SOUTH MOUNTAIN PARK
HIKING WITH KIDS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA
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
FAT MAN’S PASS:
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!