PAPAGO STATE PARK
The trails in Papago Park offer the best and worst of city hiking.
In the heart of the Valley, you have miles of trails that pass Hohokam ruins, statue-like rock formations and queues of panicking quails.
You also have the drone of traffic on Loop 202, an endless stream of jets overhead, and desert terrain battered by years of hiking and biking.advertisement
It is impossible to get lost at Tempe's Papago Park because the land is surrounded by city streets. And despite the metropolitan surroundings, you can still spot jackrabbits bolting across the trail.
After a rainy day, this is a great place to smell the creosote, which makes up the majority of the vegetation.
Views of Tempe Town Lake, downtown Phoenix and the Papago Buttes are seen from hilltops.
The Loma, Lizard and Cactus trails make up almost three miles of the park's trails, criss-crossing several times.