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.

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

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
15 days 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

great view of the city plus lots of rocks for the kids to climb.

my second hike using alltrails, has a little learning curve. good overall description. Nice walk. the climb was a challenge.

A good workout but not the most picturesque area. Other hikes in the Phoenix area are much more scenic. Also, trails are not well marked. We were on a different trail (Bursera) until we asked if we were on Pyramid Trail. If you live in the neighborhood, I guess it’s convenient. I would rather do Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley in South Mountain or head to McDowell Sonoran Preserve or Superstitions.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike with some switch backs to get your heart pumping. We connected with the National Trail and then took Bajada Trail back to the parking lot. Long trek including National and Bajada, but beautiful! :)

Great workout but I spent the whole time swatting away or running from swarms of monster flies the size of cotton balls. I couldn’t really enjoy my hike. :( Lots of dog poop on the trail too. Please clean up after your pets, people.

Hiked out and back on the Bajada to the Alta to the peak. Nice trail with big climb, but path is good, and the view from the top is beautiful. The Alta is uphill for the first 2.5 miles, lots of switchbacks, and beautiful views. Didn’t see any other hikers. Almost the entire hike was in the morning sun. 85-93 degrees in late April.

hiking
1 month ago

We live nearby and hike this trail regularly. The first part is a non stop incline for a good 20-30 minutes. This part I would rate moderate. The rest I agree is easy.

Around sunset, you can hear the coyotes haul - and we have seen them walk across the trail a few times just before and after sunset, but we’ve never heard any negative news of a coyote incident.

I would say this trail is better during spring when the flowers are blooming vs the hotter months when everything is brown and dry.

Parking is limited and gets full 30 minutes before sunset.

I do this trail every morning before work, its perfect for beginner hikers or trail runners with easy to follow paths and lots of fun hills. Not a lot of clear signs where trails cross, so definitely check the map before your first time out. Great city views.

1 month ago

Did this one at night and it was beautiful. Don’t miss the hieroglyphics

trail running
1 month ago

Well marked and easy. nice views and lots of trail options to improvise. lots of mtn bikers

This is incorrectly ranked as easy. I am a skilled hiker and have hiked all over. The first 0.7 miles are for sure moderate or difficult. It is all uphill and is a cardio and calf blaster. After the 0.7 mile incline, it then becomes a nice easy hike.

Still disappointed by the people who hike here. People blast their music and bring Starbucks. What? You need hiking shoes, Camelback filled with water, and use headphones. Hiking is about nature. Shut up. And enjoy. The end.

Cool trail but very easy to get lost There are no markings or cairns. I’m pretty sure we did get lost but somehow found our way back to National Trail thanks to GPS after climbing over and under various rocks The hidden valley feels like another world. The trek up Mormon trail to get there was quite the climb

Great hills for a flatlander from Houston. I combined the JC and RL with an out and back section of the Mormon trail to get in a 6.5 mile run. I did get turned around a little because I’m new to using the app and the trail markings are weathered in some locations but it’s not like it’s so remote it was a problem. Great views of Phoenix at dawn. The elevation training was good, just enough climb to challenge me but not overwhelm. I don’t get many opportunities to run hills on the gulf coast so this was a welcomed change. I would definitely run the South Mt. Preserve again on future visits.

Nice short hike with good views of Ahwatukee. Much more interesting than the nearby Warpaint Loop.

Quick hike, great views. Good for family or alone. Not too difficult at all but not too easy either.

hiking
1 month ago

Very special trail.

30 minutes flat, 40 minutes up to top

Gorgeous views with rock scrambling! This trail was unlike any other I’ve done with the valley. Lots of boulders around, and some that you have to climb over to stay on the trail. Certain parts of the trail are not clearly marked, so use the app map to stay on track. Cool photo opps on this one and nice views of the city! Downtown Phoenix is visible in the distance, and all in all a great workout that isn’t too strenuous.

Nice walk to some great views of the areas to the north and south.

Not easy, but not crazy hard! Lots of stepping up, great views when you look back. We found a lot of little shady areas to take short breaks. I had to park down the street in an overflow lot, and we met at 10:00am.

Very scenic climb near the city. Challenging for people not used to the heat. Neat lizards and cactuses abound, as well as interesting rock formations.

Back to South Mountain today. I used to live there, three blocks from the trails, and I was on the mountain 2, 3, or 4 times per week. Alas, now I live away and I have to travel back to use the trails. Oh well, went back for a hike today. I had decided to take Kiwanis up to National to have a look at the radio towers, but I forgot the way to Kiwanis! I knew it was reachable from behind the Environmental Education Center, and wandered around there until I found Los Lomitas Trail. I remembered that one, even though I hadn't been on it in years. Started down the trail, and soon enough came to Hideout Loop. Hideout Loop leads to an old adobe house held within adobe walls. I believe that was built around 1938. It belongs to the City of Phoenix now, but it is quite striking. Walking to the front door, I found that locked, but right next to it was a side door that was open, allowing entrance to the house! It's pitch black inside, since the windows are all boarded up. I walked in a short distance and found in the front room bedding and empty bottles. There have been residents, or at least campers. I headed away from the Hideout and then found Kiwanis and started up, I have traveled down Kiwanis a few times, but this was my first time going up. It's probably not quite as easy as Alltrails makes it out to be, but it's fully manageable. A pretty trail with things to see. Well worth the hike.

Fun trail liked a lot about it - loved Fat Man's Pass. City view. Went on a weekday afternoon and it wasn't too busy. Small lot, backup parking on side roads. No restroom or fountain at trail head. Great urban trail - Hidden Valley makes you forget you're in the city for minute but little amounts of graffiti here and there pull you back to reality.

Awesome hike! If you are afraid of heights, I wouldn't advise Ridgeline. Took my husband, daughter, and I about 2 1/2 hours to complete but we took a few short breaks. Great views!

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