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Telegraph Pass - South Mountain, AZ

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Guide 626 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
Rated
2.7
2.7 of 5 by 53
 
2
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Popular Workout
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,450 feet
Elevation Gain 529 feet
Accumulated Gain 536 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.94
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
1  2019-08-28 LindaAnn
10  2019-08-11 azlaurie
6  2019-07-06
Lost Ranch Mine - Holbert Loop
joebartels
7  2019-06-11
Kiwanis / Telegraph Flipper Doodle
joebartels
15  2019-03-19
Kiwanis / Telegraph Flipper Doodle
joebartels
15  2018-05-27 DarthStiller
8  2018-01-06
Tukey GRidge Lomitas Loop
joebartels
2  2017-09-21
Telegraph to Old Holbert Lookout
LindaAnn
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 9
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,259 map ( 21,438 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:16am - 6:27pm
Official Route
 
27 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Famous Colossal Cliffs!
by joebartels

History
A telegraph line ran from San Diego to Maricopa Wells. In 1873 General George Cook insisted the US Army extend the line north through the center of what used to be called the Salt River Mountains to Prescott.


Hike
The trail begins as a paved wheelchair accessible path that takes you around the neighborhood. With a skip trowel texture and a desert hue finish it blends well with the environment.

0.45 mi - The paved path ends at a junction with the Desert Classic Trail. Take the left fork and head on up the single track trail. Up to now the trail was easy strolling. Here on there's a steady ascent. It gets a little steeper near the pass, not much.

0.75 mi - A signed petroglyph site is on your left.

1.15 mi - A bench is located alongside Telegraph Pass / Summit Road at the top. Most turn around and head back down.

Rock House
From the saddle you can see a rock house to your left or WSW. It was built of granite rubble by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) ~1933-37. The project was terminated before it and others could be completed. The intended purpose is a weather shelter for recreationalist.
3.2 mi / 790 aeg Rock House Route

Mount Suppoa
South Mountain's peak was a popular destination until the early 50's. Advertised as Colossal Cliffs with a sheer 1,000 drop and a quarter mile perch. Smoke from Superior's smelters was visible in the far distance. In 1953, the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Board authorized erection of television transmitters on Mount Suppoa. Other towers graced the summit dating back to 1933 when San Diego El Paso Airway leased a hundred square plot for a whopping $1 per year. The summit was also home to the famed goat herd. They remained in smaller groups scattered throughout the park after transmitters took over. Nowadays the north and west facing cliffs are off limits. You can drive to Gila Valley Lookout these days and stand over the south facing cliffs. Legal hikers need to cover a mile of road to access the popular hang glider launch / lookout area. The 1k drop is to the tapered desert floor. Despite our forefathers exaggeration Mount Suppoa does sport some nice cliffs.
8.2 mi / 1450 aeg Mt Suppoa via Telegraph

Other Routes:
4.65 mi / 985 aeg Kiwanis Over-n-Back
5.75 mi / 1330 aeg Goat Hill
8.1 mi / 1830 aeg Goat Hill + Kiwanis
9.4 mi / 1670 aeg Telegraph Corona Loop
16.4 mi / 4180 aeg Alta Loop

Trail Observations
Saguaros are the most notable desert vegetation. For comparison, Kiwanis on the flip side is has more shade options for breaks. A late afternoon hike does add shade on sections of Telegraph. In the year 2000 I noted numerous hikers smiling and offering a hello. 15 years later... deja vu. This is a good option for Ahwatukee residents looking for a medium trail.

Trailhead Observations
38 parking slots roughly doubled late 2009 when expanded. A water fountain and self filling dog fountain come in handy.(Declared out of order or gone as of 2010) As with most South Mountain trailheads pooch poo bags are available at the trailhead.(Noted empty in 2010) Trailhead map, disappointingly doesn't offer easy to read mileage figures.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2015-05-23 joebartels

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent of 53 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Telegoat Ranger Kiwa
    I didn't think I had ever hiked Telegraph Pass before. Apparently it was so exhilarating the first time that I completely forgot about it.

    Los Lomitas combined with the official route preloaded on Route Scout burned through my phone's 30,000mAh backup battery in 12 minutes. Apparently one of the 211 waypoints on this route occurs approximately every 14.6 feet and RS is very good at announcing all of them at a variety of distance intervals. It would be a nice hike to do alone since your Route Scout would be talking to you nonstop for the entire hike.

    Not to mention, Los Lomitas is actually a very scenic trail. In the dark. I should probably do the complete loop sometime.
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
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    Tukey GRidge Lomitas Loop
    After leaving the promise land I dragged Central old school style I tell ya! Then it was over to my new found loop of joy. Corona and the Guadalupe Ridge was my fav when I lived on the flip side but nothing has measured up since.

    Kiwanis over and down Telegraph just to the petroglyph site. Finally got smart and knocked off the lower flats. Back up to Goat Hill... Mini Lode style!

