Historic buildings, fantastic city and mountain views and more than 50-miles of trails make up one of the world’s largest parks and it is right here in central Phoenix.
Take a leisurely drive to the top or South Mountain park or lace up and hike on one of the many trails. At 2,330 feet in elevation, Dobbins Lookout is the highest elevation accessible by trail.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Exploring South Mountain Park
South Mountain has some beautiful Phoenix urban hiking trails. Before you start your drive up the mountain you can stop and check out Scorpion Gulch. It was built in the 1930’s and over the years has been a store and a bar. It is on the historic preservation register in Phoenix.
Scorpion Gulch is an abandoned store that is cool to explore.
Continue on the 5.5 mile summit road to the top to enjoy the incredible views. Stop at a few of the pull outs to enjoy the view along the way to the lookout.
Dobbins Lookout is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors. There is an observation tower here and plenty of areas to have a picnic.
Hike Fat Man’s Pass at South Mountain Park
If you want to hike, South Mountain has more than 20 trails from a half mile in length to 14 miles in length. One of the most popular trails is the National Trail because of the diversity of the trail and surroundings. From this trail you can view the ridgeline, as well as the interior of south mountain.
Fat Man’s Pass is located on the National Trail. To hike this popular section of the trail drive to the top of the mountain at Buena Vista lookout. There is very limited parking. The earlier you arrive the better or you may have to wait for parking.
Hidden Valley trail is right off the parking lot. Follow this trail for a mile and a half until you reach a sign that points to Hidden Valley. Turn left, walk a little further and Fat Man’s Pass will by on your right. You can walk around this area or you can squeeze your way through the large smooth granite boulders.
Location: 10919 S. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