Dog-friendly hiking trails in Phoenix: 20+ places to take your dog for a hike

Posted at 3:31 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 14:15:34-05

While the East Coast reluctantly preps for the colder seasons with hats and gloves, Arizona preps with the usual sunglasses and shorts.

Although in the Phoenix metro, winter looks a little different. We celebrate with dinner out on the patio, morning strolls, and evening hikes through our mountainous desert.

As you plan your hikes, you may want to bring your dog. Some popular trails allow dogs, while others do not. We checked out some of the most popular hiking areas to gain a better understanding of their pet policies.

Remember these rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed (no longer than six feet) and stay on the trails.
  • Owners are also required to pick up after their pet (it makes the trails less pretty, and we do not want to step in it either).
  • Bring plenty of water for you and your pet (extra is always better).


Phoenix has over 41,000 acres of mountain trails, preserves, and parks with trails just waiting to be explored. Most of the less-intense trails, including those at South Mountain, North Mountain and Papago Park, are dog-friendly.

However, dogs are not allowed at Camelback Mountain, including the Echo Canyon and Cholla trails. Dogs are allowed on certain trails at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, but they are not allowed on the Piestewa Peak's Summit trail.

Trailheads: South Mountain, Phoenix Mountain Preserve, North Mountain, Deem Hills Recreation Area, Lookout Mountain, Papago Park, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area (paved pathways only) and Sonoran Preserve. Read trail details, here.


Show Fido your Arizona State University spirit by trekking up Tempe's "A" Mountain, otherwise known by its official name, Hayden Butte Preserve Park. At the top you'll be able to take in a nice view of downtown Tempe, and ASU's Sun Devil Stadium.


Maricopa County has over 120,000 acres of desert space and 10 regional parks. Dogs are allowed at all of them as long as their leashed, stay on the trail and their owners pick up after them.

Regional Parks: Adobe Dam Regional Park, Buckeye Hills Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park, Lake Pleasant Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Spur Cross Ranch, Usery Mountain and White Tank Mountain.

You can read the pet rules here.


There are over 30,000 acres of desert in the Sonoran Desert. Dogs are allowed on each of the trailheads as long as they follow the rules as the beginning of this article. Read pet rules here.

Trailheads: Brown's Ranch, Freasfield, Gateway, Granite Mountain, Lost Dog Wash, Quartz, Ringtail, Sunrise, Tom's Thumb, WestWorld.


Pinnacle Peak offers gorgeous views, but dogs are not allowed at Scottsdale's Pinnacle Peak. Details, here.


Glendale has over 40 miles of hiking trails through its parks and all of them are dog-friendly. The same rules mentioned above apply -- dogs (and cats) must be leashed and picked up after. 

Trailheads: Thunderbird Conservation Park, Skunk Creek Linear Park, Bridle Path, Thunderbird Paseo Park, Grand Canal Linear Park. View trail map, here.


Trailheads: Sunrise, West Wing, East Wing, Calderwood Butte Mountain and Skunk Creek. View details here.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article erroneously indicated dogs were allowed on the Pinnacle Peak trail. That is not the case. ABC15 regrets the error.