South Mountain Park, Phoenix

4.7
#4 of 52 in Parks in Central Arizona
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. Make South Mountain Park a centerpiece of your Phoenix vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Phoenix vacation builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,014 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 9, 2017
    This is a nice park to spend the day at as long as it is not too hot! We stopped by only for a few minutes because the cacti and mountain s caught our eye! My brother often takes bike rides through th...  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    It was a very hot day when we decided to visit, so we drove to the vista, rather than hiking there but either way you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view. It's very easy to drive to and is free to...  more »
  • August 6, 2017
    South Mountain was always my go-to hike when living in Arizona. I loved the Beverly Canyon trail and the Ridge Line trail as well. I probably hiked most of the mountain during my seven years living th...  more »
Google
  • April 18, 2017
    After recently moving to the Phoenix area, this was my second trip to South Mountain. Looking at South Mountain Park on Google Maps, you'll find a massive network of hiking and biking trails. One of the most accessible and scenic routes is Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley. Starting out at the trail head, Mormon Trail begins an immediate climb which allows for some spectacular views of the city. While hiking by myself, i was quiet enough to see some wild life that I would have missed otherwise. A red tailed lizard, hummingbirds, chipmunks, rabbit, and tiny lizards that scurried away in the blink of an eye. Mormon trail is pretty and I clicked off photos but entering Hidden Valley was amazing. This is the place to take your time and soak it all in. The caves and rock here are quite the surprise and once out of the cave area, you'll see why it's called Hidden Valley. It's hard to reconcile the natural untouched beauty so close to the city.
  • June 20, 2017
    South Mountain is the largest city owned park in the world. My wife and I often drive up for a picnic near dobbins lookout and check out the city. We have also hiked Holbert trail up to Dobbins lookout a few times. It's really pretty up there, and I recommend anyone take the drive up to check out the city just before sunset.
  • July 5, 2017
    Awesome view of Phoenix and a great desert experience, especially for a first timer like me. I could spend days there just hiking around. I love the landscape there. Very cool!
  • June 27, 2017
    Hiked all over the forest on good trails. Great views of the city, generally, this is pretty clean. Best part is it is free. Nothing beats that. Easy to make a day of it here.
  • June 29, 2017
    Beautiful views, nature, quiet, peaceful, and hot. It was close to 108 degrees when I went, which can be a little dangerous for hiking. You can hear and see lots of little birds, lizards, and other unseen animals rustling in the bushes as you walk by.

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