South Mountain Park and Preserve
Welcome to South Mountain Park and Preserve, a designated Phoneix Point of Pride that holds over 16,000 acres of trails, wildlife, and classic desert scenery for you to enjoy.
South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the United States and one of the largest urban parks in North America. The area consists of 3 different major mountain ranges, including Ma Ha Tauk, Gila, and Guadalupe. You can explore over 50 miles of trails within the preserve, with designated trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Some of the most popular trails include Telegraph Pass, Buena Vista, Desert Foothills, and Mormon Loop, but there are several more to choose from as well.
We highly suggest any first-time visitor start at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center, a spot in which you can introduce and orientate yourself with the park before exploring on your own. There are various exhibits within teaching about the geography of the desert, the area's history, the trails available to guests, and more. There are several educational programs offered for guests, especially guests K-12. Right outside this education center, you will find the Judith Tunnel Accessible Trail, a trail that consists of 2 barrier-free 1/2 mile loops; The Interpretive Loop and The Challenge Loop.
During your park exploration, you will likely see some petroglyphs left behind by the Hohokam ('those who have gone') prehistoric people, who visited this area during their time in 450 to 1450 AD.
Save plenty of time to visit Dobbins Lookout during your trip to the preserve, this popular observation spot 2,330 feet up, sitting on the highest point of the park (that is publically accessible, that is). From this spot you can take a seat on the stone ramada or stand on the observation deck and take in incredible Phoneix views, seeing landmarks such as Camelback Mountain. The spot is accessible by various hiking trails as well as Summit Road, which is in itself an excellent option to take in the general scenery of the park.