This short hike is a gem for someone who wants to hike during the heat of the summer, but does not want to drive to Payson or Flagstaff, or other areas that are higher in elevation. The hike is shaded almost the entire route, if you get there earlier in the morning. It winds through a small but pretty canyon. The trail for the first half of the hike is not steep at all. It is flat and enjoyable. This would be an ideal hike to take small children on as the distance is very short and the elevation gain is not extreme. Some people use this hike to connect to the National Trail and embark on longer hikes into South Mountain.
During the majority of the hike one will be able to see the tv towers to the left. After about the halfway point the trail gets a bit steeper. It is nothing to worry about though as it is only about as steep as going up a set of stairs. Along the route make sure to keep an eye out for Native American petroglyphs. They are very easy to see on the rocks towards the end of the trail. Once when I hiked this trail after a summer rain I saw many fuzzy little red bugs that were very interesting. As the end of the hike approaches you will see and hear the sounds of the road as you ascend to the top of the trail. The trail actually ends at that road. Once you reach the road you have two choices.
1) Cross the road and continue onto the National trail (in either direction) to make a longer more difficult hike. 2) Continue down the Telegraph Pass Trail to Ahwatukee 3) Turn around and hike back to the small parking lot and trailhead.
I've rarely seen many people on this trail. Approximately 3-4 other hikers during the summer when I did this trail twice. Nothing compared to the crowds on some of the other trails in the Phoenix Parks Preserves.
To hike From Phoenix take Central Avenue south into South Mountain Park. Enter the Park and follow the sign that points to the Kiwanis Trail.
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