It’s the weekend, and the weather has finally returned to a pleasant temperature here in the metro-Phoenix area. That means it’s a perfect time to get out and give yourself and your dog a little exercise. East Valley Animal Hospital, located in Gilbert Arizona, knows the right kind of exercise is not only physically beneficial, but it’s also mentally and spiritually invigorating. If you’re tired of taking that same old walk around the neighborhood, perhaps the mountains are calling you to try a new walking trail. How about one of these Metro-Phoenix dog-friendly trail hikes?

1. Phoenix Mountain Preserve: Shaw Butte

If you want to avoid the crowds on the numerous metro-Phoenix trails, Shaw Butte is a perfect option for you and your four-legged friend. This Loop-trail is 3.8 miles long, climbs only 700 feet in elevation, and is great for both beginners and experienced hikers. Enjoy beautiful views of North Mountain, Piestewa Peak, and Lookout Mountain, as well as downtown Phoenix.

2. Tres Rios Wetland

Tres Rios Wetland is a beautiful, 700-acre land conservation that stretches almost 7 miles along the Salt, Gila, and Agua Fria Rivers (hence the name, Three Rivers). On this trail you can enjoy the abundant wildlife and local plant life Arizona has to offer. Access Permits to the preserve are free, but you must obtain one in order to take a hike in its natural beauty. Click on the above link for more information.

3. McDowell Sonoran Conservancy: Lost Dog Wash  

No need to be intimidated by the name of this trailhead; Lost Dog Wash is a gorgeous hike for Fido and the whole family. Of the four different trails that are available at Lost Dog Wash, we recommend the Taliesin Overlook. It’s a four-mile round-trip trek with a gentle elevation gain of 350 feet, stunning views of the northwest, and a view of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Winter home.  

4. South Mountain: Mormon Trailhead

Just about any trail on South Mountain is a fabulous choice, but this moderately challenging 5-mile loop climbs just over 1,000 feet in elevation, and is quite a gem. It features wildflowers when in season, unique rock features, and beautiful views of the valley. It’s a great way to be outdoors and stretch your legs.

When checking out one of these Metro-Phoenix dog-friendly trail hikes, East Valley Animal Hospital always recommends that you keep your pup on a leash, since the Phoenix leash laws apply on all hiking trails. And remember to bring plenty of water to keep you and your pooch hydrated. What are you waiting for? Grab that leash and water bottle, take a short drive to any one of these trails, and enjoy exercise the natural way.

 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/21/2018) Joshua Tree National Park (Flickr)