South Mountain Park, Phoenix

4.7
#4 of 103 in Parks in Phoenix & Central Arizona
Park · Nature / Park
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Preserved in its natural mountainous state with native desert vegetation, South Mountain Park represents the largest municipal park in America. The park offers 82 km (51 mi) of primary trails for cycling, hiking, and horseback riding. Head to Dobbins Lookout, 9 km (5.5 mi) from the park's main entrance to see desert vistas and views of the valley. The park is home to a wide range of impressive plant and animal life; watch for chuckwalla, a large-bodied lizard. There are an average of 65 of them per 1 hectare (2 acre) in the park. You can visit the Environmental Education Center for trail maps and hiking advice. A small museum housed inside the center also gives information on the Sonoran Desert and its ecosystems. Arrange to visit South Mountain Park and other attractions in Phoenix using our Phoenix planning website.
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South Mountain Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,325 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • My rating actually depends on when you visit the park. It is a great place to hike and explore but a beautiful weekend day probably not the best time especially if you are hiking anywhere near a... 
    My rating actually depends on when you visit the park. It is a great place to hike and explore but a beautiful weekend day probably not the best time especially if you are hiking anywhere near a...  more »
  • Really enjoyed the many trails and views in this park. Had never explored it so was pleasantly surprised and happy I didn't get totally lost! lol 
    Really enjoyed the many trails and views in this park. Had never explored it so was pleasantly surprised and happy I didn't get totally lost! lol  more »
Google
  • I love this specific park. It has a few different trails. The one I hike I wouldn’t necessarily say is good for bike riding because of all of the rocks but it is a nice place for an early morning hike while the air is still fresh. It is a pretty steep hike, but I love it. I’m not sure of the surrounding trails because I haven’t hiked them.. There’s quite a few people that hike this trail and area most of the time, so it’s not exactly lonely.. but I would recommend going with at least one friend because it does extend pretty far away from help if you needed it. If you had to scream even other hikers may not even hear you depending on the distance you were apart. Make sure to take plenty of water because the heat warms it up pretty quickly. I would recommend a thermos cup and a light backpack to carry your important items. The view is gorgeous and it’s so serene and peaceful on the trail and once you reach the top. Enjoy.
  • Went on a Tuesday afternoon, pretty much had the mountain to self. I'd say it's a moderate hike for an experienced beginner. Def not a 'walk in the park'. It's inclination up is manageable for someone who used to put up 8 minute miles in gym class in middle school. It's 1.3m up and I came straight bk, the way I came. You can make it a loop by connecting it with a national trail. I may sound intelligent, but that's just what the sign says up top. If you could, can I would bring/make a hiking stick(s) for stabilization. And download the map at the welcome post in the parking lot. To do this, your phone camera must have that feature to scan barcodes and what have you. Or, download the 'All Trails' hiking app for your phone.

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