National Trail

MODERATE 39 reviews
#25 of 81 trails in

National Trail is a 14.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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
14.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,103 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

cave

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

This remote trail runs the length of South Mountain. Bring plenty of water as this is a long hike. Lots of rocks and no water on this trail.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. The nice thing about this trail is that there's something different around every corner. You should be aware that there is a 1-1.5 mile dirt road that you need to walk to get to the trail. There were a good amount of people -I had a few moments of precious solitude, but there were enough people to make me feel safe hiking solo.

1 month ago

I got 15.4 miles. Also, on a Saturday morning in March, it took 20 minutes to find a spot. There was a lot of available parking when I returned, however. The trail itself isn't very exciting. There are parts (especially on the west end) where there are great views of the city that I found very enjoyable. Not very many spots with a decent amount of incline and it is short lived when you find them. Some extended flat areas with no view that are just meh. I have never been on a trail with so many mountain bikers. The majority of them are decent about sharing the trails but a strong minority are inconsiderate with no respect for trail etiquette. Just as a warning, the west end descent has a lot of super fine gravel so attention is needed. I wore trail runners and had 2 skids and a full-on superhero landing. Only a 3 star trail to me - subtracted 1 star for the boring stretches and 1 for too many mountain bikers.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Marked well. Beautiful scenery. Rocky in some areas but easily manageable even for a beginners. I took my 2 year old pup and she had no issues. There were lots of bicyclists on the trail too. Will hike again next weekend.

hiking
4 months ago

It’s a doozie ,Legs were done after this one lol It was definitely a cool hike nice and scenic and all but I must say 15 miles is my new daily limit ! :-)

4 months ago

Great trail especially for running!

4 months ago

one my favorite runs when visiting my mom in Tempe. I have down the east and west ends, out-n-back. excellent long run with vertical footage. the views are nice and seldom travelled early in the am (especially the west side).

mountain biking
10 months ago

Killing out here got dropped off at 5 am and rode hard all I can say is National trail did not disappoint

hiking
Sunday, March 25, 2018

Nice trail, will be amazing when the saguaros bloom! The trail was longer than 15.2 miles. I hiked right at 16 out and back going almost but not all the way out.

hiking
Saturday, March 24, 2018

Long and exhausting hike. Trail is wide and well kept. Not a ton of traffic (hikers) but since this is a dual trail there’s lots of mountain bikers, which sometimes tend to be rude. Aside from this the trail is challenging but not too technical. The views of city are spectacular, the rock formations, caves on trail are cool to see. One distinct difference between other trials in valley is the fact that there’s very little vegetation which means limited shade. Therefore bring plenty of water and sunscreen. I also recommend bug spray, there was a ton of mosquitoes which is unusual this time of year. Also, please pick up your trash, I was surprised how much garbage I saw along the trail.

hiking
Saturday, March 03, 2018

Took this from the trailhead to Buena Vista and it ended up being a decently long hike. Saw few people, mostly mountain bikers. Not my favorite hike in the city, scenery wise.

trail running
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Good hike/ run. Very rocky and buddy this past Saturday. But a great workout for the day with the hills and elevation

hiking
Saturday, March 26, 2016

Completed on Feb 6, 2016. My first hike on South Mountain and was surprised by it's beauty at every turn. The terrain changes as often as the city views. Completed "Coast to Coast" in just over 6 hours and registered 17 miles on my tracker. Perfect time of year for this type of hike. Will keep it as a tradition.

hiking
Thursday, March 24, 2016

this is a great hike to push your endurance. there is NO water available. it took us 8 hrs to hike this.

hiking
Sunday, January 24, 2016

My favorite stretch of National Trail is that between Bursera and Pyramid, and in fact you can hike these three trails in a loop that begins by going up Bursera and ends by climbing down Pyramid. I've hiked a majority of the length of National so far, and I've enjoyed every step of the way. Great trail.

hiking
Sunday, October 25, 2015

Well We decided to go from the west end to East end of South Mountain with the National trail. We parked at the Pima Canyon trail head (get there early, or you will end up parking on 48th St an additional mile from the parking lot). We then drove over to 43rd Ave and Estrella and parked the dead end and hike the .5 miles to the San Juan trail head. We continued along the National Trail, stopping for lunch and a few caches along the way. Made it to the end of the National trail, and hiked out to the Pima Canyon Trail head. The most painful part was the last mile down to the car on 48th Street. It was about 90 degrees and we started at 8am and made it to the car at 4:30pm. Long day...but worth it! We each had 3L plus and additional 1.5L and the guy of our group ran out of water close to the end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I have done only about 4 miles of the National, beginning at Holbert and ending at Ranger. In between, the National is stunning. It sweeps beneath the South Mountain radio towers, and takes you to within just a couple hundred feet of them. Continuing west from Holbert, about halfway to Ranger, the trail meets a summit road, where there is pleasant seating. Telegraph Pass heads south from National at that point, on to Ahwatukee. There is also a Native-American appearing hut close by there, which is also a good place to stop. West of there begins a steep climb on National, that continues to the top of the mountain to the west. I have to say that I did the Holbert-National-Ranger trail on two occasions, beginning and ending on 15th Avenue, south of Dobbins. It was 14.8 miles on my odometer. The first time, I was unprepared for it and it almost killed me. It was late June, and I ran out of water early on. I struggled across most of National and all of Ranger, and then across the desert to finally find my way home. I was near death! I did it again the next week, and that time prepared for it and managed it well. The first trip was 13 hours! The second only 6. The desert in late June can be very brutal. A good, challenging hike anyway, with plenty to see.

hiking
Monday, May 27, 2013

It was kind of humid today. I really did not see much on the first 8 miles of this hike, but after that lots of Chuckwallas and birds. Not to many hikers today maybe 4 or 5 on this long hike

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