South Mountain Park & Preserve

Step out in one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country just south of downtown Phoenix.

An 11-mile stretch of rocky mountains separates Phoenix to the north and Gila River Indian Community to the south. More than 16,000 acres of outdoor recreation spread out over three mountain ranges studded with granite boulders and saguaros. Desert communities back up to the Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe mountains, which feature hiking and mountain biking trails that lead to scenic vistas of the city below. Roadways throughout the park are open to vehicles and road cyclists. Silent Sundays close the roads to accommodate the swell of hikers who enjoy the area.

Urban Hiking

Nearly 60 miles of trails wind through South Mountain Park. Pima Canyon Trailhead from the east side of the park is the most heavily trafficked area shared by hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Hop on the Mormon Trailhead on the north side of the park to reach geologic features such as Fat Man’s Pass and a natural tunnel along Hidden Valley Trail. The T-Bone Trail and Corona de Loma Trail offer longer rambles from the west side of the park. Serious hikers can link multiple trails together to hike the entire ridge line of South Mountain.

Summit Road

Enjoy the beauty of the area and vistas of the cityscape year-round without breaking a sweat. Paved scenic drives start at the park’s main entrance on south Central Avenue. From there, head up to Dobbins Point, the highest point in the park open to visitors, for a 360-degree view of the Phoenix cityscape and surrounding communities. Resist the urge to speed through the tight turns on this roller-coaster road, as all paved roads in the park are shared with cyclists.

Rock Art

Along the hiking trails, check the granite boulders for signs of Hohokam rock art left behind by the ancient culture that hunted, farmed and gathered resources from these mountains as far back as the 1400s. Best bets for petroglyph sightings occur along Mormon Trail, Telegraph Pass, Desert Classic and Holbert Trails. Take the exploration inside at nearby S’edav Va’aki Museum (formerly Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park), which preserves Hohokam artifacts found over the years on South Mountain.

For More Information

South Mountain Park / Preserve Main Entrance
10919 S Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85042
(602) 262-7398

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