Monday, December 26, 2011

South Mountain

Arriving at the Holbert Trail
Yesterday was my third annual Christmas Day hike. This year I went to South Mountain to hike up to Dobbins Lookout, which is the highest point in the park accessible by trail. (See here for my 2009 and 2010 hikes) To get to Dobbins Lookout, you follow the Holbert trail almost to it's terminus, where you take a spur trail to Dobbins.

It's been a chilly December this year compared to last; the temperature at the start of the hike was 40ยบ, compared to mid-50s last year.


Round trip distance: approx. 4.8 miles
Elevation change: approx. 1100'
Ascent time: 48 min.
Ascent pace: 3.00 mph
Descent time: 43 min.
Descent pace: 3.35 mph
Footwear: Vibram Five Fingers
Water consumed: approx. 20 oz.


This trail surface was much rougher and more rugged than my previous hike in Zion. Coupled with the chilly temperatures, my feet got a good workout in the Vibrams. Also, overall, this trail was a bit steeper, so it provided a good workout, but a slower pace. Being on the north side of the mountain, most of the hike was in the shade, so it was nice to get to the top and bask in the sun.

Let's get going

Piece of cake

Rocky slope forming one side of a ravine

Sun peeking over South Mountain

Downtown Phoenix in the distance

Approaching the ridge line and the morning sun

I took the spur trail to Dobbins Lookout


The Valley of the Sun from Dobbins Lookout

Dobbins Lookout shelter

Looking west from the shelter

Looking north from the shelter

Looking northeast from the shelter

Back at the trail head

Lunch at Lux after a 4.8 mile hike and a 17-hour fast: egg bake with broccoli, cheddar and onions; bacon; sourdough toast; corn muffin; and coffee