    Down Ranger was a pleasant surprise for 2pm. People! Ten normal and happy hikers. Just shocking as I think that's twice as many as I've ever seen on Ranger. Then brought it home on upper Lomitas which I enjoy.
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
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    Kiwanis - Telegraph
    Memphis to Beacon Hill
    While I do enjoy the culture clash it's nowhere near that extreme. Which according to google is the most dangerous neighborhood to the nicest.

    Got a decent time because the gain on both of these are easy. Just off the sidewalk heading back up telegraph I got passed. While I'm not quick getting passed is rare. Nevertheless a two year old could pass me on a sidewalk or descending. The nature of physics kicked in and I easily caught up when the terrain got steep. Passing this guy would be like taking candy from a baby. Which I would never do unless one passed me on Squaw. Instead I practiced a yo yo move called the Gyroscopic Flop which we all know builds on the Plastic Whip. By chance I stepped on the final top step at the exact same time as the guy that passed me 0.6 miles ago.
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
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    Somo Bajada Loop
    Started out hiking Telegraph Pass. At the top of the pass crossed the road and headed down the north side of South Mountain on the Kiwanis Trail which follows a canyon wash. At the bottom of Kiwanis I headed west on Los Lomitas Trail and then Max Delta Trail. I took a side trip off the trail to the old Max Delta Mine ruins and spent maybe an hour exploring there. Then back to the trail and continued west to where it met up with the Bajada Trail. Followed Bajada to where it runs into National, then took National all the way back to Telegraph Pass.

    Wildflowers
    Lots of different kinds of plants and cacti in bloom.
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
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    South Mountain Southeast Loop
    In the past I have hiked up Telegraph Pass to National Trail, and at Buena Vista taken the Corona de Loma trail down to Desert Classic and back to the Telegraph Pass trailhead. This time I decided to reverse the loop and go out on the flat Desert Classic trail, climb South Mountain, follow National Trail and then return via Telegraph Pass.

    Desert classic is fairly flat running to the South of South Mountain. Some days there are lots of mountain bikers which can be a little annoying having to constantly step off the trail to get out of the way, but there were very few this time out. Creosote bushes along the trail were all covered with yellow blossoms and a few cacti were in bloom as well. About 1 mile into the hike the trail crosses a wash, but I made the mistake of following the wash instead of the trail. Walking in the soft sand of the wash I realized I was in the wrong place and found an easy place to climb out of the wash. On my way from the wash to the trail I saw a little garter snake and took a video of him with my phone. I walked about five miles before I realized that I had gone too far and I was well past the Corona trail. Not wanting to back track more than I had to I decided to take Old Man trail up South Mountain.

    The Old Man trail is a very narrow single track that is steep and goes right up South Mountain with no switchbacks and minimal traversing. This was my first time on this trail. It's definitely a workout for the legs. Every time it looked like I was at the top the trail turned a corner and kept going up. All in all it was about a 1000 foot elevation gain over about 1 mile. Old Man trail runs into Midlife Crisis Trail for the final short leg of the climb up to the ridge line. Reaching the ridge line after all that climbing felt like a real accomplishment. After a short level stretch along the ridge the trail drops off to the right to meet with the National Trail just East of Buena Vista Lookout.

    Once on the National Trail it was about a 4 mile hike past the antennas to the top of Telegraph Pass. My legs were quite worn out from the Old Man Trail so I took a brief break at the bench at the top of Telegraph Pass before heading down for the final leg of the hike.

    I would do this loop again. Old Man Trail is a bear, but once at the top the rest of the hike was nearly all down hill.

    Wildflowers
    Mostly creosote blooming. A very few cacti also in bloom.
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
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    I saw Lindaagm's track for Telegraph to the Dobbins Lookout, and it sounded good so I thought I would give it a go. I have been on all these trails before, just not in this combination, fun trip! I pulled into the Telegraph TH about 4:15 to get started. I tried to keep a really fast pace since I knew I was limited on daylight. I knocked out the 1.2 miles to the pass in 20 minutes even, pretty happy about that. I saw about 20-25 hikers to this point, then I only saw one lone biker on the trail until I reached the Dobbins lookout. Took a short break here to scarf down a Nature Valley granola bar while watching a gaggle of folks who mostly drove up to the top, how lame. Started back and I did not see anyone else until the pass, and then only a handful of people in the dark. Never needed my headlamp, enough city glow to light my way. Well worth doing this one again!
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
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    Valley Fever
    The goal was to take it easy and hit up several favorites in the ultra cool weather.

    Echo / Cholla over-n-back+ 2h 50m [ 2.3 1300 + 2.7 1275 ]
    Echo has a lot of shade in the winter so I typically avoid it. Should have stuck with my personal knowledge base. Wet rock, chilly and lack of sleep were not a good combo. Hit the sub peak heading down Cholla to mix it up.

