Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Revisiting Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley Loop in South Mountain, Arizona

Saturday night I felt compelled to go hiking. Partly because I have a big hike in two weeks and I haven't broken in my new hiking shoes yet, and partly because I was feeling restless. So Sunday morning, I drove out to South Mountain and hiked the Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley Loop in South Mountain.

To get to the hike trailhead, get on the 10E and get off at Baseline Rd. Driving south from the north, you make a right off the Baseline exit and continue down the road until you see 24th street. Drive all the way to the end until you are forced left where you'll see the parking lot on your right. If the lot is full, look for legal street parking.


A rather easy hike, I started on the Mormon trail until I hit the Hidden Valley Loop. Since its a loop, you can go either clockwise or counterclockwise. There really isn't much of a difference but I prefer counterclockwise. It just seems more interesting to me.

In total I suspect the trail is about 2-3 miles, somewhere near the lower end of that range. The beginning will be tough for some people as it is all incline, but the trail quickly tops out and the remainder of the hike is a nice, casual, meander through the valley.

The Mormon trail to Hidden Valley is a great beginner hike because it is slightly challenging in the beginning, easy near the middle and especially near the end, and offers a unique hiking experience.

One feature in particular that I like to talk about is the fat man's pass. This narrow crevice between two rocks that seems impossible but is actually larger than it seems once you squeeze yourself through.

Once past the fat man's crevice, which is a decent place to take a break and have lunch, you then are asked to shimmy through some more cracks and holes until finally, returning to the Mormon Trail.

Long story short; visit South Mountain if you're looking for an easy hike but interesting hike.
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