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Hidden Valley - South Mountain, AZ

no permit
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Guide 259 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
3.8 of 5 by 31
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,087 feet
Elevation Gain -128 feet
Accumulated Gain 29 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 0.6
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2  2019-09-11
Hot n sweaty
6  2019-06-24
2  2019-05-05
Mormon Trail - South Mountain
3  2019-05-05
Mormon Trail - South Mountain
4  2019-04-29
Hidden Valley via Pima Canyon
4  2019-03-20
Hidden Valley from Beverly Canyon
7  2019-02-22
National Trail - South Mountain
3  2019-02-13
Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 12
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,812
Trips 4,252 map ( 21,403 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Feb, Nov, Dec
Sun  6:11am - 6:35pm
Official Route
75 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
valley within a valley
by joebartels

Popular SoMo destination from multiple trailheads, view map. Attractions include the Wonder Rift, a natural tunnel and bridge nearby. Accessed via the National Trail at either end. Not mountain bike friendly and may require use of the hands in a couple areas.

1934 SoMo Master Plan landscape architect William H. Douglas is credited with naming "Hidden Valley" and "Fatman's Misery". The proposal surfaced in an extended master plan in 1935.

From the west end you are immediately just above the Wonder Rift. A rift is a crack, split, or break in something. This narrow gap between boulders is popularly known as "Fat Man's Pass". Other names over the years include "Fat Man's Misery" and "Fat Man's Trap". This is a popular hiking destination, it is not uncommon to see people taking photos and playing on the boulders. Early morning light offers the best photogenic opportunities.

The park recognizes Hidden Valley in print and signage. Be grateful. Do not expect a clear path of travel. The unmaintained trail continues down the wash. More than one path exists. As long as you aren't ascending out of the wash more than say ten feet they all get the job done. Keep an eye out for the five petroglyph sites along the trail. Unfortunately two near the tunnel have been seriously vandalized.

0.2 mi - Hole obstacle. Go 5 to 10 feet up the left rock, through a low ceiling hole and down slickrock on the flip side. Some will need to use their hands. On my first visit I scooched my boot down the slickrock. If you go straight through following the wash you will probably have to get on your stomach or back.

0.35 mi - Drop obstacle. You can slide down into the wash. This one is short but steep. A safer option is to stay right and a use-trail will take you down in a more gentle fashion.

0.38 mi - Mushroom or spaceship rock. The turn for the natural bridge takes off east leading up and out of the wash. The park took the bridge off their maps and brochures decades ago. Hints of an old CCC trail are evident. It's more of a rock hop from what I've heard... I waited while my camera went exploring, since travel on unmaintained trails is not permitted.

0.42 mi - Natural Tunnel! Most walk through this fan favorite. Some get a little more adventurous.

Bees are active in the spring!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-05-20 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 68 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Took San Gabriel Ridge to Guadalupe Ridge then followed it west until I could come down on top of Fat Man's Pass. Went through then east to the tunnel and through it. From there went under the bridge and took the wash all the way down to the rock house. Picked up the San Gabriel Ridge route from there and took it back to the car.
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Turtle sighting! Denny needed to be home by 9 am so this is what we came up with. Marcos de Niza>Guadalupe Ridge>Beverly Canyon>Ridgeline>Javelina>Mormon Loop>Hidden Valley>National>Beverly>West Loop. Clouds and a breeze made for comfortable conditions. Rolled in at 0855. :)
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mormon Lasso
    In anticipation of my pending penalty in the AEG deprivation chamber, I decided to grab a few feet while I can. I stopped a couple of times to set up a proper night exposure to share on the social mediums. Because if not for the likes from people I don't know and will never meet, really, what the hell are we doing any of this for!? :-k :-$
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Guadalupe Ridge - Pima Canyon Loop
    I haven’t been able to get out lately so an opportunity to knock out a few miles on a weekday evening fit the bill. The new speed bumps on the Pima trailhead road are worth $1 million each. They’re named Everest, K2, Lhotse, and Annapurna. I recommend caution while crossing them.

