7 Underrated Cities In Arizona That Aren’t Sedona, But Are Still Full Of Beautiful Hikes

When people think of hiking in Arizona, the iconic red rocks of Sedona often come to mind. However, this beautiful state is filled with hidden gems waiting to be explored. From the desert landscapes of the south to the pine-covered mountains of the north, Arizona offers a diverse range of hiking experiences beyond Sedona. Here are seven underrated cities in Arizona that boast stunning trails and breathtaking scenery.

1. Prescott

Nestled in the Bradshaw Mountains of central Arizona, Prescott offers a perfect blend of history and outdoor adventure. With over 450 miles of trails, hikers can explore the lush forests of Prescott National Forest or embark on scenic hikes along the Granite Dells. Don’t miss the opportunity to summit Thumb Butte for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

2. Flagstaff

Known for its proximity to the San Francisco Peaks and the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. While many flock to the nearby attractions, Flagstaff itself offers an abundance of hiking opportunities. Explore the volcanic landscapes of Sunset Crater or hike through dense pine forests in the Coconino National Forest. For a challenge, tackle the Humphreys Peak trail, the highest point in Arizona.

3. Tucson

Tucson may be overshadowed by its northern counterparts, but this vibrant city boasts some of the most stunning desert scenery in the state. Saguaro National Park offers a variety of hiking trails where visitors can marvel at towering cacti and rugged mountains. The nearby Catalina Mountains also provide ample opportunities for exploration, with trails ranging from leisurely strolls to strenuous treks.

4. Payson

Situated in the heart of Arizona’s Rim Country, Payson is a charming mountain town surrounded by pristine wilderness. Hikers can venture into the nearby Tonto National Forest, where trails wind through dense forests, past sparkling streams, and beneath towering cliffs. Don’t miss the picturesque hikes around Fossil Creek or the breathtaking views from the Mogollon Rim.

5. Sedona (Beyond the Red Rocks)

While Sedona’s red rock formations are undeniably stunning, the surrounding areas offer equally impressive hiking opportunities. Explore the lush canyons of Oak Creek Canyon or hike to the summit of nearby mountains for panoramic views of the iconic red rocks. With trails ranging from easy walks to challenging scrambles, there’s something for every skill level.

6. Payson

Nestled in the heart of Arizona’s Rim Country, Payson is a charming mountain town surrounded by pristine wilderness. Hikers can explore the nearby Tonto National Forest, where trails wind through dense forests, past sparkling streams, and beneath towering cliffs. Don’t miss the picturesque hikes around Fossil Creek or the breathtaking views from the Mogollon Rim.

7. Bisbee

Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Arizona, Bisbee is a quirky mining town with a rich history and stunning natural beauty. Hikers can explore the rugged terrain of the Mule Mountains, where trails lead to abandoned mines, hidden waterfalls, and panoramic viewpoints. Don’t forget to wander through the colorful streets of downtown Bisbee after a day of hiking.

Conclusion

While Sedona may steal the spotlight, Arizona is home to countless underrated cities that offer unforgettable hiking experiences. Whether you prefer desert landscapes, pine-covered mountains, or historic mining towns, there’s no shortage of beauty to discover in the Grand Canyon State. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your water bottle, and explore the hidden gems waiting to be discovered beyond Sedona.

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