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South Mountain Park, Phoenix

4.7
#4 of 14 in Parks in Phoenix
Nature / Park
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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Google
4.7
  • Just think of it: from downtown Phoenix, enormous beyond belief, drive laser-straight across one of the widest dry rivers you'll ever want to see and right up into the rock face of these foreboding-lo...  more »
  • I am as close to a native as possible and have been going to South Mountain park since I was a child. Great views of the city, day and night. June, July and August are very hot in the valley, if you a...  more »
  • we did not hike; just drove to the top and walked around. various levels of benches to sit and enjoy the view. plenty of saguaro cactus to photograph. well-paved roads. not much traffic, easy to navig...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.