Hiking Hayden Butte with kids is a great outdoor activity that offers amazing views of the city in just an hour round trip! While it is a steady, steep incline to the top, even little legs can rise to the challenge and enjoy this unique city experience.
We parked at a little lot at the base of the trail (for $2/hr – we only needed 1 hour). There are also a couple parking garages in downtown Tempe, or consider parking for free at Tempe Beach Park, and walking a short distance back to the trail.
There are two ways to hike from the parking lot. Check the map at the trailhead to see the dirt switchbacks, or the straight up paved path. We tried both and the kids almost preferred the dirt paths! It was a fun way to add an extra .5 miles to our distance. (And our son loves rocks.) The switchbacks end near the top of the paved pathways, and then the trail continues with concrete steps and some sections of railings. Take your time, stay to the right (or let fast hikers pass you) and you’ll make it!
We spent about 15 minutes at the top, soaking up the views. The kids also enjoy playing on the rocks. If you can, have someone take a picture of your group in several directions to get in the full view. Looking northwest or south has some great views of the mountains.
Since part of this trail is paved, you could take a stroller. However, the steps are not stroller friendly. We recommend just walking Hayden Butte with kids, or using a baby carrier to take little ones who might need a ride. This is a short, simple hike even with the steep incline.
As always when hiking, be sure to bring closed toed shoes, water, hats and sunscreen!
Tempe is also a fantastic place to spend the day and offers so many kid friendly activities! Some of our favorites are Sealife Aquarium, Legoland, Halle Heart Museum, boating on Tempe Town Lake, and more. Click here to view our popular article about unique destinations in Tempe with kids. We’ve also compiled a list of kid friendly restaurants.
E Rio Salado Pkwy & S Mill Ave
Tempe, AZ 85281
More information about the trail and its history can be viewed here.
Or visit 6 Nature Areas to Visit in Phoenix.