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Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge, AZ

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Guide 148 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
3.4 of 5 by 27
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,387 feet
Elevation Gain 840 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,320 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.1
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
2  2019-09-11
Hot n sweaty
7  2019-02-08 jtaylor
15  2019-01-18 kingsnake
2  2018-11-08 adv_trev
2  2018-09-16
Guadalupe Ridge - National
3  2018-01-30
Guadalupe Ridge - Pima Canyon Loop
1  2018-01-06
Guadalupe Ridge - National
3  2018-01-02
San Gabriel - Guadalupe Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,261 map ( 21,471 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:15am - 6:26pm
Official Route
20 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Crowd Thinner!
by joebartels

Squaw Peak is often touted as the busiest inner-city trail. South Mountain is only being held back by a lack of parking. On a Saturday morning in June with an expected high of 110 degrees, parking was backed up nearly a mile before 8am. Holly cow you'd think you're at the beach in California, not! Luckily I arrived pre-dawn. The park attendant usually opens the gates around 4:45am and it loads up quick.

This hike is referring to the Guadalupe Ridge-Ridgeline not the better know "Ridgeline Trail" which connects Beverly and Javelina canyons. From the Marcos de Niza trailhead cut through the ramadas and head over and up to the Marco de Niza inscription rock. Grab a copy of "Day Hikes and Trail Rides in and around Phoenix" for information on the rock and the history of Guadalupe. From inscription rock a trail continues up to the left. This is your access to the Guadalupe Ridge. Which was obviously named before the sprawl of Ahwatukee. Follow this bad boy 2.6 miles. It's a rollercoaster ride but most certainly worth the effort. The accumulated elevation gain is comparable to that of Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback. Here it's stretched out over 5.5 miles so it's nothing as brutal.

The first section of the ridge takes you up and back down to the telephone lines at a junction with the Beverly Canyon Trail. This first slice of the ridge is very different from the mass of South Mountain. The terrain is similar to Squaw Peak. Represented by small jagged rocks and a lack of those huge blackened boulders typically seen on these ranges. The trail is well worn and easy to find.

Continue west and up from the telephone lines. It's steep going up. Amazingly, it's often mountain biked. The ups and downs continue. You will need to pay attention to keep on the ridge. The trail most easily follows back down to the Pima Canyon Trailhead, so if you find yourself going OVER and down it's time to backtrack.

Did I mention the views are top notch! You even have the San Tans in view. Which tend to be a spec on the horizon from most other Valley peaks. Okay so you're past the turnoff down to Pima Canyon Trailhead. You won't find any crowds up here but you never seem to be "alone" on South Mountain. The trail narrows. It's continues to be fairly easy going. The tricky spot has already been passed. There are a few areas that become non-distinct due to the rocks and/or boulders. Basically, just keep up on the ridge. I believe I took every "sucker" path on my first attempt. The trail holds up pretty well to a section where you pass between two bathroom sized boulders. After which cairns come into play due to the lack of vegetation and abundance of small boulders.

Maybe now would be a good time to mention you'll need a good grasp of the Hidden Valley area to complete this hike. Continue on until you see the Hidden Valley signed junction way down below. You may have to squint but I didn't think it was too difficult to spot. A rock-ridge takes you directly down over Fat Man's Pass. If you have a good grasp of the area as mentioned above you know the way home. If not, you really shouldn't be here. If you continued on along the ridge you'd drop off into Eagle Pass. Actually the National Trail swings over but I think the rock ridge down to Fat Man's Pass is best!

Please Note: Many trails in the park have been staked with yellow off-limit signs or camouflaged. As of this writing, the entire length of this route showed no signs of being closed to the public and is a well beaten path in areas of vegetation. If that changes you shouldn't cross off-limit areas.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2002-06-17 joebartels
    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 14 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    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 via Guadalupe Ridge
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    Guadalupe Ridge - National
    a rare saturday afternoon hike with fletch
    wanted something a little longer today
    went up san gabriel, west on guadalupe ridge to eagle pass, down national, through hidden valley
    cut up to guadalupe ridge from hidden valley on one of the use trails, then back down to san gabriel
    both of us like all of guadalupe ridge
    neither of us like the dirt road, so this combo was a nice variation on what we normally do
    hit los taquitos for some street tacos on the way home :)

    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    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 via Guadalupe Ridge
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    I was out for something other than Squaw Peak or it's loop or Camelback, so went to South Mountain. Nice views, but the drive wasn't much fun.

