You haven't seen the desert until you've explored it at dusk.
One of the best kept secrets about living in Arizona, are the moonlight hikes in the desert. Exploring the terrain at night is my favorite part about living here. If you can't beat the summer heat, enjoy the cooler evenings at a moderate 80 degrees.
If you're lucky enough to be traveling to Arizona during or around the full moon, seek out the national park's recreation/events calendar.
Every month, park rangers around the state offer moonlight hikes and educate visitors about the inhabitants and shrubbery living in the desert.
This particular location pictured above, is one of the less traveled trailheads with a park ranger. You'll have a more enjoyable experience going with as many as 10 to 15 people in the group as opposed to 80-125 people at the South Mountain location that's closer to the city. There's no guarantee of how many people will show in any given night.
Some parks are more family-oriented than others so be sure to check the location before signing up. Note: The further away it is from downtown, the smaller the crowd will be.
DO NOT FORGET YOUR CAMERA. Entrance to National Parks usually cost about $6 per vehicle. Moonlight hike: Free. Although not recommended, South Mountain does allow you to hike alone at night. For your safety, they'll never tell you that.