It's HOT in Phoenix…but I can still tell you to take a hike!

hiking-in-phoenixOne of the most frequent questions I get asked by buyers moving to the Phoenix area is “How do you tolerate the heat in the summer time?”  I usually explain that I’m from the midwest and I compare Phoenix’s summers to the winters I survived living along the frigid shores of Lake Michigan growing up.  Basically, you stay inside.  You’re probably not going to enjoy your patio in Wisconsin in January and the same holds true for your patio here in July …. and August…and even September, when on average the last 100-degree day usually falls around September 28th!

However, let’s not forget that even though the National Weather Service is predicting temperatures will be higher than average all over Arizona this summer, we don’t have to hibernate indoors because we live in a valley..which means we are a short climb to cooler temps and the ability to enjoy nature year round, though you will have to drive at least a couple hours to find those cooler temps.

So, before I share some of the best hiking trails at higher elevations, have you ever tried a full-moon hike in the valley?  This summer we’ll experience 3 full moons from July through September (and one tonight too!).  The brightest moon dates are following but note that the sky should be bright enough for hiking the nights immediately before and after these dates:

  • Friday, July 18th Full Moon between 8:10 pm and 5:35 am
  • Saturday, August 16th Full Moon between 7:13 pm and 5:35 am
  • Monday, September 15th Full Moon between 6:39 pm and 6:29 am

Probably the best Full Moon Hiking trail is Jacob’s Crosscut Trail in the Tonto National Forest which is only about 45 miles Northeast of Phoenix. 

Directions: Take HWY 60 East to the Idaho Rd Exit (Highway 88).  Continue East on Highway 88 past Lost Dutchman State Park.  Just past the part, turn right onto First Water Road (FR 78).  The trailhead is about a mile up the road on the right.

Even though you’ll have plenty of light with a full-moon hike, be sure and take a couple flashlights or lanterns…but make sure they’re not too bright or it will make hiking more difficult as you’ll loose your natural night vision and besides, it’s just not as fun if you’re carrying too much light.

This hike is easy and if you take the trail to the end it’s about 6.5 miles (remember you have to hike it back so make sure you have plenty of water and time).

The Superstition and Goldfield mountains will look beautiful on this hike and there will be plenty of city light views as the mountains are covered in hauntingly beautiful moonlight. 

If you’d rather take a ranger-led moonlight hike which take place year round, visit or

See you in the moonlight!

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Amy Jones RealtorAmy Jones specializes in residential, vacation homes & cabins, as well as retirement communities in the communities of Ahwatukee, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Maricopa, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Sun Lakes, Tempe and the White Mountains communities of Pinetop/Lakes & Show Low.