Southeast of Phoenix and west of Guadalupe, the 16,500 acre South Mountain Park is a vast and rugged riparian mountain range that is part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve System. Keep an eye out for scorpions and desert tortoises near the saguaros!
The South Mountain Park has 58 miles of trails. There are several trailheads and most of the trails are marked.
National Trail (14.3 mi. / Difficult) - Pima Canyon trailhead is located at 9904 S. 48th Street and Guadalupe Road. There are two main (or long) trails in Pima Canyon - the National Trail and the Desert Classic Trail.
Desert Classic Trail (9 mi. / Moderate) - Pima Canyon trailhead is located at 9904 S. 48th Street and Guadalupe Road. There are two main (or long) trails in Pima Canyon - the National Trail and the Desert Classic Trail.
Mormon Trail (1.1 mi / Moderate) - Mormon Trailhead is located at 24th Street and Valley View Avenue (south of Baseline Road)
Beverly Canyon Trail (1.5 mi / Moderate) - Beverly Canyon Trailhead is located by the parking lot, 8800 S. 46th Street (south of Baseline road)
Javelina Canyon Trail (1.7 mi / Moderate) - Javelina Canyon Trailhead is located at Beverly Canyon parking lot, 46th Street (south of Baseline road)
Telegraph Pass Trail (1.5 mi / Moderate) - Telegraph Pass Trailhead is located at Desert Foothills Parkway (north of Chandler Boulevard) and Sixth Street,
Holbert Trail (2.5 mi / Difficult) - Holbert Trailhead is located at Activity Complex (first left turn immediately after entering the park on Central Avenue) passes near by mystery castle.
Kiwanis Trail (1 mi. / Moderate) - Kiwanis Trailhead - turn left at the dip in the road (Central Avenue entrance), go straight at the next intersection. Follow the road back to a split rail fenced gravel parking area.
Ranger Trail (1.4 mi. / Moderate)- Ranger trailhead - turn left at the one mile marker (one mile in on the main road of the Central Avenue entrance)
Bajada Trail (2 mi / Moderate) - Bajada Trailhead - take the main road (do not make any turns) from the Central Avenue entrance until nearly two miles in. Then, turn to the right following the signs towards San Juan Valley. Turn left into a gravel parking area at the 2.5 mile marker. The San Juan area closes at sunset. All vehicles should be outside the area by that time, so plan your hike accordingly.
Alta Trail (4.5 mi./Difficult) - Alta trailhead is located at same location as Bajada Trailhead or at the head of San Juan Road.
Overall, South Mountain Park is the 6th most popular hiking trail of all 49 hikes in Arizona.