By John Kuells
Are you looking to go hiking? You’re in luck. There’s no shortage of epic hiking opportunities around Arizona. The southern part of the state offers challenging desert hikes from Tucson to Phoenix. The north is home to some high-elevation climbs near Sedona, Flagstaff, and Prescott. That’s not to mention the limitless opportunities available in the Grand Canyon. But in order to hike the best, you need to gear up with the best. These local hiking retailers have everything you need to conquer your next big hike.
It doesn’t get much better than Arizona Hiking Shack. It’s the quintessential shop for local outdoor adventurers. This locally-run shop has been a go-to spot for hikers since 1972. Armed with a knowledgeable staff and today’s top brands, Arizona Hiking Shack is a must-see shop for every type of hiker. They sell and rent high-quality gear from CamelBak, Osprey, Arc'teryx, and more. Arizona Hiking Shack also offers hiking-based education classes, including a two-hour adventure hike course and a two-day course entitled “Hiking 101.”
Sedona is nicknamed the Day Hike Capital of America. It’s home to over 100 hiking trails that each showcase Sedona’s gorgeous red rocks. Hikers looking for the ultimate Sedona experience can take a trip to the Hike House. They carry all of the essentials for a day hike: footwear, apparel, books and maps, trekking poles, backpacks and more. Their top-level brands include the North Face, Mountain Hardwear, and Columbia. The Hike House is also the creator of the Sedona Trail Finder, an interactive hiking database that helps hikers find the perfect local trail.
Any true outdoor enthusiast knows about REI. This outdoor megastore carries the best gear, footwear and apparel for adventurers. Arizonan’s can see what the hype is all about by taking a trip to their Chandler retail store. They carry hundreds of hiking footwear options for men and women. They’re also home to top-selling brands like The North Face and Yeti. REI has you covered no matter the type of hiking gear. They also host weekly classes on everything from map and compass navigation to local trail preparation.
Why do hikers love Summit Hut? For one, they’re a one-stop shop carrying everything a hiker needs for an epic outdoor adventure. You can grab footwear, apparel, trekking poles, first aid kits, water bottles, filters, packs, and more from top brands like Columbia and Patagonia. Summit Hut started as a small outdoor store in 1967. Today, they encompass a mail order business, ecommerce shop and two retail stores. They were also the recipient of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance “Retailer of the Year” award for their long-standing commitment to outdoor enthusiasts.
As a great hiking location, Prescott is often overlooked. But this northern Arizona town is home to the Mile-High Trail System, which contains roughly 70 miles of beautiful trails. You can prep for a Prescott adventure with a trip to the Hike Shack. It’s Prescott’s go-to hiking retailer. They carry gear for short day hikes, backpacking adventures, and difficult multi-day climbs. You’ll find plenty of hiking boots, trail maps, and packs at their storefront. Some of the Hike Shack’s biggest brands include Smartwool, Mountain Hardwear, and Five Ten.
Are you looking for an epic outdoor adventure? Look no further than Just Roughin’ It Adventure Company. This Scottsdale-based outdoor shop offers guided trips through some of Arizona’s most amazing natural wonders. You can plan a day trip through the Superstition Wilderness or a hiking tour through the Grand Canyon. Just Roughin’ It has no shortage of equipment to prepare for your trip. They have plenty of clothing, footwear, trekking poles, maps, water bottles and filters, and more. You can also grab your next pair of hiking boots from reliable brands like Salomon and Vasque.
Don’t be fooled by the name. iRun might sound like a store for runners, but it’s so much more. They also cater to hikers by carrying some of the best trail gear on the market. This Arcadia store has one of the largest selections of hiking shoes and boots in the Valley. They carry plenty of athletic apparel from brands like Adidas and Drymax. Their staff of dedicated athletes also host myriad outdoor events.