South Mountain Trails (Desert Classic Trail)

MODERATE 216 reviews
#5 of 69 trails in

South Mountain Trails (Desert Classic Trail) is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Phoenix, Arizona 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.

5.5 miles
793 feet

dog friendly


mountain biking

trail running


washed out

1 month ago

I currently moved from Wisconsin to Arizona with my boyfriend. We love the outdoors, and live about 17-ish minutes from the South Mountains. We saw a Quails, Birds of all kinds, small Lizards, and my boyfriend saw a Jack Rabbit but I didn’t, I’m too slow, I guess. Lol. Beautiful views in all directions. Hiked up to the top peak and saw the grand view of Phoenix city. For sure beautiful site to see!! Also many side trails. There is a building prior to entering that you can get a map from. Also, have a model of the mountain with light up blurb information of each view you can hike and see. So that’s really neat!eill be back to check out the other hikes. We just did the main one and drove to the top. Enjoy!

2 months ago

Beautiful views. Took a total of 5 hrs and the application map helped a lot with directions. Very clean trail, few points/areas were a little crowded but very friendly people.

3 months ago

Mountain Bikers also use this trail, some can be rude but most do not have a problem sharing the trail

3 months ago

did the national trail trek today, 15.5 miles.. pretty rough coming down, scenery is decent, views are better.

trail running
3 months ago

Varied terrain well suited to hiking and running with lots of options and great views. Not crowded at all on a Tuesday before 9am.

4 months ago

really nice trail...
just dont do it in summer...

4 months ago

Nice in-town trail, very crowded. Would be great for trail running or walking a dog.

4 months ago

As for my first hike in foir years it was challenging. The trails are well maintained and the inclines are challenging for new hikers.

6 months ago

Great hike, definitely a workout 

6 months ago

Great hike. Many connecting paths and intersections that allow you to moderate the difficulty.

We did run into a rattler by the power line at night. Make sure to remember the difference between the buzz of the lines and the sound of the snake!

mountain biking
9 months ago

This was a great trail. It wasn't too hard and wasn't too easy

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Not hard

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

good running trail.

trail running
Saturday, March 18, 2017

Good run.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Nice hike,,, will come again

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Very nice! A lot of variety of trails!!!! A lot of people, but so many different trails to take if you choose to get away from traffic. Lovely views!

Saturday, March 04, 2017

It was fun. My first hike in a year by myself and I enjoyed every second !

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I would say easy to moderate. More easy, less moderate. If you start on Central ave, it starts off steep but eventually flattens out after about a mile. Starting on 48th street is much easier.

Friday, February 10, 2017

nice views. pretty easy.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Beautiful views!!! Awesome trails!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I liked it

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Great trails for beginners and kids, with a few moderate trails for those looking for a little challenge. I explored this trail to scout it out b4 bringing my wife and kids. Great north and west facing city views with downtown phoenix seemingly at your feet.
As a parent, im always looking for trails like these that my 5yr old can enjoy without getting too gassed, and one that i can comfortably backpack my 1yr old without too much stress on dear old dad. My family and i are planning to go back next weekend to enjoy some of the easier trails together

Saturday, January 14, 2017

when there aren't a ton of people it's a super enjoyable hike.
once you get about a mile in, at certain points, you feel like you're not close to a city. it's wonderful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Fabulous hiking and breathtaking views!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Great place to hike! So many trails for all skill levels.

mountain biking
Thursday, December 08, 2016

Moderate difficulty level for me, a relative noob to desert biking. Lots of fun rollers, nice scenery, and not busy for a Sunday morning in early December.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

We loved it and can't wait to do it again!! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

great hike. I got there at about 6:15 and was able to beat the crowds and see the sunrise

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tons of trails! Will definitely go back

trail running
Saturday, September 10, 2016

I think it's a better run clockwise with the initial longer slow uphill on the unimproved road before you get to the real hills. Ridge line trail on the way back has some nice short steep climbs and technical downhills to pound your quads.

You can also turn off and run down the wash not be way back if you want to avoid any repeat of the trail. Just turn down the wash and follow the trail signs downhill when you begin the cross back to the initial toad. You will see the parking area pavilion at the bottom and just beyond it you can leave the wash trail for direct access up to the parking lot.

Either way, the ~10k distance is just about right for 1.5 liters of water and when you get back there is water to refill for another loop starting at the same point if you want more distance. There are several less-travelled and shorter loops to choose from as well.

Park entrance closes at 7pm for new entries, but you can leave up until 11pm, allowing you to do night runs if you'd like. Plenty of people on the main trails even up through around 9pm. Not enough to be irritating, but enough for comfort if you're running alone.

Lastly, good AT&T service on the mountain, but no T-Mobile.

Load More