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Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

Toronto, Canada
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

I may have a channce to hit Arizona for a week in early December for day hikes, but how far south should I go? Is Phoenix okay, sedona, ot Tuscon?? I do not want snow but 50/60 is okay?

I asume farther north is too cold.

Is New Mexico similar?

Wait until next year?

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

Sedona will likely fit your climate requirements. Even the Grand Canyon can reach those temps in the day time, but snow is always a possibility in the winter too.

Mesa, Arizona
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for Tempe
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2. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

Early December is a beautiful time of year to go hiking in Phoenix! You could hike a different area of the valley every day and each hike will be different. If you start reasonably early in the morning, you'll have time to explore/sightsee later in the day.

Chicago
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3. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

I would definitely pick Sedona. It will be cooler than Phoenix but still comfortable. The day hikes are numerous and the scenery is spectacular. If it snows in Sedona, it melts by late morning. A day trip to Grand Canyon from Sedona is also quite reasonable, if you don't want to overnite at GC. You will not run out of things to do in Sedona.

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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4. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

Sedona would be my first choice for hiking out of those choices: it's prettier than most trails in the metro areas, and you don't have to worry about pollution like you do in Phoenix and, to a lesser extent, in Tucson.

But I'd say keep yourself open, because snow is a possibility in Sedona at that time of the year, although it's not likely. If you're basing yourself in Phoenix, then it would be better to hike there as an alternative. Tucson has better hiking (sorry, but it's true) but isn't necessarily worth the 2-hour one-way drive to do so.

Toronto, Canada
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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5. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

Sounds good, actually I would like to do both sedona and Tucson, I have about 7-10 days so what trails should I do, all days are great (I love start early, carry a lunch, stop for great views and pictures). Both places please!

Petaluma, California
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6. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

When you first drive into Sedona proper and hit the place called the "Y" where Hwy 179 and Hwy 89A meet - there is a few feet to the north/east on Hwy 89A the actual Sedona Chamber and visitor center. (There are many on the road that are not the actual Chamber.) Inside there is a wealth of information about the trails. For instance, their list tells you the distance of the trail, the difficulty and much more. I love their list. In Oak Creek Canyon are some of the most beautiful trails anywhere on the planet (imho)

If you can find the Forest Service Office also near the Y but more difficult to locate, they also have detailed trail maps.

Have a great time!!

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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7. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

I've barely done any hiking in Sedona, but I can definitely recommend some trails down here.

My personal favorite is Pima Canyon. However, it's also a favorite of a lot of others and, if you come on a weekend, you'll find a lot of others on it, including many families with small children (which throws me, because it's not tremendously east). However, if you went on a non-holiday weekday or before about 7am on a weekend, then you would be fine. I especially like Pima Canyon because, in the winter, the sun stays behind a ridge until close to noon. So, it's good for staving off sunburns, but you'll need to bring a sweater, because it'll be cold in that shade. The trees (cottonwoods) should also be pretty at that time of the year.

The alternative is just a couple of miles east at Ventana Canyon. This is more popular in general, and the beginning winds through private property, so it's not pretty. But the canyon itself is gorgeous and the near-perennial stream provides a great place to sit and relax. After a few miles, the trail ascends to the Maiden Pools, which are really breathtaking.

If you're looking for a challenge, then try Finger Rock. All of the above-mentioned trails ascend into the Santa Catalinas, but Finger Rock (named after a rock formation in the canyon, although the trail does not actually reach it) does so almost immediately, so it's tougher on the legs.

You have to keep in mind a few things about desert hiking:

- You need to dress in layers. You'll be cold in the shade, but hot in the sun. It's a bit annoying.

- You need to bring plenty of water and drink it a lot, even if you're not that thirsty. It takes a little while to acclimatize to the dry environment, so your body will not react to the dehydration adequately.

- The trails are excessively rocky. If you have knee issues, then you may want to consider getting some hiking poles. I've hiked in a lot of places, but Arizona remains one of the toughest because of the stair-like quality of many of the trails.

There are plenty of other trails in the area, but those are the ones on the north side of the city that I like. I left out Romero Canyon because it requires a fee for entrance to Catalina State Park, and Sabino Canyon, which requires a $5 parking fee, and is paved for a good portion of it. Pima Canyon, Ventana Canyon and Finger Rock all have free parking at their trailheads.

More trails are detailed here: http://arizona.sierraclub.org/trail_guide/

hth

8. Re: Hiking in early December?? Phoenix or south?

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