Tempe is a the same distance from the Phoenix airport as downtown Phoenix, and offers some great options for running. Tempe Town Lake, in the heart of downtown and adjacent to the Arizona State University campus, has a wonderful running trail along each side. This is one of the opportunities to do a nice, long flat off-road run in the Phoenix area. Nice water and mountain views, with paved and gravel options. You can run a 3.5 mile stretch along the lake, or make a complete loop for 7.5 miles. We prefer the south (Tempe) side, which features downtown Tempe off Mill St., Beach Park, and the University. On the north side, there’s access to Papago Park and its wonderful trail options. A pedestrian bridge is a good crossing option, at the Tempe Center for the Arts.
Bonus: Trail is lit at night, which is useful for those torpid Phoenix summers.