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.Our guide to the best places to run in Phoenix includes the broader area of Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. It is spread out and auto-centric. The best running options are more toward Tempe, highlighted by the Desert Botanical Garden and Papago Park, the Tempe Town Lake Trail, and the Indian Wash Greenbelt connecting to Scottsdale. As for Phoenix, running options in the heart of downtown are not great. The better options are in North Phoenix: Murphy’s Bridle Path, and an extensive series of canal trails. 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.