Convenience is usually a big part of condo living’s appeal, and The Cays is no exception to that. If you live in or around this community, you know the appeal of living in a luxury community, but still being close enough to shops, dining, transportation, and other important amenities. However, to lovers of the great outdoors, it may seem like living so close to modern conveniences means you won’t be within distance of a great nature experience. Luckily, this isn’t a problem with The Cays. There are plenty of great local trails for travel on foot or bike, and many are within reasonable distance. Here are 5 locations we think you’ll enjoy.
You can’t talk about trails in southern Arizona without mentioning the iconic Camelback Mountain at least once. This popular location features two challenging trails, the 1.14-mile Echo Canyon Trail and the 1.4-mile Cholla Trail. The trails both lead to the peak of the mountain (ascending around 1,264 feet,) and each takes an average of 2 hours to complete out and back. Because of Camelback Mountain’s challenging trails and extreme popularity, you may find parking difficult here. Because of this it’s suggested you park a distance away and bike to the trailhead, where you’ll find convenient bike locks.
These mountain preserves are your best choice if it’s variety you want. These preserves feature 10 distinct trails ranging from .22 miles to 3.82 miles. The elevation changes also offer variety, with the Union Peek Trail finishing at the summit of Union Peak–an elevation of 2,200 feet. A free map is also available online, giving you the freedom to customize your experience and explore many trails in a day. If you do decide to check the Sonoran Preserve Trails out, you’ll need to be careful: All trails are in the undeveloped desert, meaning you may encounter hazardous terrain and wildlife. If you’re up to that challenge, though, you’ll find a world of exploration here.
For a simpler, shorter hike, try these two smaller mountains. The trail to the summit of Lookout Mountain is only .6 miles, and only rises a bit over 500 feet. There’s also a 2.6-mile circumference trail where you’ll get to travel around the mountain. You can also travel around Shadow Mountains with the Big Loop (with a length of 1.6 miles) and the Small Loop (at .8 miles.) While both of these trails are short and not as demanding as some of the bigger, more well-known ones, keep in mind that like the Sonoran Preserve Trails, this is still undeveloped desert and you’ll need to prepare adequately.
If you’re looking for biking or walking action, you’ll be in heaven on Chandler’s Paseo Trail. The trail features a 10-foot-wide paved trail stretching 6.5 miles that’s perfect for walking, jogging and bicycling, and also features a dirt trail for bicycles and horseback riders. The trail also intersects with several major roads, making access easy. The path runs along the Consolidated Canal, an 18-mile waterway that offers fishing. One end of the trail is even connected to the Paseo Vista Recteation Area, a beautiful 64-acre park featuring an archery range, dog park, disc golf course, and playground.
For a great trail suited for walking, hiking and trail running, try this great 3.2-mile route. Open October through April, the trail is an out-and-back with an elevation gain of at least 800 feet, and can be completed in around 90 minutes. Along the way you’ll pass through a small cave, see saguaro cactus roots and other flora, and enjoy a moderate-to-difficult journey on varying terrain. This trail is gaining in popularity slowly, but there’s plenty of room for everyone, so you won’t have to worry about overcrowding! It’s suggested that you take some refreshments on this trail, such as fruit or water.