HIKE-- HOLBERT TRAIL to Dobbins Lookout (South Mountains)

At 2,330 feet, the Dobbins Lookout is the highest point in the park accessible by trail and has a hawk's eye view of downtown Phoenix and the sprawling Valley of the Sun. The lookout was hand built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938 and was constructed from local granite. On the far horizon are the several mountain ranges that surround the valley including the Superstition Mountains and the McDowell Mountains.

Holbert Trailis a challenging 4-mile round trip with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. We will take the trail trending up for roughly 1.8 miles, then go right up to the Dobbins Lookout, a steeper 0.2 mile stretch. Then we return down the same trail.

The hike up Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout is rated challenging due to elevation gain.  Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, and allowing for time for photography of the local geology and wildlife. The trail is also a good place to see ancient petroglyphs.

Expect this hike to last 3-4 hours.

Here is a link to photos from our last trip  2/13/11


Here are links to sites which may further inform or enhance your experience:

South Mountain Park visitor’s guide…


how the mountains formed….


petroglyphs links:





Distance:     3.9 miles

Time:            3- 4 hrs.

Difficulty:    challenging

Trail:             packed gravel and dirt

Elevation:[masked] ft.

change: 1000 ft..

Parking:       Lot

Entry fees: no

Dogs:            OK


Always carry and drink plenty of water! 

Sunscreen and insect repellant is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

Have light rain gear available (we may hike in light drizzle).

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions

HOW TO FIND US: Meet at the parking lot at the trailhead. (directions below).…. If lost or late, my cell is[masked]-5945.

To get there, take CENTRAL AVE. SOUTH  to the end… all the way south past Scorpion Gulch, enter the South Mountain Park and take the FIRST left onto Phoenix South Mountain Park Rd. and follow it to the LAST parking lot at the end … near the rest rooms. Same place we met before box canyon walk. My cell phone number is[masked]-5945.


Carpooling can save gas but also enhance the social experience. If you’d like to carpool, you must contact others for arrangements.  You could email members or post comments on this announcement page comments.

Although you may know of better choices, and I want to hear of them, I can suggest these carpool locations around the valley:

Those traveling from north or northwest of Phoenix could meet at the park-n-ride just west of I-17 on the south side of Bell Rd OR just west of I-17 just south of Happy Valley Rd. From these two you can take the 17 south to EXIT 196 (7th Av./Central) and take Central Av south to the end. Allow about 45 minutes to get to the trailhead parking lot.

Those traveling from the Tempe/Mesa area could meet at the parking lot just north of the 60 on Alma School Rd.  . . enter Fiesta Mall toward the west from Alma School Rd. and park straight ahead at the perimeter of the parking lot across from Best Buy. From there you can follow the 60 to the 10 and then south to Baseline and west to Central Av. and take Central Av south to the end. Allow about 35 minutes to get to the trailhead parking lot.

Following the hike:  We will go to Pan Asia (24th St. and Baseline Rd.) or elsewhere for rehydration etc.


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  • Jack S.

    Great group, Great hike . Sorry I had to leave early.

    January 23, 2012

  • Al T.

    great group again . . . nice to be at Dobbins Lookout without a mob of visitors

    January 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi all - just to let you know I attended this hike...I just couldn't find any of you guys...so I took the hike with my dog anyway...Hope you had a nice hike. I'll catch you next time! Best, Melodi

    January 22, 2012

  • Al T.

    Bonus... this will be a "silent Sunday" disallowing motorized vehicles on roads to top of Mountains and Dobbins Lookout.... perhaps this means less crowding on trail and at top.

    January 12, 2012

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