We went with some friends to Usery Mountain to enjoy this beautiful spring day out in nature with our children, ages 5-2 years. Everything is so green and beautiful this time of year. We chose to do the Vista Trail one-way (.5 miles), then walked back to the trail head on the east side of the Merkle Trail (.4 miles). These were great choices for the age group we had.
The Vista Trail goes up and over the Merkle Hills. Our 4 & 5 year-old loved running over the rocks and up and down the hills. There are some loose rocks so the 2-year-olds did require some hand-holding, but were mostly able to handle the trail on their own. There are some great views of the desert from these hills. There are also some large boulders along the trail that my kids enjoyed climbing on and posing for pictures.
The Merkle Trail is totally flat and wide. You could probably even take a stroller on it, although it is not paved. There are some informational signs about the area along the route. The trail takes you past large Saguaro cactus. It was nice not to have to take the kids back over Vista Trail once we got to the other side of Merkle Hills because they were starting to get tired. It does have lots of benches for resting that the kids tried to take advantage of.
Across the street from the Merkle trail head is a great shaded picnic area and playground. It was a perfect reward for our little hikers.