Wednesday, March 5 – We skipped our workout at Planet Fitness this morning and took on Mother Nature's Gym instead. We were in the South Mountains just outside Phoenix, Arizona, to hike the Holbert Trail. Man, what a great hike!
Even though we were on the trail early, we were surprised by the number of hikers enjoying this mountain. It's unusual for us to see many other hikers, but today there were numerous other hikers climbing the trail. Many were young adults with ear buds in their ears drowning out most everything. Some, of course, were running up the trail, many had no water, and nearly all had no idea about trail etiquette. We sound too much like our parents when we state the condition of this young generation... Ha Ha!
Back to the trail.....It begins with a very easy segment through some large rocks. If you look carefully there are numerous petroglyphs by the Hohokam people on many of the higher rocks. We discovered that the first .68 mile is not counted on the trail map when figuring length of trail.
Once we reached the actual beginning of the trail, it becomes a pretty steady climb and almost a constant rock scramble.
The trail is easy to follow and very well marked. We climbed on one side of the canyon then crossed over and continued climbing through a series of switchbacks on the other wall of the canyon. It's not overwhelmingly steep but a very nice trail and a good workout.
The trail ends at the top of the mountain where it meets the National Trail which connects to the Box Canyon Loop trail to return to the original trailhead.
That loop is very long, over 14 miles, so we choose instead to climb the short, steep trail up to Dobbins Lookout to the observatory at the top of the mountain.
Weren't we surprised to find a parking lot with many cars and people at the mountain top. Actually, we were aware you could drive up to the observation point but forgot all about it during our hike. That answers our query where people were coming from hiking down the mountain when they never passed us by. Evidently, they were dropped off at top and were hiking down. This was reinforced by the fact only one other car was in the trailhead parking lot when we started and only four when we finished.
The Lookout was named after James C. Dobbins, the chairman of the Phoenix Planning Commission who spearheaded the efforts to purchase the land. It is the highest viewing point accessible to visitors by trail at almost 2,330 feet.
This is a great hike we really enjoyed and recommend to others. We covered 7.28 miles with an elevation gain of 1071 feet. It took us 3.25 hours, not counting time spent at the top and time spent enjoying some lunch, before heading back down the mountain.
We've hiked several mountain ranges around Phoenix (Superstition Mountains, Usery Mountains, Estrella Mountains, and McDowell Mountains) in two visits to Phoenix and can now add South Mountains to the list. Be sure to checkout this area when in or around Phoenix. We think you'll enjoy your hike.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!