Pima Canyon is an ideal place to introduce kids to real hiking, or at least the general concept of it. Tykes don't always tolerate heading down a single-track trail in one boring direction; they'd rather scamper, scramble, and explore. Here, you'll find an awesome mix of trails within a relatively small area, and the little ones can do what they want. Once parked along the park road west of 48th Street, you and the fam can jump on one of the trails that descends into a broad arroyo full of sand, palo verde trees, and boulders. Watching out for mountain bikers, check out the hills just south toward the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa (formerly the Pointe), then circle west again, back toward the road and the end of the paved parking area. An easy walk on the start of Desert Classic Trail takes you to the barred inscription from 1537 by Spanish explorer Marcos de Niza (you don't have to tell the kids it's likely a 1920s forgery). Toddlers or little kids ready to cover some distance can tackle the wide, dirt road open only to pedestrians that extends about a mile to the start of the long and brutal National Trail. Even a short walk down this road and back will give a kid a sense of what desert hiking is all about, but the car isn't far away in case of a mental meltdown or tired legs. On nice days, you'll see many other hikers, including lots of families with kids or pets. Go around sunset for a good chance at hearing the yips and yaps of the coyotes who live in the 16,000-acre South Mountain Park/Preserve.