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“Wonderful view of Phoenix at night”

South Mountain Park
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Small-Group Tour: Deluxe Phoenix and Scottsdale Day Trip
Ranked #7 of 228 things to do in Phoenix
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This, the largest municipal park in the world, is a popular hiking, biking and horseback riding trail area.
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
268 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Wonderful view of Phoenix at night”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2010

I've travelled many, many times to Phoenix and my only regret was not being able to take my wife to Phoenix and also to South Mountain park at night. The view of the city is spectacular. Very romantic spot. It's a bit of a drive from Scottsdale but it is well worth it. You can pretty much see everything from east of Mesa all the way west to Avondale, and north to Camelback Mountain. The great thing about this area is usually it is quite clear and there is little or no humidity, most of the time.

7 Thank CTK27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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971 reviews from our community

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English first
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“south mountain”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2009

drive south on central to the top of the mountain,road goes up the north face,stay on it till the end,,go one hour before sunset..paved park road all the way

3 Thank arizonatouristorg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern NJ
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great scenery...with a SCARY drive!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2009

the mountain is beautiful, but be prepared for a frightening drive up and down with 1000+ foot drops with NO GAURDRAILS. It's way worth it when you get to the top and look out onto Phoenix and the surrounding towns.

3 Thank IndieQueen819
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2008

I would not go here again. Very unclean! Garbage everywhere! Also not very safe, it felt like you where in the ghetto. There are far better places to walk or hike in the valley.

4 Thank Spaceman80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
248 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 316 helpful votes
“Cool Activity for a Hot Day”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2008

South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the country. I think it covers something like 16,000 acres. It has many options for the adventurous-type but I recently discovered a fun activity for those 120 degree days.

Last spring, my wife and I hiked the Telegraph Pass Trail. It is listed as easy-moderate and I would agree with that assessment. The trail is fairly smooth and steep only in portions near the top. You do not need to be experienced and take your time if you are not in shape. You should be fine. The trailhead is accessed on the south of the mountain near Desert Foothills Park.

However, I am not much for hiking in the Phoenix summer heat. On a hot day, we stayed mostly in our air conditioned car and traveled the road that goes throughout the South Mountain Park. The Summit Road is closed during the week for guard rail construction and on Sundays to vehicles (something called Silent Sunday when the road is used for running, biking, roller blading). So Saturdays are your only driving option through the summer.

The road is accessed by going south on Central Ave. off of Baseline Road. There are no signs but Central eventually dead-ends into the park. As you enter, there is a visitors center where you can pick up a map. There are some nice exhibits of local wildlife and a tribute to the Native American and mining past of the mountains.

The Summit Road is about 8 miles one way. It is a winding road but fine if you take your time and go slow. There are several excellent lookouts. A highlight for me was getting to drive up to the antenna site. Like it or not, the mass of antenna's on South Mountain is one of the most visible parts of the Phoenix skyline and it was neat to see them up close.

I recommend going to as many lookouts as possible to get the different views. Dobbins Lookout has a small pueblo that gives you some shade to take in the sights. There are plenty of spots for picnics at several stops along the road.

Overall, it can be a cool, relaxing and fun activity if you want to stay out of the heat and save hiking all of the trails when it cools down.

2 Thank DaveLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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