    Kiwanis / Telegraph / Lookout+ 1h 50m [ 6.0 1440 ]
    This one is growing on me more over the years. It's kinna like going for a walk. The culture clash between these two trails is a hoot. Conversations to music played is drastically different. There was a group of teens playing loud music on Kiwanis while sitting in the middle of the trail. Two things went through my mind. SpiderLegs would have probably got shot after going ballistic. Second was oh I like that song! Would you believe they changed it to a horrible slow chic song. Granted I'm no spring chicken but Eminem is only 2 years younger than this ol' fossil. They were quite friendly minus the sir crap.

    Tossed in the lookout on the return. The top of the hill used to be an old favorite for evening hikes many moons ago. Especially during monsoon season. Thought about hitting Goat Hill but I'm more into crowds than meditating. Okay and more honestly I didn't think I was going to have time for the best hike in the batch, Squaw!

    Hidden Valley via Mormon 1h 4m [ 3.8 945 ]
    I was looking forward to this because it was so delightful yesterday. What caught my attention yesterday was how quick the hike went just dilly dallying along. Seemed an hour should be easy. I don't get out here much so I was pretty excited when I saw parking backed up a half mile. If I was a runner I think this loop could be done in 40 minutes. There is only 1 semi steep section and it's over quick. However I'm too fat and more times than not I pull a muscle attempting sprint mode. Yet I did run through Hidden Valley which was fun. The sand was packed from the rain and that makes it easy on the knees.

    No bees at Fat Mans Pass today. After a surge of energy all the way up and through HV I hit the proverbial wall. Passing a group of girls talking about "banana powder" caught my attention. Apparently I'm way behind in my makeup knowledge. What got the double take was one of the girls saying "before you mentioned it I was planning on ordering some when I got home". Seriously, heck I've never even heard of it. After getting home and googling it I don't have a clue. This video explains it but you probably need to turn the sound on.

    The Reason for Life ( squaw ) 50m [ 2.4 1180 ]
    It was odd heading in depleted but I remembered a little trick jj taught me. Wow, that cherry dipped cone lasted maybe two minutes. Sugar coated calcium was all I needed to feel better.

    Seriously planned to take it easy. Three minutes later someone was knocking on the door. It's just rude not to answer in my opinion so off with the long sleeve undershirt. Dig in brother. Nearly dark and absolutely outta my time slot I had no idea if I had a maiden or a gold cup gelding moving in quick. Rule number one is never look back... sign of weakness. Naturally I did what any good cheater would do. Whipped out the titanium yo-yo and destroyed the pace for anyone that wasn't up to Olympic standards. After an 11 minute half I was a billion percent sure this was maiden claiming at best. Strolled the final four furlongs and called it a day.

    Cinnamon Roll Synopsis
    The taking it easy idea was stupid.
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Got in this one after my weekly trip to Tucson, got started hiking about 4:15 or so. Threats of thunderstorms chased me out of any southern AZ choices, so I thought I would give this one a go. Hike went just like the description, lots of people up the Telegraph Pass, then just a few afterwards. I hit the National trial in 20:40 from the parking lot, not to shabby for my first time. I was on a pretty tight time frame, so I just kept chugging on up to...wait for it...Goat Hill :) . Quick 5 minute break up top, and then back the way I came. My trusty Garmin Etrex E20 ran out of batteries on the way back, first time in the 3+ years I have had it that this happened. No worries, easy enough to find the way. ;)
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
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    Telegraph-Holbert Lasso Loop
    Lauren joined Ryan and I for a morning hike in South Mountain. We started from the Telegraph Pass TH and hiked a lasso loop on Telegraph Pass, National, Holbert, Box Canyon, Los Lomitas, Kiwanis trails. The temps stayed in check through the hike and the nice breeze on Kiwanis and Telegraph Pass on the way down were very much appreciated :)

    I always enjoy hiking with Ryan and Lauren and it was an extra special treat hiking with both at the same time today and look forward to more hikes together. How I just need to get Kelley out on the trails to make it a full family affair :y:
    Telegraph Pass - South Mountain
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Nice evening hike with the group. Telegraph Pass has been on my radar for about a year and is a very enjoyable trail. There were a handful of people out hiking and the views from the top were really nice. We finished under the light of the waxing moon. It was a good evening followed up by a BBQ at Chumley's house.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Telegraph Pass Trailhead
    From I-10 take Chandler Boulevard 4.8mi west to Desert Foothills Parkway. Turn right and follow 1.3mi. The parkway curves west. It's easy to find.

    Quicker: Alternate route: From I-10 and the Loop 202 take Pecos Road west, which is a westward extension of the 202. Go 5 miles to Desert Foothills Parkway. Take a right going north on DFP for 2.5 miles to the trailhead on the right side of the road.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 19.4 mi - about 30 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 102 mi - about 1 hour 36 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 163 mi - about 2 hours 37 mins
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