*** Hiking during hot-weather months. Please use extra caution if you’re planning on using trails during hot weather months, try to wait for shade when hiking as full sun temperatures can be more than 20 degrees higher than the official shade temperature. So hike in early morning or near dusk when there’s more shade and less intense heat. Remember, even if you are hydrated you can still suffer from heat-related illness on the hottest days. During excessive heat warnings, consider whether it's safe to hike at all. Follow our full safety guidelines for staying safe on the trail.
Learn about South Mountain Park Trails Master Plan.
2016 Road Closure Dates:
5/07/16: Road closure at the 1.0 mile marker, 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Access to lookouts will be denied to hikers, bikers and vehicles.
8/07/16: Road closure at the front gate, 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Access into the park is limited to race participants.
10/08/16: Road closure at the front gate, 5 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Access into the park is limited to race participants.
Silent Sunday (fourth Sunday of every month):
The park’s main access roadways are closed to motor vehicles, reserving them for the entire day for non-motorized uses. If a holiday falls on the fouth Sunday of a month, Silent Sunday will be held on the third Sunday of that month. San Juan Road is open to vehicles the first full weekend of every month for easy access to the Alta, Bajada and National trails.
2016 Silent Sunday Dates:
March 20 (third Sunday due to Easter)
December 18 (third Sunday due to Christmas)
About South Mountain Park/Preserve
At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park/Preserve is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country, according to the Trust for Public Land. It boasts 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking for all ability levels. From the park's main entrance, you can drive up the Summit Road 5.5 miles to Dobbins Lookout and spectacular valleywide views or you can continue to the Gila Lookout for a view of the Gila River Valley. This scenic road is shared by bikers and hikers and there are many steep sections and blind curves, so maximum speed is 25 mph and 15 mph on curves.
To learn more about South Mountain Park/Preserve view an Emmy Award winning video or listen to a podcast with Phoenix parks rangers.
Mount Suppoa (not accessible to the public) reaches 2,690 feet. Dobbins Lookout, at 2,330 feet, is the highest point in the park accessible by trail or public roadway.
It is important to remember that the Phoenix mountain preserves are open, undeveloped desert areas. Please use care when heading out as hikers can encounter rocky terrain, rattlesnakes and other potential hazards native to the Sonoran Desert. If you encounter a rattlesnake, allow it space and time to escape. South Mountain Park/Preserve actually consists of three mountain ranges, the Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe. They stretch diagonally from northeast to southwest. Diagonal mountain ranges that protrude from desert floors, like those of South Mountain, are typical features of the Sonoran Desert. Various minerals were mined in the park in the early 1900s before its designation as a park.
To join the “Friends of South Mountain Park” mailing list, please e-mail Elizabeth Smith with the following information: last name, first name, e-mail address.
Read South Mountain Newsletter:
RangerGlyphs: New Year - New Resolutions!
RangerGlyphs: What's in a name?
RangerGlyphs: Don't be a trailblazer!
RangerGlyphs: Meet the Caretakers of South Mountain Park
Comments regarding parking and resource management at desert preserves can be submitted by phone at 602-261-8318 or firstname.lastname@example.org