South Mountain

South Mountain Cactus

Caption: Visitors can enjoy majestic saguaro cactuses throughout South Mountain Park. The "arms" on this cactus suggest it's well over 100 years old. Teddy bear chollas dot the surrounding hillside.


View Hiking Maps and Trail Descriptions

Main Entrance
:
10919 S. Central Ave., 85042
Driving map to the main entrance

Pima Canyon Entrance:
9904 S. 48th St., 85044
Driving map to the Pima Canyon entrance
Ranger Office Phone: (602) 262-7393
Hours for all trailhead areas and entrances: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (entrance gates close). Trails remain open until 11 p.m.

Take a Horseback ride

Look for a Ramada

Ride the Roads on Silent Sundays

Learn Park History

Visit the South Mountain Education Center

Learn about the Hohokam Rock Art in South Mountain Park

 

Want too see and hear more about South Mountain? View an Emmy Award Winning Video or listen to a podcast with Phoenix parks rangers.

At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park/Preserve is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country, according to the Trust for Public Land. It boasts 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking for all ability levels. From the park's main entrance, you can drive up the Summit Road 5.5 miles to Dobbins Lookout and spectacular valleywide views or you can continue to the Gila Lookout for a view of the Gila River Valley. This scenic road is shared by bikers and hikers and there are many steep sections and blind curves, so maximum speed is 25 mph and just 15 mph on curves. 
 
Rock Art

Silent Sundays/San Juan Road Access :
For each monthly Silent Sunday event, (generally the fourth Sunday of each month), the park’s main access roadways are closed to motor vehicles, reserving them for the entire day for non-motorized uses.  

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

Known Road Closures for Main Entrance for 2014:

  • Friday, Feb. 21 - Road closed at 1.0 mile marker. No bikes or vehicles allowed from 1 p.m. until close up Summit Road. 
  • Saturday, Feb. 22 - road closed at gate - Cancer Climb - hundreds of folks climbing road to Dobbins. Road closed from 5 a.m. and should reopen by 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 9 - road to Ramadas 1-9, Kiwanis Trailhead, Equestrian Area, 3 Tables will be closed from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bike Classic road race.
  • Saturday, March 29 -  road closed at gate - ARR 5/15 K road races. Road closed at 5 a.m. and should reopen by 11 a.m.
  • Friday, May 9 (recently changed) - road closed at gate. No bikes or vehicles allowed from 1 p.m. until close up Summit Road. Foundation Moon Over South Mountain Park -  Parking in AC is allowed.
  • Saturday, May 10 - road closed at 1.0 mile marker - Time Trials bike race - bikers riding up and down the mountain on road bikes being timed. Road closed at 5 a.m.  should reopen by 11 a.m. Road bicyclists will have access to San Juan Road.

horndowl.jpg

Caption: Great Horned Owl
 

Highest Point
Mount Suppoa (not accessible to the public) reaches 2,690 feet. Dobbins Lookout, at 2,330 feet, is the highest point in the park accessible by trail or public roadway.

Geology, Flora and Fauna
It is important to remember that the Phoenix mountain preserves are open, undeveloped desert areas. Please use care when heading out as hikers can encounter rocky terrain, rattlesnakes and other potential hazards native to the Sonoran Desert. If you encounter a rattlesnake, allow it space and time to escape. South Mountain Park/Preserve actually consists of three mountain ranges, the Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe. They stretch diagonally from northeast to southwest. Diagonal mountain ranges that protrude from desert floors, like those of South Mountain, are typical features of the Sonoran Desert. Various minerals were mined in the park in the early 1900s before its birth as a park.

If you would like to be on the “Friends of South Mountain Park” mailing list, please contact us at elizabeth.smith@phoenix.gov with the following information: Last name, first name, e-mail address. If you would prefer; call (602) 262-7393 or (602) 262-6713 (tty) with your information. 

 

Read South Mountain Newsletter:  

RangerGlyphs: New Year - New Resolutions!
RangerGlyphs: What's in a name? 
RangerGlyphs: Don't be a trailblazer! 
RangerGlyphs: Pack it in/Pack it out
RangerGlyphs: Leave No Trace
RangerGlyphs: Meet the Caretakers of South Mountain Park


South Mountain Park and Preserve Improvements
Location: 10909 South Central Avenue
Many of the restrooms at South Mountain Park and Preserve are closed. Responding to public requests, the Parks Department will be repairing the buildings, replacing old fixtures and restoring the buildings that were built during the first Great Depression by the Civil Conservation Corps.
Anticipated completion by March 2014
Funding Source: Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative
Contact: Mary Sheedy (602) 261-8799