Let's do an early morning fitness hike before we embark on our relatives for Thanksgiving & stuff our faces :--))
Location: South Mountain Park
Trails: Kiwanis / National / Ranger / Los Lomitas / Parking Lot
Type: Up & Down Loop
Total Mileage: 4.2
Difficulty: Intermediate (no beginners or children please)
Elevation Gain: 700+
Kiwanis Trail (428 feet): We will start on the Kiwanis Trail, which is an old Indian Trade Route through Snake Canyon. The first part of Kiwanis is easy and then we start climbing up steps. Towards the end of Kiwanis Trail, we can check out the Native American petroglyphs. At this point we would have reached the end of Kiwanis Trail to the Summit Road.
National Trail to Ranger Junction (270+ feet/1.3 miles): As we cross the road, we will head up towards the CCC watch tower on National Trail. At this point, we can take a quick break and look at the beautiful views from the tower, including the Ahwatukee side of South Mountain. We will then continue along the National Trail Ridgeline to the Ranger Junction.
Ranger Trail (-700 feet/1.2 miles): We will continue our adventure descending the Ranger Trail, which is steep at first but then levels out. The first half of Ranger is a lot of switchbacks. Once we hit the summit road, we will continue down Ranger.
Los Lomitas Trail (.7 miles): As we continue on Ranger, we will take a right on the Los Lomitas Trail and then hike our way back to the Kiwanis Parking Lot.
What to Bring: Camera / Shades / Hat / Snacks / 2 liters of Water / Good, sturdy hiking boots
Direction to Trailhead:
Drive South on Central Avenue. Central Avenue ends at South Mountain Park. You will drive past the entrance and the Ranger Station. The first left (past the maintenance yard) is a signed (Kiwanis) turnoff. Follow the Kiwanis signs to the parking lot. If the parking lot is full, you can continue around the curve and park along the restrooms on the right.
Please NOTE: Restrooms were closed last that I saw.
See you on the trail: