It’s September in Phoenix and the cool weather is starting with mornings in the 70s! We’ve been suffering through the summer heat and finally the temperatures are perfect for hiking! The best place to start is with the easy hiking trails in Central Phoenix.
Phoenix is a great place to lose weight because it offers so many diverse trails for hiking or biking – whichever you prefer. My personal preference is hiking. After working with Dr. French, my ankle pain is gone. I still have a little knee pain, but I manage that with supplements.
The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation has a wonderful website with everything you need to know before you go hiking. If you’ve never been, start with the easy to moderate trails.
My favorite easy trail is a combination of Trails 100 and 306. 306 is Shaw Butte, and that one is rated difficult, but part of it is relatively easy.
You start at the end of 7th Avenue just past Peoria Ave. Park and head north. If you stay to your right, in about one mile, you’ll come to a bench. If you keep going, you’ll reach the North Mountain Park Visitors Center on 7th St. So, a 2-mile hike will be to the bench and back to your car.
Using the MapMyRun app. you can track how far and how fast you go. In the beginning, with wrapped ankles and a painful hip, it took me about 50 minutes to do the 2 miles. As my ankles got better (thanks to Dr. French), I was able to quicken my pace to 40 minutes.
If you feel ambitious to do 3 miles, you can keep going past the bench and stay straight and left to loop around to the 306 from the 100. I managed the 3-mile hike in about an hour.
Even for easy hiking, you need to prep for safety!
- Wear proper hiking shoes – running shoes are OK to start, but hiking shoes are made for the loose terrain.
- Take plenty of water. For my 2-3-mile hikes one bottle of water is enough.
- Don’t go if it’s too hot. It’s not worth it. If it’s over 85 degrees, I pass.
- Wear a hat and sunscreen – there’s not very much shade.
- If you take a dog, please clean up after it and take water for him or her.
- Respect the faster bikers and runners. Oh, and you might run into a horse, also.
- Invest in a hiking stick. It helps you balance when going down hill.
- Here are some more safety tips
Even though it’s an easy trail, you do need to go down and up washes so it does test your knees and stamina.
One good thing, as you do it more and more, you’ll get faster and stronger. You’ll burn more calories with each hike. It will take you less time to hike and you’ll feel better.
Stop and enjoy the view!
After going a bit. Turn around. You’ll see the City of Phoenix shining in the south and South Mountain in the haze behind it. (We’ll do South Mountain another time.)
If you’re not sure you should be hiking because of an injury, strain or pain, click here to make an appointment with Dr. French first so he can analyze your issue.