Distance: 14.3 miles
Phoenix's South Mountain Park is a 16,000-acre area made up of sprawling urban hiking paths, including National Trail. It takes just over a mile to get to the trailhead from the parking lot, but don’t worry, it’s mostly flat -- great for all the trail runners and cyclists out there -- and the rocky Sonoran landscape makes you feel like you’re miles away from the city. On the way in you’ll pass other trails like Marcos de Niza (0.9 miles) and Beverly Canyon (1.5 miles). At the start, keep left. If you hang a right you’ll end up on Mormon Loop (1.3 miles). There’s plenty of turf to check out, just be careful, if you plan to veer off National, carry a GPS, just in case, and always stay on the marked paths (don’t be “that guy”).