As spring makes a quick appearance in Arizona, the days for camping and hiking are perfect (and numbered).
Luckily, there are tons of places in the Valley where you can take advantage of the natural beauty, gorgeous weather, and off-the-beaten path hikes. Here are just 10 of our favorites:
10. Usery Mountain's Wind Cave Trail The 1.6-mile trail is fairly easy; it's the most popular hike in the area. There are few rough spots where you have to navigate over some big rocks, but the gentle grade (only 820 feet) and long switchbacks make, at least the first half, a big piece of $6 cake. The second half begins to climb up the rock's face toward the cave. (In the morning it's almost completely in the shade, which is a nice refresher.) And to top it off, along the way, hikers can trot along to the soothing sounds of nature -- the wind rolling over the desert floor, bees buzzing, birds chirping ... the occasional round of gun shots (thanks to the shooting range, of course).