South Mountain is a point of pride for Phoenix. As the largest municipally operated park in the country, it is an enjoyable place for hiking, biking, scenic drives and beautiful views of the valley below.
Where can you find a castle, petroglyphs, and 50 miles of trails? Phoenix, Arizona. South Mountain is rich with environmental and cultural history. Mystery Castle was built in the 1930s by Boyce Gulley for his daughter. It’s not open for tours (since she still lives there), but its gorgeous architecture makes it a special attraction.
Featuring amazing views of the city and natural desert from the trail, South Mountain has become a retreat for outdoor enthusiasts.
Bring a mountain bike, horse, or your boots. The extensive network of trails begs to be explored. Make a day of it with plenty of covered spaces for a picnic, or barbecue — some spots even allow permitted alcohol and music for an outdoor bash.
South Mountain offers outdoor fun all year long, but take extra caution in the summer months — it’s no secret: Phoenix gets hot! Even in the summer, though, dawn and dusk offer great trail opportunities.
There are plenty of options for staying near South Mountain throughout Phoenix including hotels, rentals, and camping.
Entrances open daily, 5 a.m. – 7 p.m., and trails remain open until 11 p.m.
Entrance Fee: Free
South Mountain Main Entrance
10919 S Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85042