What is South Mountain Park? 

South Mountain Park and Preserve, “the largest city park in the United States,” and a historic landmark in the Phoenix area, offers thousands of acres of park all year long for you to explore and to navigate.  There are numerous hiking and biking trails, all of which have their own personalities, and lookout areas, like the Dobbins Lookout, that provide a place to rest and admire the scenery after an intense hike up the trail.

The Park and Preserve is made up of desert terrain and smaller mountain ranges, and the plant and wildlife of the area will be part of the experience. At South Mountain there is plenty of opportunity for physical activity, and a need to think ahead a bit.

Things Worth Doing at South Mountain 

At South Mountain Park, the trails are where it’s at, and on any given day, you’ll see dozen of trail runners, hikers, and cyclists making their way throughout the park. With multiple trails available, an outdoor enthusiast can choose a trail based on distance, time required, or difficulty level. Great for dog walking or outdoor exploring, people also love photographing the beautiful landscape and mountain scenery here.

Preparing Yourself for South Mountain Park

If you love the idea of exploring this park, make sure that you’re prepared. For example, make sure that you bring a map or a friend who knows the trail–with hot desert heat and sun beating down on you, this isn’t the place you want to get lost. In addition, make sure you bring plenty of water and trail snacks to get you hydrated and energized as you make your way along the trails.  Of course, wearing good walking shoes is paramount to your overall comfort, as is wearing sunscreen and bringing a hat for sun protection. In addition to bringing a map, it’s also a good idea to take a look at some of the trail information, which can be found online, before heading out.

Trail Rules, Hours, and Information

The first thing that’s great about this park (besides its awesome trails and views) is the fact that entrance to the park is completely free. Another great thing is that South Mountain Park is a dog-friendly park in Arizona, although dogs are required to be on a leash and under their owner’s control at all times–plus dog clean up is required if your dog goes to the bathroom. If you’re a mountain biker, you too are allowed on the trail, as the park is open to both hikers and bikers. Entrances are open from from 5:00am to 7:00 pm, and trails are open until 11:00 pm.

If you’ve been looking for a beautiful place to get outside and get some exercise in, South Mountain Park is the perfect locale for some outdoor exploration and nature viewing.