South Mountain National Trail is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The National Trail crosses South Mountain Park from the east to the west ends and intersects with most of the other trails in the park. A very scenic hike with moderate ups and downs along the way. Most of the traffic is on the east half of the trail. From the Pima Canyon trailhead on the east side of the park, take the Pima Wash Trail for about 1.2 miles, and this will meet up with the start of the National Trail. The National Trail skirts the ridges of the park, passing Hidden Valley, Buena Vista Lookout, Chinese Wall, Telegraph Pass, Goat Hill, and finally descends on the west end of the park, ending at San Juan Lookout. There are abandoned mines, petroglyphs, and initeresting rock formations along the way. The views of the Phoenix valley are spectacular.
I did a bit more then map indicates (ends right before Buena Vista lookout) to Telegraph Pass lookout and back.
The hiking itself was easy - gradual incline/decline and if you are fit and start early, you may be able to finish entire trail (14 mile one-way). The view was great and weather was nice.
I would not give 5 star because the trail itself built for mountain biking and there are too many MTBers. Most of them were very courteous and nice to hikers but couple Red Bull addicts just passing in high speed and I was not feel safe. Just watch out those bikers in this trail.
Great trail, can run the whole thing.. was 70 degrees and over cast..
Mostly uphill. Too many slow bilaganas you have to go around. Bring water-which my dumb ass didn't. Started cramping at the end! Good run!
I did 6 miles this morning. I came from California. I just moved here like a week ago. This trail was awesome and beautiful sightseeing. I can't wait to try the long miles next time.