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South Mountain 620 Trail Loop, AZ

no permit
51 17 3
Guide 17 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
2.7 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,151 feet
Elevation Gain 1,150 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.75
Backpack No
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
3  2016-03-26
Gila Bursera Short loop
6  2015-02-28
Vee Quiva
11  2013-08-19 RowdyandMe
16  2011-02-20
Ranger Trail - South Mountain
10  2011-02-13
Bees Knees Loop
8  2010-12-31 The_Eagle
6  2010-12-31 Tortoise_Hiker
Author Moovyoaz
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 21
Photos 98
Trips 12 map ( 116 miles )
Age 64 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:32pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
New trails in South Mtn!
by Moovyoaz

In 2009, the city of Phoenix paid $18 million for 240 acres of state land in the foothills northwest of Ahwatukee known as the South Mountain 620, to eventually be added into South Mountain Park. In April 2010 several yet to be named trails were constructed by volunteers that connect to existing South Mountain Park's trails, and open up the southwest corner of the park to hikers and mountain bikers. The trail names below are not official but are commonly used by hikers and bikers who frequent these trails. The city will name the trails on future maps, and this description may be updated at that time.

In October 2010 I led a group of hikers starting from the western end of the park, at a parking area off Dusty Lane. Please be considerate when parking in this neighborhood. This is an unofficial access into the park suggested to me by a park ranger, since the western end of San Juan Road was closed inside the park. Note these trails can also be accesses from the 17th Ave and Thunderhill Drive trailhead.

Starting from our parking area, we followed the large power line road south .4 miles, then turned east onto an old mining road .9 miles to the National Trail at TP 45. This section of the hike is rather interesting, since it is rarely used except by locals, and may be the western end of the future South Mountain Freeway, which could cut through the western slopes of the park; let's hope this can be avoided.

Once on the National Trail, we continued east, climbing this seldom used section of the trail. If you're tired of the crowds on the eastern end of the National Trail, give the western end a try, and leave the hordes behind. Just past TP 42, the new Kebo heads south for .3 miles, a steep decent to the new Valley View Trail. At this junction we again turned east, paralleling the National Trail above and our return trail to the south. The trail begins a gradual accent of 350 ft, then drops 500 ft down to trails that lead to the mysterious Lost Camp ruins (see the HikeAz writeup), as well as a couple of steep trails back up the National Trail, which we left for another day.

At the junction with the Gila View Trail, we started our loop back west. This trail is the steepest part of the loop, climbing 600 ft, and then drops back down into the secluded valley we passed on our journey east. After about 2.5 miles, the trail follows an old jeep road for .2 miles, then turns northwest for .7 miles, climbing back to the old mine road we started on near the National Trail TP 45. It's another 1.3 miles back to the starting parking area. Total distance was about 9 miles, not including a side jaunt to the Lost Camp ruins.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2010-10-09 Moovyoaz
    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 Triplog Reviews
    South Mountain 620 Trail Loop
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    Gila Bursera Short loop
    Got a late afternoon start from the trailhead at the end of Chandler Blvd. Started heading toward The Lost Ranch, but exited the wash to the west to get on the Gila trail. The Gila trail makes a nice gradual ascent through a pretty valley north of Bursera trail toward the ridge at the west end of the canyon. Being late in the afternoon the trail was in shadow. When I got to the top the trail was back in the sun again. I stopped for a minute to enjoy the awesome view to the west, then turned left and headed up the short, steep trail that connects up near the high point of the Bursera trail. Took Bursera back down to the trailhead. Nice loop trail for when you don't have a lot of time.
    South Mountain 620 Trail Loop
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    Vee Quiva
    Miserable cold, wet, rainy day that no normal person would go outdoors. So I decided to hit the casino with my tax refund! :)

    I thought it would be a longer trip but I cruised. Quick "summit" brew and threw a few $ on a new car. I didn't win :( and had to settle with the easy bus ride home. Carried 2L and drank less than 1.

    Note: First time HAZ trifecta: GPS track, photos, and triplog all created, edited, and posted from my phone. No other devices involved. :app:

    Lost reception for a short stretch after goat I think. Phone doesn't let you preview triplog. For some reason uploading photos directly from phone strips metadata and I subsequently couldn't sync photos to track. Presumably an ios thing.

    Surprisingly little even on the west side.
    South Mountain 620 Trail Loop
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    I had the rare occasion of having to convince 9L to not be lazy and get out there! (It usually works the other way around) Taking advantage of the cloudy skies and relatively cool temperatures, I decided to test out my lungs after a recent respiratory illness. Seemed to work reasonably well. A nice storm passed us to the east, and a shower threatened to our south as we got back to the car, but otherwise the weather cooperated, providing a cool breeze and a rainbow or two, but no rain or nearby lightning strikes. Nobody else out there tonight.

    Started from the 17th Ave and Thunderhill storm drain access, which was a world better than the 19th Ave route, or the actual trail route west of there. Might begin from here on all future visits.
    South Mountain 620 Trail Loop
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    Inspired by the history (and mystery) of Lost Ranch/Golden Standard Mine => and ... ining.html I set off on a 20+ mile loop to put me over the 100+ mile mark for mountain biking this month. Can't recall the last time I racked up that many miles in a month (probably have to go back to those Moab hiking/mountain biking/wilderness vacations with the guys I grew up with)...
    South Mountain 620 Trail Loop
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    The Last hike of the year. Went out with my buddy the turtle to the far west side of South Mountain to try something new. We started at the intersection of Galveston and 43rd Ave. After a short jaunt through the neighborhood, a light bushwhack to the power line, to the jeep road, we were on one of the new trails. We took the southernmost trail east, which we were guessing is Trail 1 or "Gila View" as some are calling it. We took this to the other end to find the Eastern TH. There really isn't a TH, but if you enter the wash just West of the pavement and go North, you soon come across the Trail. On the way back we took Trail 2, or "The Bees Knees" as some are calling it. We also took a stop up the Lost Camp Loop to visit the Mystery Structure. It was then back on trail 2 heading back to where we began. There were some nice areas on the hike, but nothing real exciting. They company, as always, was great. Thanks to Denny again for joining me on this hike and all the other hikes we did this year...

    To all I hiked with this year, and to all of the rest of you wild and crazy HAZ'ers, a safe, happy, prosperous, fun filled, HAPPY NEW YEAR
    South Mountain 620 Trail Loop
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    A 20+ mile ride is a perfect antidote to remove congestion from the lungs that's been "dogging" me all week (my apologies to any trail riders that thought I was coughing out a lung)!

    Desert Classic to the Telegraph Pass TH and onto "Desert Classic West" - but wait - signs indicating "NO TRESPASSING" and other offensive phrases at the Desert Foothills Drive TH (near Chandler Blvd). WTF? :o Thought this was all part of the new trails opened earlier in the calendar year (blue paint blazes, cairns, obvious trail improvements, etc). Why the closure here?

    Trekked along Chandler Blvd to pick up the alternate TH and head up to Lost Ranch Ruins and join onto the old jeep trail out to the extreme western reaches of Ahwatukee to the South Mountain 620 Loop Trail...

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From west Baseline Road and 51st Ave, go south to Dusty Lane (just before the Gila Reservation). Turn left on Dusty Lane (paved) and go south-east for 1.2 miles to Galveston Road (gravel). Turn left (east) and park at the pullout area at the end of the road. Parking is limited to 3-4 cars.
    page created by Moovyoaz on Oct 09 2010 8:34 pm
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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