Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout

HARD 206 reviews
#1 of 25 trails in

Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout is a 4.1 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
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
931 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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.

6 days ago

Beautiful view.. annoying people.

7 days ago

awesome hike. haven't been in years since I was a kid and being out of shape it was tough but still awesome.

hiking
13 days ago

Very nice trail. Got some great photos. We did get a little lost on the way back, so took a lil longer than expected.

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

I liked this trail a lot. Not as difficult as camelback but gives you a good workout. Only downfall were the people who left their trash, a lot of dog poop, and blasted their music on the trail. Pretty heavy traffic - but it was he Saturday after thanksgiving.

hiking
23 days ago

Very busy trail. Enjoyable hike, good views along the way with great views from the summit. The terrain is mostly moderate with a few hard parts. The only detraction was the 6 different people playing music as loud as they could along the trail. Pro tip: go either early so you get all the shade or later after the sun is higher. I started at 9:30am and got 5% shade and 95% staring directly into the sun on the way up.

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

Loved this trail... will definitely hike it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Up hill 80% of the time, but it’s a great work out!Dobbins Lookout was a great ending destination. You can see the entire Phoenix valley from the area. Though I went in the morning, I bet it would look breath taking at night.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice moderate hike with a great view of Phoenix

hiking
1 month ago

The views of downtown Phoenix from this trail and especially Dobbins Lookout are spectacular. It was especially busy this Sunday morning as there was a very large group of picnickers hiking the trail. We started out around 7:30AM which was a blissful 62F outside and the hike up is mostly in the shadows of the hills. With an 11 and 8 year old, we are slow going but made it to the top by 10:00AM and we spent an hour exploring the lookout and enjoying the views.

We headed back down around 11AM and the hike down was mostly in the sun which was not as comfortable but the kids did okay. There are a few spots that are a bit nerve wracking for a parent but if you are holding hands or the kids have hiking sticks, there should be no issues. We made it down to the bottom which was the worst part as we had just run out of water as we got of mineral road to the water tower. Due to the lack of hydration there was more complaining on this last leg and the 90F heat seems more unbearable due to the lack of breeze at the foot of the mountain.

Between three people hiking, we consumed 5L of water and if we had taken 6L with us it would have been more comfortable at the end of the trail. Luckily there is cooled water in the drinking fountains outside the restrooms near the parking lot. This hike was a lot of fun but I would say that it was near the limits for my young hikers. Next time we will train on a more flat hike to try and gain some distance stamina.

June's Edit: IT IS SOOOOOOOOOO HARD! DONT WALK DOWN THE ROAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus u burn a lot of calories and lose energy. A lot.

hiking
1 month ago

At the risk of giving away this local paradise... I love this trail. I am an avid Phoenix hiker and this is one of my favorite trails in the valley. South mountain is full of wonderful unutilized trails due to it's location. And Holbert is the gold standard.

The trail head provides ample parking; you will NEVER have any issue finding a nearby spot. The trail initially takes you through a small desert jaunt until you eventually hit a road. Don't fret, take the road up because the best is yet to come. You will follow almost 2 miles of switchbacks that include various degrees of steepness.

The trail is always low traffic and offers great views of Phoenix from the south as it works its way up to Dobbins lookout. I suggest boots but the trail can certainly be done in a good pair of running shoes; and they allow dogs.. who'd a thunk once you get out of Snobsdale they actually allow animals... outside on trails!

Dobbins lookout is my preferred route but you can tack on an extra mile or so of trail by taking Holbert all the way to the end. People are friendly and courteous as the trail is used almost exclusivley by the locals living in nearby south Phoenix. My only complaint is some jerk built a road up to the top which means your arrival at Dobbins is usually greeted with a bunch of jabronies who drove up there to admire the view; but that's okay because you know you earned it which means something as you gaze over the city.

*Special note - There are parts of the trail that do have broken glass from kids being kids. Dog shoes are not necessary but keep an eye on fido so he doesn't enjoy a glass sandwhich while you're huffing and puffing you're way up.

2 months ago

Moderately easy if you’re in shape, moderately hard if you’re not. Nice view if you go all the way to the top’

2 months ago

Awesome hike

hiking
2 months ago

I liked this hike, its at the top end of a moderate hike but not too strenuous since the climb is gradual, but will definitely get your heart rate up. Views on top are really good but it could get crowded up top since there is a road that lets people drive to the lookout. Still get a feeling of some accomplishment because of the views. Hike starts out through a canyon (box canyon maybe?) which is wonderful. Making the hike early in the day will help with the shade situation. I did it at 6:30am in the morning in the beginning of October and the trail was 90% in shade.

hiking
3 months ago

I am not sure why this hike was rated as hard. Unless you are a couch potato, it's pretty easy and slow ascend to the top.
I was expecting better views but once at the top, it was beautiful.

3 months ago

Bad ass

4 months ago

This isn't the most difficult hike in the Phoenix area, but it is about as beautiful as the desert gets. And you can definitely get your heart rate up due to the elevation gain and semi-rocky terrain. This was my favorite hike in the area... I wish this would have continued on for another few miles.

hiking
5 months ago

Loved this hike!OIn the April afternoon that we went, there were some nice shaded areas along the trail that were much appreciated. My biggest complaint is once we made it to the lookout, it was crawling with people who had just driven to the top. There was trash everywhere and people had brought stereos that competed to play obnoxiously loud music. I wish the summit was secluded so people wouldn't take it for granted.

hiking
6 months ago

Good weekend hike! Not too hard of a trail, just the right length for a quick-ish hike. Views from the top of the mountain are great! Ample parking in off-season.

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