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Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout

South Mountain Park

Phoenix Metro Area, Arizona

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Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout

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  • Even the very beginning of the trail has pretty good views of town.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • An unknown lizard species spotted along the trail.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • Ascending South Mountain.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • Lots of good photo opportunities along this trail!- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • Looking back down at the trail from high on South Mountain.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • A large Chuckwalla lizard poses for a photo.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • The trail follows a steady, but never overly steep, gradient.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • Saguaro cactus are everywhere.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • Looking back on downtown Phoenix as the trail climbs higher.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • The top of the canyon is surprisingly lush, and the views are great!- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • Rocky outcrops make a great place to stop for a snack and hydrate.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • So much to see!- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
  • The top rewards with the vista from Dobbin's Lookout, though you won't have it all to yourself.- Holbert Trail to Dobbin's Lookout
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Close to town.
Cons: 
No shade. Crowded overlook.
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Region:
Phoenix Metro Area, AZ
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
950.00 ft (289.56 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,360.00 ft (414.53 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

This is a great bang-for-your-buck hike in terms of proximity to town, great views, and aerobic exercise in a relatively short trail. The only disappointment is that it ends at the drive-up overlook at Dobbin's Lookout. There is no need to linger among the crowds, because the view is equally impressive while returning down the trail.

Holbert Trail begins from the Activity Complex outside the main park entrance station. It climbs the north slope of South Mountain through a wide canyon and continues to eventually connect with National Trail. An obvious spur trail leads to Dobbin's Lookout at the top of the canyon.

The trail begins rather blandly in a series of sandy washes and along a paved service road, but this section is short. Then the climb begins, immediately rewarding with views over Phoenix and the surrounding mountains. The scenery only gets better the higher you go, with craggy rock formations and an abundance of saguaros all around. The trail maintains a steady gradient and is rocky in places but is never overly steep.

The terrain offers little shade, so it is not recommended for midday or in especially hot weather. Water is available at the trailhead only. Dobbin's Lookout has toilets, benches, and shade structures, but no water, so bring plenty for both directions of the hike.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(16 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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