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Went counterclockwise and started at about 7 AM. The views going up Dutchmen trail are probably the best of the hike. Once you hit Black Mesa Trail the hike turns into a pretty average (albeit very healthy) Sonoran desert landscape without any views. The exception here if you turn around after climbing the rise after the Black Mesa and Dutchman junction. A great view of Weavers Needle can be found.

The whole loop took about 3 hours and I went through 3 Liters of water. Sun was at my back going back to the trailhead via Black Mesa and 2nd Water trails by going counterclockwise.

Great trail. Lots of vertical. Saw lots of wildlife.

I started hiking South Mountain in June and have loved every minute of it. From the steep climbs to flat ground, I definitely get a good workout. The views are incredible in the early morning hours.

Great trail, the reward of water at the end makes it totally worth it! Parked at the trailhead on Bear Canyon Rd which made it approximately 6.5 mi. My 8 & 12 yr old handled the distance just fine. Not a ton of water, but enough to get in and cool off. Would like to do again in the spring.

hiking
18 days ago

I decided to try out this trail since it appears on a trail race in the Spring. Late August early morning hike. The initial climb had me hiking vs jogging. Once you get to marker 2 (going counterclockwise) I could have jogged it but decided to enjoy the new area. Overall a great hike. Can't believe I've lived in the area for 16 years and this was my first time hiking. Should have started getting in shape years ago now seeing what I read missing...

Amazing views defiantly must go trolly was down so it was 8 miles instead of 4 but was well worth the trip we went during dry season and the water was 10 feet at one point I’m 12 and did this so it wasn’t to deficult

Beautiful views! You can feel the mileage, but it isn't miserable- pleasant burn. Food and water a must.

Awesome hike! Top pools had nice water, waterfall was running but not vigorous. My GPS was 8.56 from parking out and back, FYI.

Beautiful hike. Bring lots of water, a lunch and some energy chews. Definitely feels like 8 miles but well worth it when you get the the pools of water and the waterfalls! Bring a swim suit. And some sun screen ❤️ you will love it

-LaurenAB

off road driving
1 month ago

Great trail. Not too difficult but still very fun

The first thing to figure out with this trail is if you want a big up or big down. If you go clockwise you will get the big up first. If you go counterclockwise you get the big down last thing before you get back to your car.

The rest of this trail is really gradual and most of it is very easy going. I was even thinking this could be one of the better trails for trail running out there.

The flora and fauna for much of the route is in within riparian areas and is incredibly diverse. More than all that, this trail is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. This would be perfect for someone who has been building up endurance for a longer hike, but doesn't need 2000'+ elevation gains.

If you leave early enough, you will be shaded by the canyon for most of the hike. We started a little after 6am and it was shaded the whole way there—however, the sun had risen over the canyon by the time we were heading back. We stayed at the falls for a bit. There was plenty of water running through them—beautiful—some people were even jumping in! Try to stay on the trail by paying attention to trail markers, it’s easy to miss them when you get to the riverbed.

Beautiful mountains and wonderful “ side trails”

Worth the trip. Very well maintained trails. Beautiful!

I loved this trail! There wasn’t much water when I went so I’ll definitely be going again. A lot of flat hiking then a lot of incline towards the end.

It was hard, but amazing views and at the end the Seven Falls!

Went out today for an afternoon hike. The trail is in great shape. There was a lot of water today. We were able to swim at the pools at the falls. Lots of frogs and lizards on the trail today.

Nice challenge for a beginner level. The Classic Trail rocky terrain made it cool. I hiked today, while cloudy and windy.

I will definitely hike this again.

Awesome refreshing swim at the top! Can’t beat it!

hiking
2 months ago

It was tough at the beginning but doing it in the morning made it easier. Saw multiple deer groups and other wildlife!! A hike worth your $7 and more. It was summer so we started at 5:00am, I would say start at 4:30!

This hike is beautiful, definitely the most gorgeous trail I’ve been on in the Valley thus far. It has a variety of terrains you traverse; from switchbacks to a little bit of scrambling, and multiple miles of walking too. There is something for a variety of hiking experiences.

