One of the advantages of living in Sierra Vista is that there are seemingly endless ways to explore and experience the outdoors. With a landscape that is packed with an incredible variety of scenery and wildlife, you’ll find yourself discovering something new virtually every time you get outdoors. One of the best ways to experience everything that Sierra Vista has to offer is to take a hike.
Hiking is a popular activity throughout Southern Arizona, and once you start, you’ll find it’s often hard to choose between exploring somewhere new or returning to one of your favorite trails. There are hiking trails for every level to explore nearby. Here are some popular hiking spots new Sierra Vista as well as some advice for planning your first hike.
If you’re an experienced hiker, you won’t want to miss the trail to Miller Peak. Miller Peak is a so-called ultra-peak—one of only five in the state. It is part of the Huachuca range, and it is the highest mountain in that group. On this hike, you’ll reach 9,466 feet on a 9.6-mile journey. The first part of the hike is the most challenging, as you make a steep ascent. After your initial climb, the trail becomes easier. Temperatures turn cooler ask you get close to the top, so be sure to bring layers of clothing so you can adjust to the weather change. This trail is open all year long, so you can take in the seasonal changes. Once you’re at the top, you’ll be able to see for miles across Southern Arizona and Mexico.
Ramsey Canyon Preserve and Hamburg Trail
For a gentler hike, start at the Ramsey Canyon Preserve and explore the Hamburg Trail. This 5.6-mile trail takes you through maples and sycamores that make the area seem out of place in Arizona. This hike is popular with bird watchers, as rarely seen species are sometimes spotted here. On the trail, you’ll go through Coronado National Forest and take in views of the lower Ramsey Canyon and San Pedro River Valley. Once you hit the intersection with the Wisconsin Trail, you’ll know it’s time to turn around. Before you start your hike, you’ll have to stop into the Nature Conservatory’s visitors center, where you can buy a permit. You can also join a guided walk or pick up brochures to help you make sense of what you’re seeing on your hike.
The Arizona Trail
If you’re looking for a real challenge, consider a 20.8-mile hike on the Arizona Trail. The Arizona Trail is part of the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail, which is broken down into a number of smaller hikes. This hike starts along the Crest Trail by Montezuma Pass and enters the Coronado National Forest. All along, you’ll get amazing views of other peaks and low grasslands. There is also abundant wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds, to encounter. For many people, the final miles of the trail through a riparian region is the most exciting part. The riparian habit hosts plants and wildlife not typically seen in Southern Arizona. Although this hike doesn’t involve many steep inclines, at 20.8 miles, it is physically demanding. For this reason, if you’re new to hiking, save this trail for when you have some experience.
Tips for New Hikers
It’s hard not to be inspired to hike when you live in a place like Sierra Vista, and the good news, experience isn’t required to hit the trails. If you’re new to hiking, always research trails before you try them, and start out with short, beginner-friendly hikes, so you can get used to this kind of activity. Dress in layers of light clothing, so you can add or remove items to adjust to temperature changes. Carry plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a cellphone, in case of emergencies. Avoid hiking alone and be sure someone knows where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Give wildlife a wide berth. Always wear appropriate footwear, no matter how easy you think the hike may be.
Outdoor adventure awaits when you make Sierra Vista your home, and the best of Southern Arizona living is on your doorstep when you move into a community built by Castle & Cooke. We offer move-in ready and custom build homes in Sierra Vista backed with our more than three decades of experience building in the community. Learn more about our properties by calling (520) 378-5110.