Sunday, March 14, 2021

South Mountain Park ~ Phoenix, Arizona

We will start by offering views from the highest point in the Valley of the Sun. South Mountain Park.

At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park/Preserve is one of the largest municipally managed parks in the nation and consists of three mountain ranges - the Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe. The park boasts more than 50 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Additionally, the roadways throughout the park are a favorite for bicyclists.  

Dobbins Lookout, at 2,330 feet, is the highest point in the park that is available to the public. Accessed by both hiking trails and Summit Rd., the lookout is popular with tourists and locals, who want to get an unobstructed panoramic view of the Valley. There is no camping at the park but there are many, many hiking/biking trails. A word of caution is the speed within the park. The roads are narrow and winding and you'll find yourself sharing the road with hiker and bicycles. Use caution on the hairpin turns. There are many picnic tables throughout the park so be sure to pack a lunch. Always carry water and stay hydrated.





While Dobbins Lookout is the highest point in the park available to visitors, the radio/TV towers occupy the top of the mountain.






Phoenix is the capital and most populous city in Arizona, with 1,680,992 people. It is also the fifth-most populous city in the United States, and boasts as the only capital city with more than 1 million population. 

No, that's not a sundial. It's a directory of what you can see from Dobbins Lookout. Embossed around the plaque are various locations in the valley below.






Overview of the City of Phoenix. Camelback Mountain, another favorite hiking mountain is visible in the background. It gets it's name because it appears to be a camel laying on the ground.






View of the Valley of the Sun through one of the windows at Dobbins Lookout. 

Looking West towards Avondale, home of Phoenix International Raceway where NASCAR races are held. There is camping available at the raceway and it is venue to FMCA and Camping World rallies.



                          No post would be complete without a picture of my beautiful wife!




 Of course, my wife wanted to be sure I included a picture of Bailey. She's sitting on my lap. I'm just fodder for the picture.

Looking South toward Tucson. The land around the south and east side of South Mountain is all Indian land. Loop 202, a freeway that encircles Phoenix was just recently completed. The connection between I-10 from Tucson and I-10 to Los Angeles traverses the Indian Land and this section was the final addition. If coming from either, the 202 will bypass Phoenix altogether.

Horseback riding and hay rides are available at the entrance to the park. While we skipped this attraction, we did follow them for several miles as they do use the roadway. Notice the no passing double yellow line.

Getting to the park is very easy. Phoenix is set up as a grid city. This means most roads are north/south or east/west and are as straight as an arrow. The main road is Central Avenue which cuts through the middle of the city. Avenues are west of Central Ave. while Streets are east of  it. Easy huh? Anyway, get on any easy/west street and head to Central Avenue. Turn south on Central and South Mountain Park is at the terminus of Central Ave. You can see the TV towers anywhere in the valley so you'll never get lost.

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