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South Mountain Park/Preserve

South Mountain Park/Preserve is a 16,000-acre City of Phoenix park in Maricopa County just south of Phoenix.  At more than 25 square miles, it's one of the largest municipal park in the United States.  There are three mountain ranges in the park - Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe.  The park was established in 1924 when President Calvin Coolidge sold 13,000 acres to the city and was originally called Phoenix Mountain Park.  Much of the park infrastructure was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.  Today, the park has more than 50 miles of trails through the desert mountains south of Phoenix available for hiking, biking and horseback riding.  Dobbins Lookout, at 2330 feet elevation, is the highest accessible point in the park.

Map: 

Wildlife:

Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) is common in the desert environment.

Another desert plant is brittlebush (Encelia farinosa); the flowers a food source for chuckwallas.

Desert blister beetles (Lytta magister) also eat the desert flowers.

Common chuckwallas (Sauromalus ater) are common lizards in the park.  The males feature an unusual carrot tail.


Blog Entries:

20-Apr-2019: Hot Day in Phoenix

External Links:

City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation website: https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/south-mountain