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This city’s climate and terrain make it a fun destination for those who enjoy the outdoors. Aside from the summer months, which can be brutally hot, expect to enjoy beautiful, sunny weather the rest of the year. This is perfect for getting out and exploring the area’s mountainous desert. The
Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department maintains a huge number of public parks, trails, mountain preserves and other natural areas, more than you could possibly visit during one trip. There is no admission fee to visit these.
Hikers and mountain bikers will find a large selection of
trails, ranging from very casual to extremely challenging, at popular spots such as
North Mountain and
South Mountain Preserve - the largest municipal park in the country. Although they are all located within the city, they are vast natural areas, free of development, and you’ll easily feel secluded and forget that there is a huge city around, except when reaching the summits of various mountains where you’ll have breathtaking views of the expansive valley.
Aside from hiking and biking, these natural areas offer an opportunity for seeing some of Phoenix’s wildlife. On the trails, you’re likely to see jackrabbits, cactus wrens, Gambels quail, small lizards, and possibly coyotes, rattlesnakes and scorpions. Additionally, you’ll be surrounded by Arizona’s unique plant life, including a large variety of cactus such as the impressive saguaro.
For those less adventurous, there are numerous private resorts and public courses for playing golf. Most area resorts provide swimming pools and tennis courts. Arizona State University hosts many collegiate sporting events, and Phoenix has several professional sports teams that play in the local stadiums and arenas.