    I think I followed the route about as well as one can. Took an obvious ridge trail out, went through some boulders to the wash, up a trail and under a natural bridge, and then a signed trail junction with maintained trails back, except where I took the road by mistake, or not.
    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    Still hot and humid. Cutting down from the Guadalupe trail to the Pima wash (hidden valley) I was scrambling over and around boulders. I jumped down off about a 3 foot boulder into a small enclosed area. Only to find that I landed less than 3 feet from a sidewinder. Luckily it was a baby. Maybe 16 inches long. His rattle sounded like a angry bee. More of a buzz than a rattle. If it had been a parent the 3 feet might have been close to striking distance and I couldn't have quickly gotten away. His light colors blended with the sand so well.

    Then 10 minutes later I rounded a boulder in Pima wash and there was a 2 to 2-1/2 foot snake a foot in front of me. From the stripes I believe it was a Patch-Nosed snake. He just sat there then suddenly whipped around and took off. He was really fast. Much faster than the baby sidewinder.
    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    Nice loop in SOMO on the way home from the Old Pueblo. Thanks to Dallin for posting this track, it was a nice loop with good effort, and for the most part away from the busier trails. Parked at the 48th street TH and started up Marcos de Niza, continued west along Guadalupe, and then dropped into Hidden Valley. I played around in here a bit and took a little break, and then started my circle around and back to the TH. Saw quite a few mountain bikers on the Mormon Loop, but otherwise just the occasional hiker. It wasn't Wasson Peak like I had originally planned, but since I was short on time this did the trick.
    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    Guadalupe - Fat Man - National
    Once again, our Sedona hiking plans were thrwarted by nice temperatures here in the Valley. I had added this Guadalupe Ridge to my Wish List, also thought about Ballantine and Dome Mtn Loop but Ambika picked Guadalupe. So I checked with trekkin gecko about the trail. She mentioned there was a little bit of scrambling and suggested we have a lunch/snack before we drop down to National. So we met at Los Taquitos parking lot to leave a vehicle presuming a parking space might be difficult today.

    We ended up about a third of a mile from the TH and made our way up the Marcos de Niza trail switchbacks. It felt a little warm initially but once we were on top, the breeze kicked in and we had a lovely weather/temperature day at South Mountain. Some observations:
    Great views almost right from the get go including to the eastern mountains, the Supes, the Four Peaks, the cityscape and then eventually to the west, and then looking up from Nat'l at the ridgeline we had just hiked.
    Route finding - yep, it's a challenge at times and you can tell if you zoom into our track. We discovered that for the most part, it was just better to split the difference and go straight up the rock formations. The different trails you can end up are numerous. And now that I think about it, I think I only saw a couple cairns all day.
    Work out hiking - surprised people use this since there is so much scrambling involved but it sure is fun! :D
    Fauna and Flora - lizards and one chuckwalla and lots of bees on National Trail every time you walk by a tree. The flora was mostly done but the saguaros and some cactus were blooming. I had to zoom to the saguaro blooms to take pics and video. However, I did get some nice video of a hummer and saguaro blooms.
    Scrambling - yep, a lot of that and much more than we anticipated. It's always a bit of a challenge to film and scramble. We had two different reactions, "Yep, this is definitely Kelly's route we downloaded :lol: " and "guess we gotta go straight up again".

    We were lucky that the puffy clouds started appearing as it made for an even nicer day both temperature-wise and scenic-wise. We finally climbed that last hill and hiked the last part of this ridge to arrive at our snack spot. From here you can look down on those man made lakes too. Plus if you stop at the bottom tier you can sit and put your back up against the rocks. I always like that. And now down to National we go hanging a right to make our way toward Hidden Valley. The trees were alive with bees that's for sure. It's a nice easy trail for the most part. We arrived at Fat Man's Pass and while I was content to pass it by, Ambika insisted we make a go of it so we both squeezed thru. I was carrying my pack in my hand and still had to squeeze it a couple times to get it thru.

