10 Dog-Friendly Hikes in Phoenix, AZ


Hiking with your furry friend can seem like a difficult challenge if you don’t know where to go in the Phoenix area. Luckily almost every side of town has TONS of choices when you need to let off some steam on the trail with your favorite pup.

Here are 10 of Phoenix’s dog-friendly hikes we love all over the city to find the adventure with your best puppy pal!

1. North Mountain National Trail - Moderate

North Mountain is one of the most dog-friendly hikes we’ve done. Almost everyone you see heading up the trail has a dog attached to their wrist. This hike is about 2.2 miles up and down, with an elevation gain of 885 feet.

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You can expect a paved trail going up and a rocky trail going down. With the elevation gain you and your dog will both be exhausted by the time you reach the top. This is the perfect hike for an adventurous dog duo that enjoys 360 views of the city.

2. Dreamy Draw Loop - Moderate 

Looking for a quick loop in the city? Dreamy Draw Loop is the perfect trail for pups. This trail isn’t too strenuous but gives your four-legged pal a brisk walk on the trail. Dreamy Draw Recreation Area has a variety of dog-friendly trails as well if you’ve already checked this one off your list!

3. Quartz-Ridge & Ruth Hamilton Trails - Moderate

These trails merge together at various points, but the variety of views and nature are perfect for the dog who loves a good sniff-and-hike adventure.

With lots of ups and downs, you’ll have views of the city from the street as well as from the top of some of the taller mountains in the metropolitan area. You most definitely want to have a leash for these trails as some are less traveled. These trails feature wildlife and others are frequented by mountain bikers so keep your dog safe on a leash.

4. Shaw Butte Trail - Moderate

Another trail in North-Central Phoenix that offers amazing views of the city all around. Shaw Butte opens up with a wide trail leading you up the mountain as you reach the very top. At the top you’ll see a building and electrical poles that keep airplanes in check, but you’ll soon forget they’re even there as you and your pup take a seat facing downtown Phoenix.

This is a great trail for beginner to moderate hikers. You can learn the ropes or take a breather at the top while you see the amazing sights and sounds of a city surrounded by mountains.

5. Phoenix Mountain Preserve - Easy to Moderate 

There are a variety of trails in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve that are fit for dogs! We have traversed just about every trail this area has to offer and have yet to be disappointed. Our very favorite trail has an amazing lookout spot that we visit frequently to watch hikers and bikers as they stroll along the trails at sunset.

All trails within this area are perfect for kids and pets. They are as short and sweet as you make them (1-3 miles) or you can do the roundabout trail and see pretty much all there is to see in the area (11 miles).

6. Tom’s Thumb - Moderate 

One of the more advanced doggie trails in Phoenix is Tom’s Thumb. Tom’s Thumb is one of the more frequently traveled trails in the area and pulls tourists left and right, but it’s also a great trail to take pups along with you!

By the end of this trail (4 miles), you and your dog will be ready to take a nap. The views at the Thumb are worth it though and you will be able to see the entire Valley from your perch!

7. Hidden Valley Trail at South Mountain - Moderate 

One of our very favorite trails we’ve done that allows pups to trek along, too, is Hidden Valley Trail at South Mountain Preserve in South Phoenix. This trail is 3.4 miles out and back via Mormon Trail and takes you near Fatman’s Pass.

Not only do you get to see the south side of Phoenix from a different view, you can expect a little scrambling here and there as you shimmy over rocks and crannies to loop around to the rest of the trail. This is a fun trail to do if your dog loves climbing rocks!

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8. Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout - Hard 

One of the most frequented trails at South Mountain Preserve leads to a few “rock cabins” at the top where you can see everything the city has to offer. This trail is heavily trafficked but well worth the views at the top. Many people plan to bring picnics with them as there are tables and benches for you to rest once you get to the outlook!

3.8-miles up and down, you’ll be happy you took your dog with you to share the memory of seeing the city together.

9. Ranger Trail - Moderate 

Ranger Trail is a 5.4-mile hike at South Mountain that allows you see beyond the southern part of Phoenix. The elevation gain is 1,053 feet giving you an amazing view of the backside of South Mountain.

If your dog is more experienced and you’re ready to tackle a trail for training for longer trails, this is a great one to jump on as it gives you a good mix of distance, flat trail, and elevation. At the top there is a picture perfect stop for you and your pup to gaze out as far as the eye can see.

*Note: You cross a road towards the end of the trail, so be sure to have your dog leashed to avoid any accidents!

10. Gateway Loop (Easy)

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Looking for a quick loop on the eastern part of town? Head on over to McDowell and hop on the Gateway Loop trail. This trail is perfect for beginner hikers, both human and canine. You will see lots of dogs as you loop around, too.

The trail itself is well taken care of so there’s not much litter for your dog to get into. Gateway Loop is frequently trafficked so seeing wildlife is also not as common here.

These are just a few of our favorite trails in the city. We drive all over the metropolitan area and then some to see the best views we can find. Always be sure to pack a leash, extra water, treats (for the best pictures!), and poop bags every time you hike with your pup!

The best way to have the an adventure with your dog is to stay alert, pick up after yourselves, and keep it wild.


This blog was thoughtfully written by Erin Maxon.  You can find her on Instagram @withdogshetravels.

* Please remember to hike at your own risk. To learn more please refer to our Hiking Disclaimer