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Hike DeNiza, Hidden Valley, Fat Man's Pass, National trails at South Mountain

  • May 22, 2013 · 5:30 AM
  • Phoenix South Mountain Park











Avoid the hot Summer afternoon and evening hikes.Temperatures only in the 80s or 90s in the early morning.

This 5-6 mile hike starts at the DeNiza Trailhead at the end of the paved Pima Canyon Road and goes along the south ridge line to the power lines then continues along the southern ridge line and then drops down into Hidden Valley, up to Fat Man's Pass and then along National and back to Pima wash.  It is a loop.  Sometimes we will do it in reverse for variation.  It takes 2-3 hours so plan accordingly. This is an intermediate level hike with elevation gain of about 1000 feet and total elevation gain closer to 1500 feet.

Rattlesnakes, and other critters are prevalent in this area and capable of defending themselves Please pay careful attention to the ground in front of you and to where you place your feet and hands.

You will be responsible for your own safety, and equipment. 
Equipment: Minimum of 2 liters water (camel pack) sturdy hiking shoes, boots, trail runners. (loose gravel, do not wear tennis shoes) First aid kit.


1. Take I-10 to Elliot Rd, and go west 
2. Take a right onto 48th St and drive about 1 mile 
3. A couple of streets after Piedmont, the road will start to bend way to the right 
4. THIS is where you'll want to turn left onto a small street (S 48th St), if you reach Guadalupe, you've gone too far! 
5. Almost immediately, you'll reach Pima Canyon Rd (on the left), where you'll see a small guard shack. 
6. Drive down Pima Canyon Rd to the end of the parking lot, we'll be at the north shelter.

The Gate opens at 5:00 am in the Summer.


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  • Glen F.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I mentioned that the DeNiza rock is a phony. Here is more about that:

    May 23, 2013

  • Michelle D.

    Glen was a knowledgeable host. The trail was beautiful and the weather was perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed the hike. It was a refreshing day to start the day. I'll do more of these! Thanks Glen!

    May 22, 2013

  • Glen F.

    Missed you Karen. Didn't we wait long enough or what?

    May 22, 2013

  • Michelle D.

    Hey Glen, I have a scorpion situation and my exterminator is only available tomorrow morning. So I am still planning on starting the hike with you, but I will need to turn back early in order to meet my exterminator. I hope this won't be distracting for you. If so, please advise and I'll join the next intermediate hike instead. Thanks, Michelle

    May 21, 2013

  • sonya

    thanks for inviting me Glen!

    May 17, 2013

  • Glen F.

    Michelle, Sorry about that. Didn't realize it, but I think if you are logged into FB it will work. Were you? I know the video was long but the first 10 mins or so will give you an idea about what you are up against with this hike. It is not completely the same as the hike, but only differed in the return as I went down Mormon Loop instead of National and it took about 1 hour longer with a lot of picture taking. We will get done within the 3 hour limit if we start right at 5:30am so will be starting then or maybe a minute or two (but only a minute or two) later.

    May 16, 2013

  • Michelle D.

    Hey Glen, for some reason I wasn't able to view the pictures (link did not work), but I was able to access the video. Admittedly, I did not watch the entire video yet, but I saw enough to see that you are very talented. The muscial accompaniment was very well done and the views you caught on 'film' were beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! I am really looking forward to this hike!

    May 15, 2013

  • Glen F.

    Here are some pictures of Wednesday's hike that I took previously including today:

    Hope it gives you an idea of the hike and a video when I did it at night a while back:

    May 15, 2013

  • Michelle D.

    I too will be doing this before work so I am glad to hear that it can be done in less than 3 hours. Looking forward to it!

    1 · May 15, 2013

  • Glen F.

    Did it this morning. I am not a slow nor a fast hiker. I take a lot of pictures. It took me 2 1/2 hours. It is about 6 miles (see above). The Friday is shorter and takes less than 2 (me - 1.5) hours and starts the same time and is only 3 miles. I will also probably start posting the shorter hike for Monday as well.

    May 15, 2013

3 went

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