Google map of top hiking trails - South Mountain in Phoenix, AZ

A Backyard Like No Other: South Mountain Preserve

Posted on 14 Nov, 2018

Many neighborhoods have nice backyards. But the modern homes at our upcoming Avance community at South Mountain come with a backyard that’s as large and impressive as it gets: an entire mountain. And not just any mountain. Because South Mountain isn’t only filled with mind-boggling natural beauty and gorgeous scenery, it’s also home to an incredible variety of hiking trails.

South Mountain Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the U.S.

A world of hiking trails at your doorstep

Did you know that South Mountain Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country? That’s because it consists of not just one but three mountain ranges: the Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe. So it’s no wonder that you’ll find no less than 16,000 acres and more than 51 miles of trails to explore.

Whether you like your hikes longer or shorter, easy-going or seriously-challenging, with or without your dog—a colossal range of 71 trails ensure you’ll never get bored. For those who prefer using their feet for pedaling rather than walking, many of the routes are bikeable as well. And even if your favorite hiking style is on horseback, you’ll find plenty of ways to conquer South Mountain.

Enjoy hiking, biking, climbing, riding and other outdoor adventures in South Phoenix

Get ready for your most epic “yard work”

The amenities at Avance  are reason enough to enjoy every day to the fullest. And it doesn’t get better than having the great outdoors literally just out your door. So put on your hiking shoes, biking foot gear or riding boots, and get ready for your mountain adventures! Where to start? Take your pick! The trails are accessible from several park entrances. Below, we’ve listed the most interesting trails in order of proximity to Avance.


Trails located on the same side of the South Mountain preserve as Avance—perfect for a quick morning hike before heading off to work:

Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout
(Length: 3.8 miles. Difficulty level: Hard.)

A challenging trail with a steady incline all the way to the top. Your reward for hiking the extension trail leading to Dobbins lookout: an epic look at the Valley.

This trail is accessible from Avance via East Mineral Road—practically on your doorstep.

Geronimo Trail
(Length: 5 miles. Difficulty level: Moderate. Dogs allowed.)

Enjoy various activity options along this trail all year round. For an added fun factor, hike the Hidden Valley, which you can access by hiking up Geronimo Trail, then National Trail. For a complete loop, choose Mormon Trail back down. Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed.

Mormon Loop Trail
(Length: 4.7 miles. Difficulty level: Moderate.)

Just a short drive from Avance you’ll find this medium-challenging trail with beautiful scenery throughout. A combination of uphill and downhill sections keeps this hike interesting and fun.

Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail
(Length: 3.4 miles. Difficulty level: Moderate.)

Here, you’ll get the full program of natural mountain highlights: in addition to amazing scenes of the Valley below, you’ll get to marvel at tunnels, dry waterfalls and fascinating rock formations. The trail head is just a short drive from Avance.


Once you’ve explored all the hikes just a stone’s throw from your home, venture out a bit further to the trails on the opposite side of South Mountain Preserve.

Telegraph Pass Trail
(Length: 2.2 miles. Difficulty level: Moderate. Kid friendly.)

A bit shorter than other trails with a moderate difficulty level, this is a great trail for the whole family. It’s just the right length for kids but offers exciting glimpses of metro Phoenix along its 2.2 miles.

Desert Classic Trail
(Length: 5.5 miles. Difficulty level: Moderate.)

If you prefer hiking during morning and evening hours, Desert Classic Trail is exactly what you need. You’ll enjoy gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, and night owls will appreciate exceptional moonlit hikes, too.

National to Hidden Valley to Mormon Loop
(Length: 6 miles. Difficulty level: Moderate. Kid friendly.)

Another great family hike right here. Its moderate intensity makes it suitable for kids—while offering more experienced hikers plenty of room for hiking, walking and trail running. Whatever your style, you’ll enjoy rich scenery with beautiful wild flowers.


– Main Entrance: 10409 S Central Ave

– 19th Ave Trailhead: 10500 S 19th Ave

– Mormon Trailhead: 8610 S 24th St

– Beverly Canyon Trailhead: 8800 S 46th St

– Pima Canyon Trailhead: 9904 S 48th St

– Telegraph Pass Trailhead: 14251 S Desert Foothills Pkwy


Trailhead Hours: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Gated entrances will close at 7 p.m., but trails remain open until 11 p.m.

For details & additional trails visit: