This hike is at the very top of our list for BEST HIKES IN PHOENIX! It is fantastic for ALL ages – kids, teens, adults – everyone will love it.

There are many trails – dozens – throughout South Mountain Park, but our absolute favorite (especially with kids) is Hidden Valley via Mormon Loop Trail.

To get there: Google Map “Mormon Trailhead” – the address is 8610 S. 24th St., Phoenix, AZ 85042

The entire Loop is 3.4 miles from start to end. With 3 kids (4, 6, & 8 years old) – it took exactly 4 hours. I imagine with older kids or adults – it would take closer to 2 hours max.

You are going to take the Mormon Trail until you hit the Hidden Valley Trail Loop. This is our favorite part of the hike! 

  • When you get to the fork in the road for the Hidden Valley Loop – you can either go right towards Fat Man’s Pass OR left towards the Natural Tunnel. Either way, you will see both since it’s a loop – BUT if you are with kids, going RIGHT is going to be the easier hike. Start at Fat Man’s Pass and end at the Natural Tunnel. There are a lot of fun and huge slippery rocks that are easier to slide down rather than climb up 


There are amazing rock formations to climb under, over, and through!

At the end (or beginning) of the loop, you will reach Hidden Valley’s Natural Tunnel:

My last tip for this hike – BE SURE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS. I know that seems like a given, but when you go through the tunnel – the trail can get a tad confusing. We actually found ourselves veering right onto National Trail instead of staying on Hidden Valley Trail back towards the Mormon Trailhead. We had to backtrack – not much – but enough to get tired with 3 kids. So be sure to not veer right onto National Trail like we did (and a few other hikers).

Another GREAT thing about starting at Mormon Trailhead, is that the parking lot has FREE PARKING and it is just right up the street from a TON of food options. Chick-fil-a, smash burger, pretty much everything right there on the same street. Perfect for after hiking!

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