Four friends and I completed the 2017 National Trail Trek – 15.5 miles, hiking the complete National Trail in South Mountain. Hiking time was 6 hours and 18 minutes which included our lunch stop, but didn’t include any driving time. We started on the east side of South Mountain Park at Pima Canyon in Ahwatukee and ended up on the west side of South Mountain Park at San Juan Lookout around 35th Avenue.
We took part in an organized hike by the City of Phoenix! They did a great job and everyone was friendly and helpful! We started our morning early by driving down to the check in at South Mountain. We left about 6:30 and got to South Mountain at 7am. We got a wristband which is needed for the bus ride to the start, lunch, and van ride back to our cars. We got a t-shirt and drawstring bag. We then proceeded to get breakfast. They had all kinds of great food: bananas, oranges, zucchini bread, and bars.
We got in the bus line and rode a school bus about a half hour to the Pima Canyon on the Ahwatukee side of South Mountain. It was a cold morning. The temperature was 37 degrees when we started, but the bus had heat and was nice and warm! We started hiking at 8:15am
We started our 15.5 mile hike all bundled up! It was cold! We hiked on a dirt road to the trail. The total elevation gain was about 1,100 feet, but it wasn’t all at once! At 5 miles there were port-a-potty’s set up. Then about 7.5 miles was lunch! Yay! We got to lunch at about 11:30
Then we continued up to see the ramada and the horses
Once we passed this point on the trail we saw far less people then we had the first half of the hike. And at this point in the hike we couldn’t see the city, only the desert and mountains. It was easy to forget that we were in the middle of Phoenix!
We passed all the cell phone towers on south mountain! If you want to hike and see them, this is the hike!! All down hill from here. It warmed up in the afternoon, plus we were in the sun. It was about 64 degrees when we finished.
We finished the trail, checked in at the finisher table, and hit the food table again! See those legs behind us, that’s the food! We then got in a van and we were shuttled back to where we parked. A much shorter drive this time, about 10-15 minutes all through windy roads in South Mountain park. All of us agreed that we had a fun time! We had a beautiful day, great conversation and a wonderful hike!