Next time you lace up, skip the treadmill and instead head outdoors. To get you started, here are our favorite places to run in nature! Explore the list below or view the slideshow to see photos of these runs.
Hassayampa River Trails in Wickenburg, AZ
TRAINING LOG: With six paths under a mile at this desert oasis, you can mix up your workout at Hassayampa River Preserve just north of Phoenix. Lyke’s Lookout will test your heart with its steep climb.
NATURE LOG: Be on the lookout for brilliant vermilion flycatchers as you run along lush river bottoms and through majestic cottonwood-willow forests. You might even spot a Great blue heron wading near the cattail thickets over Palm Lake.
TRAINING LOG: You may not run the entire 800 miles of the Arizona Trail, but there’s a segment for every season from Aspen groves near Hart Prairie in Flagstaff to the giant Saguaro stands just outside of Tucson.
NATURE LOG: The sky’s the limit when it comes to nature’s beauty as the Arizona Trail connects mountain ranges, canyons, wilderness and canyons, including the grandest of them all.
Rillito River Path in Tucson, AZ
TRAINING LOG: Decompress your day on this 10-mile paved path that’s easy to access from many areas.
NATURE LOG: When the snow melts, this normally dry river bed can really flow. When it’s dry you’ll see all kinds of wildlife including coyotes.
Phoneline Trail in Tucson, AZ
TRAINING LOG: This straight-forward trail is 4.5 miles one-way and runs along an old tram road. This is popular among runners because the path is level after an initial climb.
NATURE LOG: You’ll be treated to gorgeous views of Sabino Canyon and you might get a glimpse of wildlife that live there including white-tail deer and javelina.
Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Trail in northern Arizona
TRAINING LOG: If you’re training for a marathon or just enjoy a challenge, this one’s for you. The 24-mile trip takes you from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the floor and up to the South Rim or vice-versa.
NATURE LOG: You’ll be wrapped in nature’s most magnificent beauty from the red rock canyon walls to ponderosa pines. Wildlife encounters range from bighorn sheep and mule deer on the South Rim to mountain lions and northern goshawks on the North Rim.