PHOENIX — February is a great time to get outside and explore Arizona's natural wonders.
Those visiting the Grand Canyon State for Super Bowl LVII should seriously consider carving out some time and hitting one of the Valley's many hiking trails.
Phoenix is home to 41,000 acres of mountain preserves and parks, so tourists have lots of trails to choose from. Here's a sampling of routes that will surely give visitors some stunning views of the desert.
1. Echo Canyon Trail, Camelback Mountain
Named in reference to its distinct silhouette, Camelback Mountain is one of the Valley's most popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Echo Canyon trail is one of two routes leading to the mountain's summit. Hikers trekking this trail are encouraged to bring lots of water since sections of it can be quite physically strenuous.
Only experienced hikers should be attempting to reach the mountain's peak, which reaches an elevation of 2,704 feet.
2. Pinnacle Peak Park Trail, Scottsdale
Located within Scottsdale's 150-acre park, the trail is about two miles in one direction and gets to an elevation height of 2,889 feet. The trail includes rock climbing routes, picnic tables, and interpretive displays located along the trail.
This moderate trail is considered to be not as difficult compared to some of the Valley's other trails. Depending on the time of day, hikers on this trail may see a variety of animals native to the Sonoran Desert.
3. Mormon Trail, South Mountain
Phoenix's South Mountain includes many different trails that can be explored by hikers. The Mormon Trail is about one mile long to walk and notably includes some petroglyphs along the route.
This is considered a moderate hiking trail that can be steep in some areas and has an elevation change of about 720 feet.
4. Hieroglyphic Trail, Superstition Mountains
Located far out in Gold Canyon, this trail offers some incredible views of the Arizona desert that any out-of-state visitor will definitely want to see.
The three-mile trail is famous for being home to petroglyphs made by the Hohokam people many centuries ago. These rock carvings were initially mistaken for Egyptian hieroglyphics, hence why the trail has the name that it does.
Hikers can reach an elevation of about 2,655 feet on this trail.
5. Skull Mesa Ruins, Cave Creek
Recreationists looking for a trail that's a bit more challenging should consider this 11-mile route in the Spur Cross Ranch Recreation Area.
The long, demanding route includes climbing areas and should only be done when the weather is cool and breezy. Because this trail takes several hours to complete, Skull Mesa is a popular route for backpackers and campers. The elevation reaches 2,740 feet and hikers should keep an eye out for some ancient petroglyphs.
Important tips that every hiker in Arizona should know before hitting the trails can be found here.
SUPER BOWL LVII
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The Valley is expected to draw thousands of people to the Big Game – along with the many events and local attractions State 48 has to offer.
Scottsdale will be home to the Historic Old Town ESPN Main Street Tailgate and the Tailgate Time Machine block party.
In Tempe, the FanDuel Party at Tempe Beach Park on Feb. 10 Fans will feature a carnival atmosphere with games, music and more.
Meanwhile, Glendale will host the Super Bowl itself, and city officials told 12News Glendale has had the explosive growth it needs to match it
Visitors can expect roadway and parking improvements, top-of-the-line security, and a newly expanded entertainment district ahead – a project that's been years in the making.
No ticket for game day? No problem. Here’s where you can watch the Super Bowl.
The Grand Canyon State is home to some beautiful scenery and spectacular weather, both of which make for great golfing and hiking. The 12News digital team has guides to help make your Valley experience GREAT.
Looking for a more low-key Super Bowl weekend? Here’s an introvert’s guide to avoiding crowds on Super Bowl weekend.
And here are five interesting places in the metro Phoenix area that every out-of-towner should try to visit before departing after the Super Bowl.