The cure for all your cooped-upedness is finally here. After a record-setting number of days over 100 degrees in the Valley, fall temps have decided to make their fashionable late entrance and beckon us all outside. There’s no denying the psychological pull of the great outdoors, and there’s actually surprising science behind it: getting out for a hike, or going camping, actually makes us feel more connected to other people and our fundamental need to find community.
If you’ve ever hiked around our majestic state’s thousands of scenic trails, you know the sense of belonging is strong. And with a little help from cannabis products you can use discreetly while trekking or ingest before your next bop, your attachment to nature and good company is heightened even further.
So where to go? Arizona certainly isn’t lacking for breathtaking hiking destinations, or fun and challenging journeys for that matter- because that’s what life’s about right?
Here are some of our local favorites and day trips for finding your community, or just finding yourself, on the trail.
White Tank Mountains, Buckeye
Not too far from our Sun City store sit the multifaceted White Tanks, offering a little something for all hiking sensibilities. Gently meandering trails wind through saguaro-dotted canyons, offering glimpses of the Valley cityscape you don’t often see from this angle.
Horton Creek Trail, Payson
2 hours northeast of Phoenix sits this 8+ mile loop that is pure Tonto National Forest vibes. Stroll along the gently flowing creek and stop to rest under the enormous ponderosas that line the path. Plus, there’s a waterfall at the end to fill up your bottle with the most refreshing water AZ has to offer.
Bell Trail, on the way to Flagstaff
Catch your first glimpse of Sedona red rocks on I-17, then veer right for this dramatic loop trail that steadily climbs sandstone cliffs before delivering you at the ultimate recreation and chill out spot: The Crack. Lounge on the mesas or take the plunge with cliff diving that will soak you in pure post-hike bliss.
Flatiron, Superstition Mountain
This mostly unmarked, all-vertical ascent up unforgiving rocky terrain is nothing short of a total grind. The views atop the Flatiron 3,000 feet in the air are worth it for sure, but this is one that mostly plays on your sense of accomplishment. Not for the faint of heart or the weak of knees.
Saguaro National Park, Tucson
If you’re a born and raised Arizonan, or you’ve lived here long enough, you might find yourself thinking, “what’s the big deal about this park? I see plenty of cacti every day!” Well, you haven’t seen saguaros like this – a literal sea of towering desert giants, not to mention the javelinas, Gila monsters, and turkey vultures that make the southern Arizona desert so distinct.
Whether setting out for a relaxing jaunt or a making a day of a quad-burning ascent, make sure to stop by Sol Flower in Sun City or Tempe for products that can help you hit the trail in stride.