The Geronimo Trail at South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona is a moderate 4.8-mile out-and-back hike that features views of the city, rock ledges, and some rock scrambling.
Trail names: Geronimo Trail
Location: 2106 E. Beth Drive, Phoenix, Arizona, South Mountain Park/Preserve
Permitted uses: Walking, Hiking, Running, Mountain Biking, Birding, Nature Study
Prohibited uses: Motor vehicles are restricted to designated parking areas and paved roads. No Smoking, No dumping, no off-trail hiking, no alcohol or glass beverage containers, no open fires, no vandalism or destruction of rocks, no removal of plants or rocks.
Hours: Gated roadways, trailhead parking areas, restrooms and ramadas at South Mountain Park are open from 5:00am to 7:00pm at which time the gates to the park close. Trails remain open until 11:00pm
Fees and Parking: This trailhead access is in a residential area and has no parking attached to it nor is there any public parking area close by. Anyone parking alongside the road in this area will be towed. We were able to access this trailhead by arranging to be dropped off by a rideshare service. Hikers can choose to do this hike in reverse by starting from the top of Buena Vista Lookout located at E. Buena Vista Drive, Phoenix AZ. Buena Vista Lookout opens at 5:00am and closes at 7:00pm. There is very limited parking at the Lookout area. There is no fee to use the trail or park.
Pets: Dogs MUST be on a leash and owners must remove dog waste.
Accessibility: The trail is not wheelchair accessible.
Sanitation: There are no restrooms or trash bins at the trailhead, but there are trash bins at the Buena Vista Lookout parking area.
Length and Trail information: This hike was done as 4.8-mile out and back hike. This hike is considered moderately challenging. It has some rock scramble and some steep sections and some narrow ledges to traverse along the side of the mountain. There are brown colored trail blazes sporadically installed along the trail and affixed to square brown metal posts. The trail is well traveled and easy to follow. Trip hazards include rock scramble and unstable rocks. Use caution whenever placing your hands on rocks to stabilize yourself as you climb or descend as this area's inhabitants include snakes, spiders and scorpions. Mountain bikes frequently use this trail and have created areas that are slippery due to an accumulation of loose gravel. Care should be taken in these areas as it's easy to lose your footing on the loose gravel, especially during a descent. We chose to hike very early in the day to avoid the heat and crowds. During our hike we only encountered two other hikers and one person on a mountain bike. By going early in the day, there is a better chance of hearing birds and during our hike we were lucky enough to hear a Gila Woodpecker, House finch and a Black throated Sparrow. Most of our hike was done in the shade of the mountain before the sun came up high enough to hit the trail. The views along the trail of the city below are spectacular as were the views of the vegetation in the valley.
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