On The Rocks – Escape The Heat This Summer

It’s that time of year – The Valley is heating up, fire departments are being called to Camelback Mountain on the regular, and you’re feeling cooped up in your home. I’m personally getting pretty stir-crazy…so I’ll share my summer plans and favorite AZ summer trails with you!

In my season of life, packing up and going on a day trip isn’t the easiest (having a 6-month-old will do that to you). Fortunately, I’ll be leaving Arizona for a few weeks and will be spending time with my husband’s family in West Virginia before meeting my family in Colorado. Thanks to Desert Financial Credit Union, On The Rocks will be going remote for the summer!

First, I plan to visit the NEWEST National Park – The New River Gorge in West Virginia. As a kid, I white water rafted down the New River multiple times but I’m looking forward to returning as an adult with my husband’s family. 

In Colorado, I’ll be hiking almost daily once we acclimate to the elevation. I’m excited to bring On The Rocks to the East Coast and to the Rocky Mountains this summer. Colorado is just a short flight away and if you’re looking for a weekend escape…this is the perfect getaway. I’ll be sharing my adventures outside of the state this summer.

However, if you can’t get away…I’ve got plenty of options for you too!

Each hike is separated by location with some additional recommendations.



Favorite overall hike in Sedona – Baldwin Trail to Cathedral Rock

Recommend only on cooler days or early in the morning. This trail requires river crossings (amazing when you want to cool down) and I suggest hanging out at Crescent Moon Ranch after hiking. 


Favorite water hike in Sedona – West Fork Trail

There’s a ton of shade on this hike! The perfect escape on hotter days in Sedona. Check the radar/weather for potential monsoons as there is a risk of flash flooding on this trail. Some people consider this “The Narrows” (Zion National Park) hike of Sedona. 


Favorite Sedona Cave Hike –  Soldier Pass

Recommend only on cooler days in Sedona as the main trail is pretty exposed. The cave itself is my favorite cave in Arizona!


Another Cave in Sedona – Birthing Cave

This trail has a little more shade than the Soldier Pass trail. Of course, bring water!


Everyone’s Favorite “Must Do” Hike in Sedona – Devils Bridge

Soooo…I’m over Devils Bridge. If you haven’t done it, you should. It’s for sure a bucket list item. However, the trail has gained a LOT of foot traffic over the last few years. The hike listed below is a better version of Devils Bridge IMO. 


Favorite Devils Bridge Replacement – Fay Canyon Arch

This trail shocked me! I loved every bit of it. It is a pretty exposed trail so I recommend choosing to go on a cooler day. However, the “peak” of this hike has a very similar vibe to Devils Bridge without the foot traffic!



Coolest Hike Ever – Horton Creek Trail

By “coolest” I mean there’s a LOT of shade. In fact, I recollect that you will be in the shade for the entire hike. It’s an amazing escape because you hike along the creek and under the trees. You definitely want to bring your pup and your kids for this one!


Most Fun Hike – Water Wheel Falls

Everything about this hike just screams summertime! You will feel the heat because the trail is very exposed. However, you are hiking in or along the water the entire time. The water is refreshing and there’s so much to see. I recommend sturdy water shoes for you and boots for your pup! The boots are key for your dog – I remember the first time I did this hike we carried Mia across the sand because it was so hot. 


Favorite Underrated Hike – Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Just do it. Trust me. You’ll love it.


White Mountains:

Favorite Waterfall Hike – Cibecue Falls

If you live in the Valley this is a FULL DAY trip. But it’s worth it. Watch the video for instructions on obtaining a permit. It’s worth every penny. 


Favorite Hike To Cool Down – Government Springs Trail 

Located near Greer, you can count on this hike being about 25+ degrees cooler than any hike in the Valley. Head to Greer after to enjoy the ski town!


Phoenix Area + Indoors:

Favorite Activity EVER – Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch, Kayaking

I’ve reposted this activity too many times to count. It’s my favorite. Nothing beats it. You can almost guarantee seeing wild horses. 


Favorite Thing To Do Indoors – Rock Climbing



Humphrey’s Peak is my actual favorite hike in Flagstaff because it is so challenging. However, the first and last time I hiked it – On The Rocks didn’t exist yet. Unfortunately for me, my husband (AKA my videographer) said it was a “one and done” kind of hike for him. So if climbing to the tallest peak in AZ isn’t for you…try Old Caves Crater Trail!