South Mountain Park

One activity that comes into our mind when we hear a mountain park is picnic and barbecue. Then, we picture out a happy family with their picnic mat and picnic baskets. That family maybe has a maximum of seven members with the parents as the eldest. But what if you have your grandparents with you or the whole clan? Is there a place to spend picnic with them?

At South Mountain Park, you can bring everybody including the whole neighborhood. Its expansive area can accommodate up to 5,000 visitors but there are smaller venues including Piedra Grandes Ramadas that can host up to 50 people and other larger ramadas which can accommodate more than 50 people.

The park is also a good place to perform some physical activities including hiking and mountain biking. It has several trails fit for every age group as well as every endurance level. The family-friendly Judith Tunnel Trail is located near the main entrance of the park and rated as the easiest trail as it has no obstacles or steps to be encountered. It is also a wheelchair-accessible trail.

There are also easy trails that have obstacles and steps with a height of not more than two inches which is a bit harder compared to the Judith Tunnel Trail. These are wide trails that are mostly smooth with dirt surface and occasional unevenness. Los Lomitas Loop and Pima Canyon West Loop Trail are the park’s easy trails.

The moderate trails have various widths which are mostly smooth. Similar to the easy trails, the moderate trails have an occasional unevenness in its surface as well as dirt. The obstacles are a bit higher, less than 8 inches, compared to the easy trails. Apart from the rocks and ruts which are also visible in the easy trails steps, the obstacles are made from loose materials. South Mountain Park moderate trails include Beverly Canyon Trail, Javelina Canyon Trail, West Pima Canyon Trail, Desert Classic Trail, Kiwanis Trail, Bajada Trail and Geronimo Trail.

Difficult trails are divided into three categories including moderate-difficult, difficult and extremely difficult. The trails’ steps range from less than 12 inches or taller with obstacles including loose material, loose rocks, excessive heat of less than 90 F and exposure to drops. Moderate-difficult trails have dirt, rock and mostly uneven surfaces. Difficult and extremely difficult trails have long rocky segments with dirt, loose rock and continual unevenness in its surface. Among the trails included in the different categories are Mormon Trail, National Trail, Telegraph Pass Trail, Holbert Trail, Ranger Trail, Alta Trail and Corona de Loma Trail.

The obstacles of the trails may be challenging but wild critters will make it more interesting. There are quails, rabbits, coyotes and snakes which are occasionally visible on the tracks. Just allow them to pass by before proceeding to your destination.

South Mountain Park has an expansive area of almost 17,000 acres which is comprised of three mountain ranges including Guadalupe, Gila and Ma Ha Tauk. It is cited as the world’s largest city park.