South Mountain Park, Phoenix
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ADDRESS
10919 S Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85042
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ACTIVITIES
Hiking
Cycling
Horseback Riding
Historic Interest
 
 
 
Points of Interest Nearby
ACTIVE ADVENTURE
CITIES & CULTURE
 
 

South Mountain Park

 

Photo by City of Phoenix

South Mountain Park may not have the urban allure of Camelback Mountain or the challenge of Piestewa Peak but there are ten reasons to consider this rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Phoenix. 1) At nearly 17,000 acres, it is the largest municipal park in the United States. 2) It spans three mountain ranges, Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe. 3) It boasts nearly 60 miles of shared-use - hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding - trails of varying length and grade. 4) It has trail rides and scenic drives. 5) More than 300 species of plants and 9 species of cactus are found in this corner of the Sonoran Desert. 6) It is a great place to spot Southwest birdlife, such as the great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, cactus wren and roadrunner. 7) It is home to a variety of desert animals, including the javelina (collared peccary), Gila monster, chuckwalla, jackrabbit, cottontail rabbit, fit fox and coyote. 8) Petroglyphs and stone ruins offer a peek at times long past. 9) The displays at the Environmental Education Center detail the area's history from the Hohokam Indians to gold-seekers. 10) South Mountain Park is a Phoenix Point of Pride.
Getting There
 
South Mountain Park is situated in the city of Phoenix; the community of Ahwatukee flanks the south end of the park. The main entrance to the park is located at 10919 S. Central Avenue.
Getting Around
 
The park's multi-use trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The trails in the eastern section of the park are, in general, flatter and easier. The moderate and difficult trails are rugged, rocky and steep. Horses are most frequently encountered on lower trails. The National Trail, stretching 15.5 miles or 25 km, offers spectacular Valley views but takes at least 7 hours to complete. Family favorites include Judith Tunell Accessible Trail, Bajada Trail and Kiwanis Trail. Dobbins Lookout, Gila Valley Lookout and Big Ramada are popular scenic drives and reward intrepid drivers with an exceptional panorama.
Hours & Times
 
Park trails are open daily 5:00 - 23:00. Gated roadways and trailhead parking areas are open daily 5:00 - 19:00. Park roadways are closed on some Sundays. The Environmental Educational Center is temporarily closed.
Things to Keep in Mind
 
Entrance is free of charge. Pack water, sunscreen and snacks. Watch out for rattlesnakes. Ponderosa Stables and South Mountain Stables offer trail rides within the park.
 
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