Usery Mountain Regional Park
Easily accessible from Mesa, this 3400-acre urban park is quite popular with outdoor enthusiasts, who enjoy everything from bicycling and hiking to archery and camping. There are 29 miles of trails of varying distances (from about 0.2 to 7.1 miles), and the elevation ranges from 1700-2750 feet. A leisurely walk down one of the easier trails may reward you with sightings of gila monsters, desert tortoises, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, cactus wrens, turkey vultures and a host of cacti and other plants. The county parks department even offers public stargazing evenings here, complete with telescope. If you are looking for an easy, relatively short hike, the Merkle Trail is a good bet.