Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in South Mountain Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This has recently become my favorite trail. It’s beautiful and provides just enough challenge and incline. It provides multiple places to turn around if you are unable to complete the trail. It’s a family friendly trail and the views are incredible

We have gone up this trail two weeks in a row and have really enjoyed the loop. The steep hills are probably the “hardest” part of the trail but not crazy.

Nice trail. Great for early mornings or evening hikes. Amazing 360 view of the valley.

This trail is great for kids. Took my 6 yr old there and he was entertained the entire time. The rock structures are really fun (tunnels, sliding rocks, ...). We did make it a day-long picnic trip though since it is pretty long (well, with a 6 yr old ...).
Highly recommanded (but not in summer !)

hiking
8 days ago

Amazing views - such a nice trail. It is short enough that you can do it in summer before the sun is really up. And if you are up to extend it, there are many other trail this one connects too.

Great hike! Neat view of the valley. The morman trail itself is easy to follow, the loop part is not very well marked in my opinion. Definitely good to have a map on hand and extra water.

Not difficult, but a great trail through the South Mountain area with lots of offshoots for different trails. I did get off trail somehow, but due to lots of people around and high visibility, I wasn't concerned. I'll definitely do this one again!

Great place with lots of options! There are easy to moderate, short or long trails great for trail running, walking, hiking, and mountain biking. Some trails are just gravel while others are pretty rocky, but there’s really no shade anywhere. It’s our go-to place bc it’s so close to the city and but we have yet to explore every trail.

Great trail to take the pup on!

hiking
1 month ago

I used to hike this regularly years ago when I lived in Ahwatukee. I love this trail because it offers cardio, lovely views, and is challenging enough to make you feel like you hiked, rather than took a walk. It's fairly populated but not so on major holidays (i.e. Christmas Eve, Easter morning, Thanksgiving morning, the morning of Dec 31, etc.) That's when I hiked it most, for the solitude and lack of distraction. This is an out and back trail with the last part up to Telegraph Pass having the steepest grade. I don't necessarily recommend this to tourists who don't have proper hiking or trail shoes, because there is a lot of loose dirt and stones/pebbles. But if you have the proper shoes and lots of water, the view from the top of Telegraph Pass is lovely.

Great trail! It's probably best to go in the winter but I went in the summer and it wasn't too bad (bring lots of water though!) I recommend going early in the morning otherwise you will lose the little shade there is on the traim. The tunnel is awesome and I love the saguaro like usual. Definitely a beginner's hike and can be done in a couple hours even with some breaks.

Javelina trail is really fun, I go up Ridgeline for more scenic views

I’m an avid hiker so I found this trail very easy. It’s a good workout and has some great views of downtown.

Good for exercise - trail running. Pretty barren but with some good views. Good number of mountain bikes sharing the trail.

go early on morning with a headlamp. sunrise is gorgeous!

Great Hike beginning at 5:00 am in time for the sunrise! It was beautiful and a great first mile plus incline workout...Moderate Hike with awesome rock formations. No washrooms on site, but plenty of parking, Water and Picnic Tables.

Started down Javalina at 5:30am and finished at 7am before it got too hot. The sun hits your face on Ridgeline so I recommend sunscreen. The hills on Ridgeline can be tough to varying degrees but each one pays off with a great view.

A great experience in the city. Moderate challenge from the elevation change on Ridgeline and a more relaxed hike through the valley on Javelina. Simple, beautiful views of the city and surrounding mountains throughout.

If you want to get the perks of hidden valley without the work of Mormon trl. this one is for you.

This is my favorite trl in the Valley to take friends and guests too. Not too difficult. Cool sights at the top. Not too long. I am a fan.

It’s easy to get turned around once you are at the top. I’d suggest taking the alltrl app to make sure you don’t end up on the National trl.

Enjoyed this hike. It was a brief 2 hour hike that was also a bit of a challenge. Recommend starting as early as possible in the morning during the summer months. I started at 6am and wish I had started closer to 5:30 in order to take advantage of the shade provided by another nearby peak.

3 months ago

I know I left a comment, but I’ll leave one more. Literally the single weakest “hike” I’ve been on EVER. Don’t waste your time

3 months ago

It’s walking, not hiking. Half the trail is covered in literal horse shit

Great and challenging trail that has a bit of scrambling and varied terrain. The first mile definitely gets your heart pumping and legs burning. Once you make the summit, it smooths out and gives you a break. I don't recommend doing it in 101F heat in the middle of the afternoon but that was my only window to hike. Very few shady areas.....VERY few. Sunscreen, hat and water are necessities. I went through 100oz of water and ran out with about 1/2 mile to go. I'm a 53yo Male who is a bit out of shape and needs to drop 20lbs and would do it again in a heartbeat. Do not underestimate the exposure to the sun.....it was brutal towards the end. I logged 4.9 miles in 2.5 hours. Had it been cooler, could have shaved 30-45 minutes off of that. Trekking poles helped on way down but could have done without them. Primarily took them in case of snakes but didn't see any.

I really enjoyed this quick hike, there were a lot of friendly people on the trail. Bring your kids, dogs, and parents they will all enjoy.

Hidden valley at the end makes the whole thing worth it

3 months ago

Good desert hike, a bit more challenging than ‘easy’ if you’re a new hiker. You’re rewarded with nice views and a good workout (for the casual hiker). We saw many trail runners and MTBs on this one. Mostly hikers though. Note that signage is minimal-bring a map or gps. More than once we had to check our route against various unmarked side trails and lightly marked converging trails. Bring water.

mountain biking
4 months ago

This is tough trail riding up, but down is easy, just have to stay slow due to others on trail. Best to ride up and stay legt to make do loop.

This is one of my favorite to mtn bike. Hiking it is too easy unless you are taking slower hiker(s) out to overlook the city.

This was a really nice trail for a beginner like me, amazing view of Tempe and if you wake up early enough you can watch the sun rise

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