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Amazing 2-Hour Guided Hiking Adventure in the Sonoran Desert
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Reviewed August 30, 2016

South Mountain Park is as south as you can travel in the city of Phoenix. It is great for hiking, mountain biking or just relaxing and looking back at the vastness of the valley.

Date of experience: February 2016
Thank billwall1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 27, 2016 via mobile

This is the largest city park in the US, I think.its 27.000 acres. It has many activities such as bike riding, horseback riding, picnic you can drive to the very top of the mountain and over look the city. Great pleasure except when the temperature is very hot.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank Bob F
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 22, 2016

South Mountain Park/Preserve is one of the largest city parks in the United States at just over 16,000 acres. It is a free attraction that both residents and visitors should take advantage. It is popular with local residents for the hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding over 51 miles of trails. It also contains a number of Ramada’s which are popular for family and group gatherings and picnics.

The highest point available to the public is Dobbins Lookout at 2,330 feet. This is also the location of multiple television and radio antennas which are lighted at night. From Dobbins Lookout the view is spectacular as one can truly see that Phoenix is in a Valley and to the south one can see where Phoenix ends and the Gila Indian Reservation begins.

My family has been fortunate in that we back up to the Preserve on the southern side in the village of Ahwatukee. When our boys were young, they and neighboring kids would be in the Preserve every night after school and hideouts they made are still there, for those that know where to find them. It was also fun for kids to climb up the backside of Dobbins Lookout, although I never elected to do so!

The Preserve contains much history. The Hohokam Indian tribe were native to the Preserve and their rock art are seen in a number of areas. The Preserve is also home to rattlesnakes and coyotes. We have unfortunately been visited in our yard by rattlers from the Preserve and there was many a night when the boys would be chased by coyotes. Visitors from outside of Phoenix should realize that this is the Sonoran Desert and the heat in the summer months is intense, so water should be brought with you, as there is no commercial enterprise in the Preserve.

Commercial mining did occur in the early 1900s before it became a city park and on the south side Caterpillar operated a proving ground for testing new models and thus paths that they used can be found as well a helicopter pad. There are a number of equestrian trails and you can bring your own horse, although Ponderosa Stables offers guided tours as well as horse rentals. They are located just outside the entrance to the park.

Date of experience: March 2016
1  Thank Robert V
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 21, 2016

The drive was a little frightening but it was worth every minute of the 5.5 mile drive to the summit.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank penntrainer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 21, 2016

The road up the mountain has a lot of sharp turns and narrow spots. Drive carefully and watch for walkers, bikers and motorcycles. Once you get to the top, the view is amazing. You can see the entire valley. They do have a restroom type facility. It is actually a fancy outhouse. No running water, and no paper, so bring your own.

Date of experience: August 2016
1  Thank RichardK121
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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