though, the outdoors are often overlooked as a major asset of Metro Phoenix. The surrounding Sonoran Desert holds a bounty of peaks, canyons, cactus forests, wildflowers, even rivers and lakes awaiting exploration. Triple-digit temperatures can indeed be a deterrent to getting outside, but timing with cooler parts of the day or year is an exercise well worth the wonders you’ll find in the desert. The sprawling metro area is actually bordered by mountainous open space and wilderness areas with extensive trails and remote backcountry. Here are 7 of the best hikes to get you started exploring near Phoenix.