Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of the state of Arizona, with a population of around 4.5 million people in its metropolitan area. Phoenix’s skyline is home to about 20 buildings over 320 feet (100 meters), so it’s a pretty impressive skyline that everyone visiting the area should see at least once. To make that easier, we’ve put together a list of the best scenic viewpoints in the capital city of Arizona.
#5: Camelback mountain
Camelback Mountain is a 2,700-feet high peak located near Scottsdale at about a 30-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix. There are two trails on the mountain: Echo Canyon and Cholla. Both trails will give you a fantastic view of Phoenix’s metropolitan area. If you’re looking for a place to hike while enjoying nature and the view of Phoenix and its surroundings, this lookout point might be the place you should visit. Check out their website for more information and to look at pictures of the trails.
#4: North Mountain Peak
North Mountain Peak is a 2104-feet high (641 meters) peak located at about a 30-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix. The hike is pretty easy, as the trail is paved and it’s only a 1.6-mile loop. At the top, you’ll have a great view of the skyline of Phoenix from afar with the South Mountain Park in the background. Sadly, the trail close at sunset, so it’s tough to get pictures from the sunset at the top, but it’s still a fantastic viewpoint if you like hiking but still want to have energy left to enjoy the view at the top.
#3: Verde Park
Phoenix’s geography is tricky for photographers, as the mountains are too far away from the city to get a great picture of Phoenix’s buildings from a close perspective. On top of that, the city does not have (yet) an observation deck, so finding a spot where you can take great pictures of the city is difficult. Verde Park is a park located next to Downtown Phoenix where you can find a great view of Phoenix’s skyscrapers to take great pictures. In front of the park, there’s a soccer/track field on the ASU Preparatory Academy campus, so you could easily go on the sidewalk on Verde Park’s side of the street and take pictures of Phoenix due to the field clearing the view. It is obviously not the best viewpoint, but if you’re specifically looking for a close view of Phoenix’s skyscrapers, it might be the best spot for you.
#2: Phoenix Mountains Preserve
At number two, we’ve got Phoenix Mountains Preserve, which is also located at about a 30-minute drive from Downtown. It’s a very popular attraction in the Phoenix area, mainly because the site offers trails for everyone. Whether you’re a big hiker or not, you’ll probably find a trail or activity that suits you in the park. Consequently, there are also multiple peaks and views at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, so we highly recommend checking their website to find more information about all the trails and activities offered.
#1: Dobbins Lookout
Dobbins Lookout is definitely the best viewpoint in Phoenix, Arizona. You can reach Dobbins Lookout without hiking, by car, by driving for about 40 minutes from Downtown Phoenix, yet a big part of this drive will be in the mountains, so it’s mostly a scenic drive. Dobbins Lookout is located in the South Mountain Park and Preserve and is home to a “rock house”, from where you can see Phoenix’s skyline, a big part of the metropolitan area and mountains in the background. Due to its easy access and breathtaking view, Dobbins Lookout is definitely a must-see for tourists and locals.
Phoenix is surrounded by beautiful mountains and parks, so if you’re ever visiting the city, you should absolutely stop at one of these mountains to enjoy a great view of Arizona’s capital city and take great pictures. Don’t hesitate to comment if we’ve missed a scenic observatory and make sure to take a look at our scenic viewpoints world map for more!