UPDATE: You can’t start at 4:30am due to the gate being closed — 5am is the earliest start time.

Nice hike for family. Great lunch spot at the falls.

Love this trail for it's diversity. Beware during the spring and summer, there is a significant increase in rattlesnake traffic. The switch backs in the wilderness part of the trail will provide a hiker with the most solitude. I'm usually the only person on this part of the trail. if you are lucky, you might she see a deer, fox, havelina...There is only a water source at the trailhead. .hike will take you through the typical desert landscape, boulders, a 8' wall to scale, dry dam, sandy river bed, wilderness switch backs, great view of the city in the distance. ..I enjoy this trail early in the morning, around 5:30 am or 6am to avoid the heat and any possible traffic from other hikers...

A good little trl. Pretty exposed.

hiking
3 months ago

Did the Ford Canyon loop from the bike/horse staging area, out past Willow, and onto the Mesquite back. That bumped the hike up to about 11 miles. No individual part of the hike is particularly challenging; there are a fair number of level portions, none of the inclines or scrambles are technical, and all of the switchbacks are pretty mild. However, the number of times you encounter these things over the distance is what bumps this into the "hard" range. There were three or four different hills to climb via switchback distributed throughout the loop.

I don't condone ever skimping on water, but in regards to the recommendation for 3+ liters, I went with only three and had about a liter left when I finished, and I sweat a lot. There are definitely people who sweat more than I do though, so measure at your own risk.

Took about 4.5 hours with a couple of breaks to photograph the scenery. Started at 7:30, which was a mistake, because I finished at noon to a pleasant 107 degree temperature. Go early!

I’ve just recently started hiking so this trail was definitely challenging for me. A friend and I made it to the falls area 05/20/18. I wanted to quit a few times along the way.

We started our hike at 5:15 am and arrived back to the vehicle by 10:00 am. I drank 3 liters of water.

I am so thankful to all of the strangers that passed by picking up on my “quitter” vibe and offered such encouraging lies such as, “You’re almost there!”, “Oh so close, don’t stop!”, and my favorite, “It’s just around the bend.”, all the while we still had no less than a mile + left.
If not for your push I quite possibly would have quit. That hike was so important to me as it was the one year anniversary to of my brother’s passing. I had to make it to the end and back.

The view is beautiful. The trail is rocky and rough at times. Wear good hiking shoes/boots rather than running shoes if you have weak ankles or are a beginner hiker. My legs were so PO at me by the time i had started back down the trail that they absolutely refused to pick my feet up so I stubbed my toes and tripped a lot going down. So thankful no one knew my name as I’m pretty sure I looked like I was coming off of a binger at the last stretch to the trailhead.

Will definitely do this one again.

Not your typical trail. The lack of clear trail in the wash area and especially the big white boulders area climbs add a stress factor to be ready for.

Beautiful trail, but much more difficult than I was led to believe. I have a fair amount of hiking experience and this was a rougher trek than I was expecting. Also climbing up and down the falls can be sketchy even if the rocks aren't wet they're still very slick. Also call ahead and make sure the falls are running before taking this trail. We didn't think do so and the falls only had small pools no running water not even a trickle. I'd go back if I knew the falls were running, but if not there's no way.

Edit: it's also a bit longer than indicated

hiking
3 months ago

No falls as of 5/19. It's a moderate hike but right now it's hot and the sun is relentless. Little to no shade on the trail. It's still gorgeous up there though. There is still some water in the reservoirs but I wouldn't get in it. There were at least 20 'young adults' that were up there swimming and being obnoxious. Don't expect calm and serene.
We walked from the visitors center but took the tram back....worth the $4
Also, it's more that the 7.9 miles the hike description says. According to my 'map my hike' it was 9.75 from the visitors center and back round trip. When we got to the 7 switchbacks it was still about a mile to the 'falls'. We thought we were almost there but not quite lol

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