Best Hiking Trails in Mesa
The city of Mesa, with its idyllic and gorgeous surroundings in the East Valley area of Arizona, is a great location to base yourself and embark upon some thrilling hikes. Mesa is somewhat of a hiking mecca, so you can make sure you only hike among the most impressive scenery by checking out this lowdown of Mesa’s best hiking trails.
Wind Cave Trail
The Wind Cave Trail’s 3.2-mile round trip goes through a particular section of the stunning Usery Mountain Regional Park. The trail features a moderate amount of climbing with increasing difficulty as you advance farther along the route. At the end, you’re rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding national park. You’ll also see some impressive views of the entire Western Phoenix Valley area.
Ensure you bring enough water to last you the entire hike, and try to complete your trek during the cooler parts of the day. Parking is available, and the beginning of the trail provides parking spots. Arrive early to make sure you get a spot, because the Wind Cave Trail is one of the busiest spots for hiking in Mesa. The cost to take your vehicle into the parking zone is $6.
Butcher Jones Trail
The great thing about the Butcher Jones Trail is that you don’t need to exhaust yourself on it and the rewards for hiking the trail are spectacular. This is an 8.9-mile trail that passes through a section of Tonto National Forest. The trail is easily navigable and not challenging, with the main draw being the wonderfully blue Saguaro Lake, which is visible from most portions of the route. The trail is accessible all year long, and you can bring your dog if you keep it on a leash.
You need to buy a $8 pass to enter Tonto National Forest in advance of your visit if you want to hike this trail. Along the trail, in addition to the beautiful lake, the surrounding mountains are also picturesque, and you’re sure to encounter a range of wildlife, including lizards and eagles.
Pass Mountain Trail
Pass Mountain Trail is another hiking trail in Mesa that you’ll find in Usery Mountain Regional Park. It’s a moderately difficult 7.3-mile trail through a particularly pretty section of the national park. A major perk of this trail is that lots of shade is available, enabling you to take a well-earned break from the searing heat in Mesa. Particular portions of the Pass Mountain Trail are rocky and on a steep incline, so take care.
Views you’ll enjoy include the lush mountain scenery, some beautiful blooming wildflowers, and a seemingly endless variety of cactus plants dispersed randomly along the way. The desert seems to stretch for miles on the horizon, giving you a sense of perspective about the size of the Earth. Wear good shoes on this hike, bring plenty of water, and prepare to encounter other hikers on the way, as this is a busy trail.
These three great trails represent the best of what Mesa has to offer hikers.