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About Arizona!

Blake Wichert

Pulp Exposure


The Summer is coming to a close and as fall approaches, the weather will start becoming more refreshing and promising for outdoor activities in the next upcoming months. Hiking is a great stress relief activity to upregulate the endorphins and explore the subtly breathtaking desert ecosystem of Arizona. In this article, I hope to enlighten you with several hikes and landmarks to visit in the upcoming months.

In the surrounding Phoenix area, there are plenty of hikes that I aspire to attempt. A couple examples lie within the Superstition Wilderness. A moderate 3 hour hike called the Peralta Canyon Trail is what I will most likely venture on next. This trail has shade in some areas and is an upward climb with switchbacks. At the top is a view of Weaver's needle and the adjacent Superstition Wilderness (LeBlanc, 2023). An additional panoramic trail within the Superstition Wilderness with a plethora of cacti, rock carvings called petroglyphs and seasonal waterfalls is known as the Hieroglyphic Trail. This is a relatively easy hike with a roundtrip of 3.1 miles (Kara, 2021).

Sedona, Arizona is encapsulated in abundant iron oxide red rock formations that pave the trail for scenic hikes and beautiful viewpoints. Whether you are an experienced hiker or it’s your first time, Sedona has trails for all and is worth the two hour drive up I-17 to visit. One trail I recommend in the area is called Devil’s Bridge. This trail is an enjoyable 3.9 mile round trip hike with scenic views followed by an adrenaline rush when standing at the top of the natural sandstone arch. Devil’s Bridge is the largest sandstone arch and a must see experience (AllTrails, n.d.). If you are looking for a hike with more elevation than I would suggest attempting Bear Mountain Trailhead. Although this hike may seem shorter, the elevation is a daunting 1800 feet gain in just under 2.3 miles to the top. The average time for this hike is usually 4.5 hours (USDA, n.d.). The red rock patterns and color combinations made this a vibrant and enjoyable experience.

Image 1. Bear Mountain Summit.

If you consider hiking a chore, but enjoy exploring or observing new places, there are landmarks within Arizona that are not only scenic, but provide diverse geographical beacons undetectable anywhere else. One of the seven wonders of the world, The Grand Canyon is just north of Flagstaff and a 3.5 hour drive from ATSU. The Grand Canyon is 10 miles in width and a tremendous 227 miles long (Staff, 2022). The rim is easily accessible by a shuttle ride.

Although a six mile hike is required, one other landmark I hope to venture to at some point throughout my time at ATSU, is a place called Coyote Buttes otherwise known as The Wave. The once sand dunes have now turned into a coruscating sandstone formation. It is difficult to obtain a permit to travel here and it is four hours away from ATSU.

Image 2. “The Wave”(Coyote, 2023).

With being cooped up all Summer due to the radiating temperature, I am looking forward to diving into more of the trails in the surrounding Phoenix area as the Arizona climate becomes progressively tolerable. Regardless of the weather, make sure to bring hiking boots and plenty of water upon your near future adventures in Arizona!


AllTrails. (n.d.). Devil’s Bridge Trail via Dry Creek Road - AllTrails. Devil’s Bridge Trail via Dry Creek Road.

Coyote Buttes and The Wave. The Wave - Coyote Buttes North Permit and Hiking Information, Images, and Maps. (2023, September 11).

Kara. (2021, September, 23). Hiking The Hieroglyphic Trail In The Superstition Mountains.

​​LeBlanc, D. (2023). Peralta Canyon Trail.

Staff. (2022, April, 28). Grand Canyon Among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Grand Canyon National Park Trips.,averages%20over%20ten%20miles%20wide.&text=Located%20in%20northwestern%20Arizona%2C%20the,wonder%20every%20American%20should%20see.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Coconino National Forest - Bear Mountain Trail No. 54. Bear Mountain Trail No. 54.

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