Holbert Trail

HARD 162 reviews
#7 of 73 trails in

Holbert Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.6 miles
1,115 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



horseback riding

nature trips

trail running



wild flowers




washed out

This description starts from the Holbert TH and ends at the Mormon TH. See Directions for both at the bottom of the page. The Holbert TH takes you immediately into a passageway of large rock and if you look up you will start to see the ancient Rock Art appearing. You will travel out of the passageway into a fairly open area with more Petroglyphs on large and small boulders along the trail route. You will also see Petroglyphs on the rocks further above the trail on the hillside. After you encounter a large picnic area, the trail going east will gradually start to climb and soon you will parallel a paved road going to a large water tank against a hill. The Trail starts turning here to the south and the grade becomes a little steeper. You enter a large canyon and the trail becomes steeper yet, but is far from unmanageable and is well defined. The canyon serves as a large drainage and judging from the rock and steepness, is probably quite a site after a very large rainstorm. Don't forget to turn around every once in awhile and enjoy the views of the canyon and the city behind you. As you near the top of this canyon you will likely encounter more people as you pass Promontory Point, a scenic vista area with a large rock Ramada, with vehicle parking and restrooms.

5 days ago

LOVED IT!! So many beautiful sights, it changes up a lot, moderately challenging. My only complain is that the end of the Holbert Trail is nothing really worth working for, but the first 85 percent of the trail is great.

Not too busy, the hikers are all polite. I really appreciate this trail being here. I will be back

12 days ago

This is a semi challenging hike with great views of the valley of the sun.

1 month ago

Hiked this trail with my husband.11/26-18...our fifth trail in seven days. It’s interesting how you can stay within a 10 mile area, hike four different mountains/peaks, and have them be completely different from each other, ie, terrain, rock formations, plant life, trail terrain, rain water fall out crevice conditions, etc. This is why we have fallen in love with hiking Phoenix!

The overall general description of this trail is accurate, and hiking it is an excellent workout. Holbert Trail is a unique adventure, incredibly beautiful, and our favorite of the five we hiked this week!

7 months ago

This was the first trail I hiked in South Mountain Preserve and it is challenging. The hike has many different looks and layouts. The day I went in early March the trail was desolate surprising for a Saturday.

Initially you go through a flat area over creek beds and around plant life looking up the side of the mountain. Then once you hit the brief road surface the upward climb begins. The trail though rated hard is definitely not technical in any aspect - at least not to a 40 something dad-bod climbing in Brooks. It does get steep in spots and doesn't really relent until just after the Dobbins Lookout cut off. Plenty of opportunity to look out over the northern part of the Valley of the Sun to see what is out there. From Dobbins it's flatter and more open with a good trail to go on.

My only draw back is the trail crosses the road twice - once on somewhat of a blind curve. However, there are plenty of places this trail can get you on South Mountain. Still one of my favorite hikes in the Valley and I recommend it for running as well, if that's your thing, as it is lightly trafficked most of the time.

8 months ago

Did Holbert-National-Kiwanis today. I had done that trail before, but not in a few years. As many hikers know, Holbert is a little bit tough going up. Most times on Holbert, I have stopped at the lookout that is up about 1 mile. Today, I knew I had to reach End of Trail on Holbert, and then continue to National and Kiwanis. It was harder than I remembered! I actually fell off trail on Holbert while traipsing through the desert east of Dobbins Lookout and had to bushwhack up to the summit road, turn left and then hike up the road to the continuation of Holbert and then the link to National West. National is beautiful right there, sweeping within just a couple hundred feet of the radio towers that are visible from all over Phoenix. Kiwanis is essentially all downhill from right there, bringing an easy end to the difficult hike. Cactus flowers were out today! Fun stuff.

10 months ago

Good, quick workout but it just sort of ends unless you go up to the very crowded lookout.

11 months ago

11 months ago

Loved it

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Nice views at the top but very crowded

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Beautiful trail and a good steady workout

trail running
Thursday, December 28, 2017

There are a couple good views, but nothing breathtaking. What I like about this trail is that it's a decent training type of trail. Not too long, and lots of variety of trail conditions.

Monday, December 25, 2017

love it

Friday, November 24, 2017

After the Thanksgiving feast, I struck out for a solitary hike on my old stomping grounds, South Mountain, and on one of my favorite trails, Holbert. I intended to do Holbert, National, Kiwanis, but didn't quite make it. I made it to the pointer to Dobbins Ext. and started down the desert to the summit road, but with daylight running out, I just bushwhacked across the desert a little bit to get a quick snap of the radio towers, and then headed back. The sun was already down when I made it back, and I wasn't really up for a hike after dark. I did 6 miles anyway, so put in a decent day. Holbert is tough and very attractive, and is really enough of a hike all by itself. .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Good for a quick hike. Can be very crowded.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A good workout hike but must be patient because you will have to step aside for other hikers. Steep, narrow and hot so bring lots of water.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Great trail; see my review on "Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout" for details on parking and trail conditions.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Love this hike! I definitely don't recommend doing this during the summer. As others have said, there is no shade and it can get very hot. But in all seasons except summer, this trail is great. I wouldn't really classify it as a hard hike, but a solid moderate hike. It's a lot of uphill but not challenging terrain. Beautiful views, worth the trek!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

love Holbart trail... my first ever hike

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Great trail with beautiful views for close to home hikes

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 2017
Trail is fairly challenging.
Approx 1 hour from trailhead to dobbins lookout and a little less coming down. There is very little shade so lathering/covering should be done. Water and restrooms are available at trailhead and lookout. Trail itself was great.

Will not be doing again due to popularity and close proximity to Phoenix.
Trail etiquette was absent. Nearly all people hiking downhill did not yield to those ascending. Numerous dogs off leashes, music played over speakers and lots of trash. Very disapointing.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wonderful hike! Great views! Challenging.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Boring. Not enough of a workout for me.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

First hike in 3 years but definitely wasn't too hard, took several breaks just to catch my breathe, watch out coming down, I twisted my ankle and cut open a small part of my palm by slipping in the loose dirt but other than that it was a fun hike!

Friday, April 07, 2017

A great moderate-hard trail. Lots of lizards and hummingbirds on the way up. Great views all the way. The Lookout Exit wasn't easy to see from the trail. Take plenty of water. View from the top of the Lookout is worth it. Return hike was much easier. My pup (6 years old) handled both well and he isn't used to desert hikes.

Friday, March 31, 2017

nice view of Phoenix from the south. exposed, hot hike. bring lots of water

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Today we hiked Holbert Trail to Dobbins lookout and then to National trail and back. Nice hike and a good workout.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Always a good hiking trail to get a good workout.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Challenging hike with many different types of terrain. Made it to the end of the trail in 1.5 hours and made it down in 45 min. Very rocky and gets technical, but there are no areas where you need to use both hands and legs to climb like Cholla trail at Camelback mountain. Definitely buy a "CamelBack" water bladder/backpack because you will need more than one bottle to survive getting to the top and back. Good hiking shoes are a MUST. You don't want to be slipping and sliding on these rocks.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Very good challenging hike. Take your time make sure you have water, when you get to the end it's definitely worth it.

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