Hit the Trail for First Day Hike

"Take lots of water and dress in layers," is what I would say to anyone setting off for a hike anywhere in Southern Arizona. "No really, take LOTS of water," I would add.

Of course, there should be things other than water inside of a hiker's pack. If you've just begun to hit the trails on your own, or plan to begin with a First Day Hike, opens a new window on January 1st, you couldn't find better advice than you'll find in Five-star Trails, Tucson.

Along with the essential information such as how to prepare, trail difficulty and length, Five Star Trails: Tucson rates the scenery and trail conditions you'll encounter. It includes information about hikes that are wheelchair accessible too. You'll always know precisely where to start your hike since trailhead GPS coordinates are listed for each hike.

A good pocket-sized guide is Best Easy Day Hikes, Tucson, Tucson. As the name implies, it is Tucson-centric and includes more commonly known trails in Sahuaro National Park. This compact guide also indicates "canine compatibility" for each trail.

If you'd like to go farther afield with your canine companion, check out Best Hikes With Dogs. This guide will help both you and your furry friend prepare for and enjoy your adventures in the great outdoors.

A good source for choosing your hike is Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Parks and Recreation's excellent Eastern Pima County Trailheads map.

Hiking can be a great way to enjoy some solitude but there are opportunities to socialize on the trail if you belong to the Southern Arizona Hiking Club or some such organization. Either way, it's hard to find a better way to enjoy a beautiful day in Southern Arizona!