Red Rocks and Forests


Arizona features surprising elevation changes, which invite visitors to cool off during the summer months in the state’s mountains and forests.

The Superstition Mountains.
Sunset at South Mountain Park, Phoenix

A Breathtaking Vista

South Mountain Park

Whether hiking, mountain biking or skiing, Arizona’s 194 mountain ranges provide an array of elevations and experiences for every skill level—and the views are always spectacular.

Arizona’s largest city, the Greater Phoenix area, sits in a valley completely surrounded by mountains and parks such as South Mountain Park and Preserve, the largest municipal park in the U.S. with about 58 miles of trails.

An Ecological Wonder

The Sky Islands

To the south in Tucson, mountains can be seen from nearly any spot in the city, especially those of the Catalinas and Mt. Lemmon, one of seven “Sky Islands” in southern Arizona that ascend from desert lowlands to 9,000 feet and forests.

Sky Islands are geographic wonders popular with climbers, hikers (the southern terminus of the Arizona Scenic Trail goes through them), cyclists as well as birders and biologists. The varying changes in elevation result in diverse plants, animals and temperatures—summer temps in the southern Arizona mountains can average twenty degrees cooler than their surrounding valleys.

A stunning vista from Mount Lemmon, Tucson
Snoboarding at Ski Bowl, Greer

An Elevated Perspective

The Mountains of Northern Arizona

In northern Arizona, the Mogollon Rim (“the Rim”) transitions from desert to forests of pine and alpine where bear and elk roam. The mountain ranges here include the White Mountains to the east and the San Francisco Peaks to the north—both with average elevations of 11,000 feet, which mean cool temps in the summer and snow in the winter. Snow skiing—downhill and cross-country—as well as snowboarding and sledding can be enjoyed at both Sunrise Ski Resort in Greer and Snowbowl in Flagstaff.

Elevate your Adventures

Keep Climbing

Family Activities

Family Fun in Arizona's White Mountains

Explore the cool communities of Arizona's White Mountains for a refreshing family summer getaway.

Outdoor Adventures

Hiking Arizona

Lace up your boots and choose a trail.

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Enter and Win

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Catalina State Park

Visitors lace up their hiking boots to enjoy this magnificent natural area north of Tucson.

Glen Canyon & Lake Powell

With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, Lake Powell creates a surprising oasis in northern Arizona’s high desert.

Madera Canyon

Just south of Tucson near Green Valley, the Santa Rita Mountains offer spectacular outdoor excursions.

Mount Lemmon

Explore Southern Arizona’s sky islands in Coronado National Forest.

Oracle State Park

This tiny state park north of Tucson makes a big impression with its colorful backstory.

Painted Desert

Visit Arizona’s colorful badlands in the northeast corner of the state.

Peña Blanca Lake

Reach these sparkling waters in Southern Arizona just west of Nogales.

Sabino Canyon

On the northeast edge of Tucson, Sabino Canyon is a popular gateway to outdoor adventures in the Santa Catalina Mountains.


Cities & Regions

From the abundance of Saguaro cactuses and unique wildlife in the Sonoran Desert to the high country and forests of the White Mountains to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Arizona’s regions are full of experiences that don’t disappoint.