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

  • Jun 19, 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.

    I enjoy it. It is about 6 miles long and usually only takes about 2.5 hours, but I say 3 to allow for picture taking and slower hikers. I cross post this with Arizona Outdoor Activities Group meetup and have got more people attending from that group. If I don't get anyone to attend from either group tomorrow, I might cancel it and do the 24th Street hike in the evening that AOAG is hosting:

    If you have 25 minutes, you might want to watch a video of this Deniza trail hike on youtube that is really the same one except it was at night, instead of coming down National I came down Mormon/Mormon Loop back to Pima Canyon which made it maybe a mile longer:

    John Cionci keeps threatening to come in the morning, but has yet to show! ;-)

    Gina, I think you would enjoy it. Friday is the same hike at first but then cut down to Desert Classic so it is 1/2 as long.

    June 18, 2013

  • Gina

    This is one of my favorite hikes although I don't think I've ever done the DeNiza portion (which must be why it's 4-5 miles -- a bit long for me) Hope to meet up for it sometime soon... I work early this Wednesday but might try another week.

    June 17, 2013

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