Four ridgeline hikes in the Phoenix area

4 Ridgeline Hikes Near Phoenix

I’ll admit it. I’m a huge sucker for ridgeline hikes. I love standing on peak after peak, enjoying 360-degree panoramic views, and watching the views change throughout the day.

So any time I hear of a hike that traverses a mountain range, I’m in! If you feel the same way, try these four ridgeline hikes near the Phoenix area.

Superstition Ridgeline

Mileage 10.6
Elevation gain 4860

The crown jewel of the Superstition Wilderness, this strenuous hike across the ridgeline of the Superstition Mountains also happens to be my favorite hike in the valley. Make an optional side trip to Peak 5057 or Flatiron, and be prepared for rugged terrain and some route finding.

The full report
Superstition Ridgeline

Superstition Ridgeline in Tonto National Forest
National Trail on South Mountain

South Mountain Ridgeline

Mileage 15.8
Elevation gain 3650

Though longer than the Superstition Ridgeline, somehow this hike just doesn’t feel as difficult. The trail is well-defined, but the tradeoff is you’ll have mostly city views and some sections that parallel the summit road. Visit Fat Man’s Pass and the Natural Bridge along the way.

The full report
South Mountain Ridgeline

Pass Mountain Ridgeline

Mileage 7.7
Elevation gain 2155

If you don’t mind a bit of scrambling, this hike will take you to the two summits of Pass Mountain where you’ll get far better views than what you see from the Wind Cave. Complete this as a loop by hiking down the Wind Cave Trail, or just turn around and go back the way you came.

The full report
Pass Mountain Ridgeline

Pass Mountain Ridgeline at Usery Mountain Park
McDowell Mountains Rim to Rim hike

McDowell Mountains Rim to Rim

Mileage 14.5
Elevation gain 2967

Okay, this one isn’t exactly a ridgeline. There is no trail along the ridgeline, so you’ll have to settle for the next best thing: a hike from Tom’s Thumb on the north end to Sunrise Peak on the south end. If you’re not feeling challenged enough, you can always summit Thompson Peak on the way.

The full report
McDowell Mountains Traverse

If you do these hikes, let me know! Which one is your favorite?

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Disclaimer Outdoor activities have inherent risk, and we will not be able to tell you all the risks you may face. You are responsible for your own safety, so prepare as well as you can and know your limits. Follow this guide at your own risk. And have fun!


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