Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout

HARD 327 reviews
#4 of 71 trails in

Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout is a 3.8 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 accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
997 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

Start out at the main entrance to South Mountain and make a left past the vistor's center. Go to the end of the road to the beginning of Holbert Trail. Get to the top and make a right to Dobbins Lookout. This trail is challenging at first. Inclines will definitely get your heart beat going. It is worth it get to the Lookout point. Good views of the city and the television tower on top of the mountain.

26 days ago

We only did part of the trail, wanted to see the sunset! I would like to come back to visit and walk the trail!

28 days ago

I have to agree with some other posts. The hike is a great workout, I wouldn’t rate this difficult by any means unless you do it in the middle of summer. I did it for more of a workout and it’s great for that. But if you’re looking for scenery I’d go somewhere else. The top was full of people that drove up. Seemed like a bunch of local kids in the hut and they were smoking and cussing. Unfortunately my hike was ruined due my experience at the top, and not to mention when I came back down my window had been smashed in the parking lot. I won’t be returning to this hike.

1 month ago

My 2nd time hiking and this is the trail my sister picks. I thought I was going to die. Had no idea the difficulty level until it was too late to turn back. I’d definitely do it again... but only when I’m in tip top shape.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great Sunday morning trail! Not too hard but it provided a good workout. The view at Dobbins lookout is beautiful and has a different perspective of the city. I would rate this as moderate and would recommend doing it as early as possible as there is really no shade except at the lookout point.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is not as difficult as you might think, and has an amazing view at the top. The truly unfortunate part is how much litter and dog waste can be found on the trail. It doesn’t take much to not throw your trash on the ground, just put it your pocket or backpack. We all share these trails. If the concept of “pack it in, pack it out” is more than you can handle, do us a favor and stay home the next time you think of going for a hike.

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful hike in am. A little bit more challenging then reported, but so worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

Solid hike up provides a great view of the city. Overall, it seems to be more of a moderate difficulty trail. definitely some steep spots, but not too bad overall.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a really pretty hike that is easily accessible to people in central/south Phoenix. I come regularly just to get a nice workout in. It can be busy which is obviously not ideal.. but that’s the trade off for it’s great location. In the summer you will see tons of lizards. Chuckwallas, desert iguanas, zebra tails.. it’s flooded with them just keep your eye out. As for difficulty, it’s definitely not hard. I would rate it as moderate. All in all, great hike! The lookout unfortunately is crowded with tourists who drive up for the views. No avoiding that.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail, but once you get towards the point in the trail that takes you up to the lookout the path isn’t very clear. If you want to see the lookout there is a way to drive up to the top which had many tourists.

hiking
5 months ago

I got to this trail around 5:30pm and got to the top at 6:10 right during sunset. I will say, I've had better sunset hikes. If you are looking for a good sunset I would recommend squaw peak over this view. It is cool to see the day & night changes. You also see how polluted the valley is. The hike in itself is good and will get your heart rate going. If you are here at night, make sure to take a friend with you as the area can be sketchy. It is pretty well marked but definitely bring a headlight or flashlight so you don't lose the trail back at night. If you're a beginner, the trail might take you a while. For any avid hiker, I would say it is easy-moderate.

5 months ago

I loved this trailed! It was very challenging and rewarding when you make it to the top. I would recommend to those looking for a challenge. Will also contribute to a great night sleep. Lol

backpacking
5 months ago

SO MUCH TRASH.

This hike would have been amazing if it had not been for the endless broken glass and litter everywhere. I packed out about 2 grocery bags full of stuff without getting most of it at the top.

This was a quick hike and was not really “hard” so much as large rocks under foot making it a trap for my ankles.

A nice view, but a little salty about the trash! Please pick up after yourself!

hiking
5 months ago

Great views and easy places to stop along the way to the top. I agree with other reviewers though - I wouldn't really call this HARD, mostly because of all the places to rest and lots of even-level walking mixed with uphill/rocks. But, it's longer - and towards the end (to get to the Lookout) we were ready to be done. I can't imagine enjoying it as much if it were hot (we did this mid-February). Dobbins Lookout was definitely worth it, lots of cute photo-ops with the little buildings - but yes a little frustrating to share the space with people who drove up. Overall it was amazing and definitely go to Los Dos Molinos for lunch/happy hour after...perfect afternoon!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice views overlooking Phoenix. Moderate difficulty with some slick spots. Overall a good way to spend a morning or evening.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike, very fun, not too challenging, but enough parts to get the heart rate going, would be a challenging run. Great views, a bit tourist like at the summit, Dobbins Lookout. But, still great views up there with a nice rock structure that's great for shade and cooling off. At the beginning of the trail there are petroglyphs on the eon old rocks. Super cool, be respectful to not touch the etchings.

6 months ago

Constant incline and rocky obstacles

6 months ago

Fun! If you go with kids be sure that they follow directions, are adventurous. Views are great!
The goal: to get to the top.
Enjoy!

hiking
6 months ago

Came to visit my daughter Jan 18-23. Her and her wife had never visited South Mountain yet so this was a treat for all of us. We hiked about half the trail and came back down. We drove up to Dobbins. It was absolutely amazing. The view was breathtaking. Would highly recommend and would do again in a heartbeat.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun hike that is not too crowded on the weekdays but can get congested on the weekends during peak hours. Dogs are allowed on a leash which is fun. The trail can get very narrow at times though so be prepared to be in close quarters with other dogs. There is also a lot of broken glass south of the trail about a quarter of a mile in so be careful if you go exploring as well.

6 months ago

easy trail, nice weather

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike in preparation for the National Trail Trek next weekend

hiking
6 months ago

Great hiking!

7 months ago

Cool views decent hike

hiking
7 months ago

Good hike, and beautiful day! January is a wonderful time of year to hike. This hike is generally difficult, but it isn’t nearly as difficult as those it’s in the same category as (FlatIron, Battleship, etc. I loved the view from Dobbins EXT, but it’s almost disappointing to get up there and realize that drivers can make it to this spot!
Oh well. Enjoy

hiking
7 months ago

I didn’t find the trail to be hard at all. I’d say it’s easier than Camelback or Toms Thumb similar in difficulty to Peralta trail in the Superstitions. The trail was moderately trafficked but the overlook was very crowded.

7 months ago

Super crowded and when you get to the top there's a parking lot with a lot of people- not a hard hike in my opinion-

7 months ago

A great hike to a wonderful view. I should have been in better shape before trying it, as my quads were hurting toward the end. Pay attention coming down as many people got off trail, and had to backtrack.

7 months ago

loved it.....will continue to hike here.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice trail to Dobbins Lookout. Not too bad to hike this.

7 months ago

Beautiful Christmas morning hike. Spectacular views. Enjoyed finding the petroglyphs. I wouldn’t say it is difficult but it will get your heart rate going.

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