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Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain, AZ

no permit
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Guide 294 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
2.8 of 5 by 41
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.05 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,590 feet
Elevation Gain 418 feet
Accumulated Gain 418 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.44
Backpack No
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6  2019-07-06
Lost Ranch Mine - Holbert Loop
7  2019-06-11
Kiwanis / Telegraph Flipper Doodle
15  2019-03-19
Kiwanis / Telegraph Flipper Doodle
8  2019-03-09
Piestewa & SoMo Loop
3  2019-03-05
Lost Mine-Ranger-Kiwanis-Pyramid loop
5  2019-03-03 david_allen_3
6  2019-01-26
Four on the Desert Floor
11  2018-11-03
Holbert-Kiwanis-Loop with Towers Traverse
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 9
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb → 7 AM
Seasons   Winter to Early Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:35pm
Official Route
30 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Intimate WW II Hangout
by joebartels

Built in a day by the Phoenix Kiwanis Club on April 14th 1925. Roughly 70 men created the trail in five and half hours. Including an elaborate lunch from olives to Budweiser followed by ice cream and cigars!

An ideal hike to take children on as the distance is short and the elevation gain is not extreme. Avid hikers have opportunities to embark on longer hikes into South Mountain.

This short hike is a gem for someone who wants to hike during the heat of the summer, but does not want to drive to higher elevation destinations. Sunrise or an hour before sunset offers shade almost the entire route. It winds through a small but pretty canyon to Telegraph Pass. The first half mile is flat only gaining 160 feet. The hike is most enjoyable after a quarter mile, signs of overuse begin to fade.

Keep an eye out for three old dams ( 0.2 mi / 0.3 mi / 0.6 mi ) constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

During the hike one will often be able to see TV towers atop Mount Suppoa to the left, which is the high point of South Mountain. Read about it's historically famous Colossal Cliffs in the Telegraph Pass description.

About halfway the trail gets a bit steeper. It is nothing to fear, only about as steep as going up a set of stairs. Keep an eye out for Native American petroglyphs towards the end of the trail. You will see and hear the sounds of Summit Road as you ascend to the top of the trail which ends at that road. The final tight switchbacks are steep but over quick and worth the effort.

If this is your first visit be sure to look over the other side of the road where Ahwatukee and the Gila River Valley spread out. The Rock House built of granite rubble is a good destination with nice views, adds 0.75mi / 180 aeg. 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.

It is common to see a few hikers on this trail. The lack of parking keeps the crowd count low on nice days. You will likely see hikers at Summit Road from the Telegraph Trail. It is about 5-10 times more popular originating in a dense middle upper class neighborhood.

Alternate access one-way figures
- 0.6mi road walk from 3 Tables
- 0.8mi road walk from 5 Tables
- 1.05mi via Ranger & Los Lomitas

Other Routes
2.80 mi / 600 aeg Rock House Out-n-Back
4.65 mi / 985 aeg Telegraph Over-n-Back
5.60 mi / 1180 aeg Goat Hill Out-n-Back
5.90 mi / 1265 aeg Lomitas Ranger Loop
7.10 mi / 1230 aeg Holbert Kiwanis Loop
8.25 mi / 1350 aeg Mt Suppoa via Kiwanis

Park Reports
Park manager reports suggest the park turned into an intimate hangout during World War II.

November 5th 1945 - Once again Kiwanis Trail comes into the headlines, at 8AM this morning, found Ford sedan parked at extreme end of Kiwanis Trail, license No. A9541, with GI and girl in rear seat, half dressed, in rather embarrassing position... Handled situation as diplomatically as possible and cleared them out of park immediately.

January 1st 1947 - At 2:30am this morning we came upon a couple near the end of Kiwanis Trail. This couple... had evidently misinterpreted the true meaning of "picnic area" so were very much surprised to find that we objected to their kind of "picnic".

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-05-26 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 78 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    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.
    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    Squaw was busy but not crazy for being a holiday. Morning sprinkles probably scared off the balance. Fortunate for those without a prime membership in the procrastinators club... weather was tropical with a hint of awakening zest.

    Kiwanis upped the ante with sliding puffy clouds casting cinema quality pockets of bliss.

    They're in the process of building a new entry gate guard hut. I'm not sue which is more shocking.
    - building a new one as the old one was rarely used
    - swarm of workers looked synchronized and determined on a federal holiday
    Kiwanis Trail - 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.
    Kiwanis Trail - 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.
    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    Goat Hill via Kiwanis
    got out early afternoon
    up kiwanis, west on national
    saw one gal coming down goat hill as i was going up, and another going up as i was coming down
    air quality isn't very good right now
    trails were a little busier on the way down
    broke out some new trail runners

    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    Kiwanis has grown on me over the years. A decade ago it was tagged up and didn't get any attention. It really irked me the City of Phoenix was creating new parks and even new trails at SoMo with no attention to these historical trails.

    A few years ago western Los Lomitas and Kiwanis started getting some love. In 2015 I researched the history of South Mountain. It started out so I could rant with an ounce of intelligence about a few things. In turn Kiwanis went from I'd rather do anything else to it's kinna cool. Just kinna...

    Went to the highpoint pole a quarter? mile past the hut. Per usual contemplated G-Hill. Without water and a rather warm day for the time of year said screw that and headed back down to the shade. Yep, 30 yards of shade in 1.75 miles had my
    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    Goat Hill via Kiwanis
    found an opening between rain showers and creighton basketball game
    started as a workout hike, but cool low cloud formations and colorful cactus turned this one into tibbermode
    up kiwanis, west on national, up to goat hill
    on the way back, ran into john and denny at the pyramid junction
    nice to see you boys!
    poppies ready to pop with some sun
    south mountain is very green
    beautiful contrast with light colored cholla and red tipped barrel cactus
    not many out until hitting the stone house on the return
    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    Los Lomitas Cabra Colina
    Grabbed the galoshes and headed for the cabra in the rain. Looked pretty ominous at the start, but it stayed to the west, and while it drizzled off and on, my shirt never got fully soaked, and with temps still quite warm, the whole thing was quite pleasant. It was nice to get out and enjoy rainpocalypse '16. Great to see trekkin again! :)
    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    decided to bail on the cards game and go for a hike with chums
    i've been on the disabled list for a few weeks, so what better comeback hike than a trip to goat hill?
    went up via ranger, then did the loop back on national, kiwanis and my favorite los lomitas ;)
    skies were threatening when we started and we got some light rain midway through
    kind of a neat day especially looking toward the estrellas
    nice to do a real hike
    nice to feel good
    nice to hike with todd again :)
    Kiwanis Trail - South Mountain
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    Had to get back on the horse for summer afternoon hiking, so I decided to get on the Goat. I did the same trip I had done back this spring with the Earthiest, makes for a nice loop with a decent bit of effort. I got started about 5 after coming back from Tucson with a side trip to IKEA for my wife (being a nice guy helping round up stuff for her classroom). I did not see another hiker until I came down Telegraph pass, there were quite a few folks on Kiwanis. Hot trip, but got some nice shade at the end of the hike to make it all worth while. Hopefully I can get back on the hiking every week schedule now that things are calming down a bit.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix, head straight down Central, keep going and going until it hits South Mountain. The road curves west passing an entrance gate. Keep going to the information/bathroom center. Continue west a tenth of mile to the second left. Skip the first left for authorized personnel. The second left takes you to Kiwanis. Small sign(s) direct you. From the turn it is 0.7 mi to the trailhead. Alternative access points are in the description.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on May 26 2015 10:00 pm
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