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South Mountain of Phoenix, Arizona Offers a Little Something For Everyone | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron

Posted on March 3, 2017 at 12:35 AM

South Mountain of Phoenix, Arizona Offers a Little Something For Everyone | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron

South Mountain Park, located in Phoenix, Arizona isn’t your average city park, it’s a mountain. This mountain is 11 miles long encompassing nearly 17,000 acres. It’s considered the largest municipal park across the U.S., and we have learned you will find a little something for everyone. From the short interpretive trails, the indoor Environment Education Center, to the paved wheelchair accessible routes. There are trails with little to no elevation gain throughout many areas of the park and while it’s a true introduction to the iconic Sonoran Desert of Arizona we find it rather accessible for just about anyone.

If you’re experienced with mountains and are looking for something challenging, the park has that too. The Alta trail is 5 miles long and with a black diamond rating it’s going to get your heart rate racing. If you’re a mountain biker that’s not the trail for you. Mountain Bikers are common at South Mountain and with more than 50 miles of trail throughout, you will find something that meets your skill level.

Enjoy learning about Petroglyphs, and the many other ancient artifacts found within the park. Native American tribes are the pulse to our knowledge in history here in Arizona. Tribes across the country can educate on the progressive and captivating cultures that thrived here before you and I.

** San Juan Road **

Is open to vehicles the first full weekend of every month for easy access to the Alta, Bajada and National trails.

*Are You New to the Desert? Do You Have Concern For Accessibility?*

One of the focus points of the park for us is the Judith Tunnel Accessible Trail, easily found from the Environment Education Center parking lot. This route is paved. Making it perfect for wheelchairs, strollers and very small children. The path leads you towards an intimate introduction of the Sonoran Desert, the wildlife, and stunning views. On the Interpretive Loop you can get within sight of several Petroglyphs and many times you will spot wildlife residents along the way. If you’re up for it, along the Judith Tunnel Accessible Trail you can try the Challenge loop. The Challenge loop is a 1/2 mile long and slightly more difficult. We find this is a great trail for a proper introduction to the mountain that works for everyone.

South Mountain has many trail access points and for your convenience you’ll find several of them below.

South Mountain Park/Preserve

Ranger Office: 602-262-7393

Trailhead Hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

*Gated entrances will close. Trails remain open until 11 p.m.

Main Entrance

10211 S. Central Ave

Pima Canyon Entrance

4771 E. Pima Canyon Rd.

Other Trailhead Access Points

Mormon Trailhead

8610 S. 24th St.

Beverly Canyon Trailhead

8800 S. 46th St.

Desert Foothills Trailhead

14251 S. Desert Foothills Pkwy.

Chandler Blvd and 19th Ave. Trailhead

15451 S. 19th Ave.

19th Avenue (Ma-Ha-Tauk) Trailhead

10484 S. 19th Ave.

Picnic in the park, hike the trails, follow the interpretive insights, bring your mountain bike, or take on a view by horseback, but whatever you do, get yourself to South Mountain Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona.

Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.


Categories: Hiking, Travel

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Reply Nicole Anderson
8:02 PM on March 13, 2017 
What an amazing place and I love how it is so accessible to all.
Reply Mountain Matron
11:06 AM on March 15, 2017 
We definitely find ourselves visiting time and time again. Thanks for stopping in and taking a closer look at Phoenix, Arizona.

Nicole Anderson says...
What an amazing place and I love how it is so accessible to all.