This is the best South Mountain trail for petroglyph views, and has a great mixture of scenery and grade. I describe the trail going from North to South.
is never a problem, though I've encountered many horseback riders along the lower end of this trail. Only 50 feet past the trailhead sign
, look to the right for two small petroglyphs
. The hills on your right and left both contain remarkable glyphs that can be seen from the base of the hill. My favorite petroglyph panel, which includes rare waterbirds, can be seen on the left up the hill. A short distance later, you'll cross an area used for cookouts and horseback riders
. The trail continues along pretty flat for 1/2 mile, with numerous glyphs along the way
Then you follow briefly alongside a paved road to a tank
. The grade increases for about 1/4 mile, leaving evidence of civilization. A view from above
shows how the trail steadily climbs uphill
, but isn't all that steep. Then you reach a saddle and follow along the upper part of a wash with a small box canyon
at the end. The intersection
with the short, steep trail up to Dobbins point is near the top of the small canyon.
The trail is pretty flat the rest of the way, crossing the wash
, then the summit road
, and continues to its end, intersecting with the National Trail
This is a great hike for beginners, since the first portion of the trail is relatively flat, and contains most of the glyphs. On a holiday weekend, skip the overcrowded Piestewa and Echo Canyon trails and try this one. - Jan 30 2006 Dano