March 14, 2016
South Mountain, located in South Phoenix, has so much to offer any type of traveler–biker, runner, or hiker. To get to the top of South Mountain was twisting and turning miles of road, which we took up by car, and shared with plenty of bikers. There were a couple peak places to choose from, but we went to Dobbins Lookout first.
Once near the top and heading South, you can get out and stretch your legs for a great view of the other parts of South Mountain. When walking to the North, there is an old stone building and amazing view of the valley and the city of Phoenix. It was the perfect photo opportunity.
Once you have explored the top, there are various paths you can take around, into and out of canyons. For us, we headed down the side of the mountain, surrounded with large cacti and boulders, which were homes to many lizards. At one time, I was five feet from a wild coyote. We both stared at each other for a few seconds before it turned away and headed off in the opposite direction.
The trails are labeled pretty carefully and have warnings of rattlesnakes being present so you need to watch out. Be aware when stepping on large rocks or moving them, you don’t know what is living under them. Going off of the trail gets a bit rough since it is wild desert land (and I know that since we had to to get back up the way we had came). One thing that surprised me about Arizona is how green the desert scene really is. I expected sand and the occasional tumble weed, but the plant life is vibrant colors and vast in size.
I came to the realization that it truly is an under-appreciated landscape.
After having explored from the lookout for a little while, we drove to another lookout about a 10 minute drive away. This one was not as populated, but also not as prime of a view. It had a few trails present, but we did not head out on them.
South Mountain is a tourist attraction and any type of physicality is able to visit there because of it. I would recommend a pair of close-toed shoes for the hiking trails, but if you plan on staying up top then any shoe attire is okay. I was comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts without ever getting too hot.
You can even buy some handmade bracelets and necklaces up there made by some locals.
South Mountain is a great place to visit, especially if you don’t have much time and you are nearby, with a view that won’t let you down.