    Next it is slowly down the hills you go to get to the road. It's funny but in the National section there is a sign every 1/4 mile it seems until you start heading down the hill. We started encountering a lot more people on National too but not too bad. Some of the attire on the other hand was questionable but at least it was entertaining. There were also a few gnats for the rest of the journey but not too terribly bad.

    I don't know how we managed to do it but we turned what is supposed to be about and 8.4 mile hike into 9.5 so at least we didn't have to do any add on stuff at the bottom to get to the 10 we wanted to do. Instead, we declared it was lunch time and made our way to Los Taquitos where I had a wonderfully fresh margarita to go along with my eats. Hiking life is sure good in the Valley of the Sun when you can still hike in town, Mid-May. And truly the temp stayed cool the entire time :) .

    And as you know with me, a first time hike gets lots of video. Following up on the Ambika shooting my camera lens into the dessert the other nite, the lens is still a bit sticky so sometimes it doesn't open all the way. But I think it will hopefully get all of that whip cream out of its system and be just fine.

    Part 1 of 5 up Marcos di Neza
    Part 2 - 4 Guadalupe RidgePart 5 coming off the ridge to National to Hidden Valley, Fat Man's Pass
    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    Young Man's Trail
    The Young Man's trail intersects the Guadalupe Ridge trail above Hidden Valley. At least that's what the trail is called on satellite view.

    Some friends recently moved to Ahwatukee, and have never been to Hidden Valley. This hike is a recon trip for me to later show them the quickest way from their house up and over Guadalupe Ridge to Hidden Valley.

    Young Man's trail is short and kinda steep like most of the north/south connector trails on South Mountain. It isn't too far east from Carona de Loma East. Similar trail but seemed a little nicer than my memory of CDL East.

    I started hiking from the Pima Canyon trailhead up Marcos de Niza/Guadalupe Ridge to Young Man's. Took YM down to Desert Classic and beyond towards my friends house. Returned back up Young Man's, then west on Guadalupe Ridge a bit before descending into Hidden Valley, then back on the National.

    I didn't get started hiking until 0730 so by the end of the hike it was getting warm. Took some pano pics for Kelly now that I know how to. Not many people out by the time I got back to the trailhead. :)
    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    My daughter wanted to see a sunrise while hiking. Guadalupe Ridge/Marcos De Niza trails have nice views to the east and are near home, so this was our choice. We arrived at Pima Canyon as one of the first five vehicles and got a nice parking spot.

    We made it up to a nice high point on the ridge to watch the sunrise. Although was kind of cloudy, the sunrise turned out nice. The morning temperature was warm, but with the breeze and overcast skies it turned out to be a great day for hiking. Hidden Valley never disappoints as usual.

    The unique rock formations, views, glyphs, and a little scrambling make this a fun hike. :)
    Hidden Valley via Guadalupe Ridge
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    Morning hike with Turbo Turtle. From Pima Canyon trailhead we hiked the ridge just past the top of Hidden Valley then dropped down through Fat Mans Pass and took the wash back down to Pima Canyon. Fun hike. Thanks Denny. :)

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    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Pima Canyon Trailhead
    This one is a little tough to locate if you're not from the area. It's near Guadalupe Rd. The issue at hand is there are no on-off ramps for Guadalupe Rd. Instead get off south a mile on Elliot and follow 48th Street north.

    Pima Canyon Trailhead is located west off of 48th Street just south of Guadalupe Road. It's all rather confusing. Your first time just go to the intersection of Guadalupe & 48th then head south. Take the first right and an immediate left into South Mountain/Phx Preserves Park. Follow the access road passing the golf course all the way to the trailhead.

    Pima Canyon Trailhead and Marco de Niza Trailhead are one and the same now. Long ago the road continued to Pima Canyon Trailhead.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 10.9 mi - about 18 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 101 mi - about 1 hour 32 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 155 mi - about 2 hours 25 mins
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