BEST HIKE IF YOU DON'T HAVE ALL DAY (2006)

Trail 8 at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Little-known fact: You do not have to drive all the way out to Apache Junction to have a great hiking experience. In fact, Trail 8, which wends its way through the Piestewa Peak/Dreamy Draw area of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, can be just as breathtaking as anything in the Superstitions, with amazing summits and a plethora of cactus. Enter at the end of 40th Street south of Shea Boulevard, at the mountains preserve. Weirdly enough, despite its convenient location, even on a sunny Saturday, it can also be less crowded. Our apologies if we've given up your secret hiking spot.

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