Phoenix, the cosmopolitan heart of Arizona, basks in sunshine all year long. With gorgeous red rocks, blue skies and bright sun-rays, the dry weather makes this a great area to run. A “must do” in Phoenix is to plan a run amid the rocks during sunrise or sunset, to enjoy the spectacular light. Also, desert wildflowers in spring or just after a rain can be a special treat. This is our guide to the best places to run in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona.
Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. It is spread out and auto-centric. Running options in the heart of downtown are not great. The best options are in North Phoenix: Murphy’s Bridle Path, and the canal trails.If you have the option, we’d recommend staying in downtown Tempe rather than downtown Phoenix. It’s the same distance from the airport as downtown Phoenix, and has some great running options right downtown, including the Town Lake trail, and proximity to the Desert Botanical Garden and Papago Park. Nearby Scottsdale has a beautiful greenbelt popular with runners, and access to the Camelback Mountain area. Also, Phoenix and Tempe are now connected by a terrific light rail system, which runs downtown to downtown every 20 minutes or so and only takes 20 minutes.
The running experience in Phoenix is not complete without doing some of the off-road mountain trails. The Camelback area is among the easiest to access and most popular.