    I’m not sure how I agreed to Guadalupe Ridge because I hate the climb. But I managed to not complain too much. Surprisingly after half a mile there wasn’t another person visible for the rest of the hike. Possibly because nobody used a headlamp due to the prolific moonlight.

    I didn’t bother to check out Denny's pfancy new prison toilets despite nature’s call.
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I did the Mormon Loop from Javelina Canyon and added Hidden Valley. I got back to the car as two Mountain Bikers finished their ride. They were parked next to me. Turns out they did a shuttle ride and their other truck was parked at Bueno Vista. Bad thing was, that is where they left the truck key that was parked next to me :o . I gave one of them a ride back around and up South Mountain to Bueno Vista lookout. I figure that's some pretty good karma points... :D :y:
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Corona - Guadalupe Ridge - Hidden Valley Loop
    A nice night out on the hills. Saw a couple of scorpions, a few coyotes (which we were promptly warned about on the way in by a concerned trail runner! :o)... hopped on some rocks. Explored another new wash that connects to Hidden Valley.
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    South Mountain/Morman/Hidden Valley
    I had a Saturday open for a change and was looking for a moderate hike with my ol' acquaintances from HAZ.

    Appeared John/Chumley/Boots and Linda (nice to meet you) were looking for a leg stretcher (Chumley had to work that mid afternoon during the ASU football drubbing) and invited me along for the stroll.

    As I feared, the 20+ pounds that I had put on in the past few years had come to rear it's obese head (not that I was ever "fast" to begin with, but wow, 270lbs of burrito and bench press can SERIOUSLY slow you down).

    I spent most of time sucking 02's and wondering where I (and everybody else) was as I had never really hiked this neck of Phx before. Kudos for John for occasionally hanging back and helping porky.

    We went up a wash (name?) and then summitted one of the peaks for some great 360 views of Phoenix; this was definitely the highlight for me. (ok, ok, the real highlight was the break and granola bar we had back at the bottom of Hidden Valley).

    We bypassed the "fat-mans slot" for obvious reasons and then enjoyed a cool stroll thru the tunnel...after that, it was a quick decent back to the vehicles (thanks again John for the company on the decent).

    Once finished with the hike, I went back to the residence of 9L's Cats for some Ohio State football, BBQ steak, grilled onions and potatos...

    After the great eats and a few Klondike Ice Cream chasers, I was feeling (and looking) back to my old self. :)

    Chumley never mentioned the results of the "calf competition", so obviously I WON.

    I'm grateful to have good friends here at HAZ. Thanks everyone.
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    San Gabriel - Guadalupe Lasso
    I arrived at the TH well rested, and enthusiastic about our morning grind on the local exercise hills.

    Hiked San Gabriel Ridge for the first time. A great alternative to Marcos De Niza for getting to Guadalupe Ridge. No nonsense with the drop at the powerlines like Marcos, it shoots straight up to the ridge.

    We explored the wash that parallels Mormon Loop on the way back. Not as exciting as the wash below the National/Hidden Valley jct, but still something nice to shake it up every once in a while. Mostly flat and brushy, with a few narrow boulder hoping sections.

    Another great day at the stomping grounds. :)
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mormon ridge hidden lasso
    Larry said he wanted to go hiking :o so we arranged for a full rescue team in case he couldn't make it. Talked about a helicopter rescue a couple of times but managed to avoid it. Bombed through in record time. PCT guy needs a new alarm clock. Ran into a lizzard. But no gecko. Or tortoise. :(

    I hiked some trails I've never been on. No idea if I linked the right ones.
    Hidden Valley - South Mountain
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Javelina Lollipop
    met fletch at 0500 this morning
    javelina :next: mormon loop :next: hidden valley :next: national :next: javelina
    shade and some cloud cover for most of the gain
    hadn't been through hidden valley in months
    switching up our regular monday morning hike

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Accessed via the National Trail. View options map.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Mar 11 2010 4:11 pm
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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