You could think of Phoenix’s South Mountain Park as a large outdoor playground. Actually, a very large outdoor playground. With more than 16,000 acres to explore, according to the Trust for Public Land, South Mountain Park is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the United States.
With more than 50 miles of trails, South Mountain Park is a favorite among horseback riders, hikers and mountain bikers. But drivers can take in the scenery too. A little more than five miles up the Summit Road, there are Valley wide views to be had at Dobbins Lookout. If you’re inspired, keep going to the Gila Lookout for a view of the Gila River Valley. The drive is scenic, so take it slow to safely enjoy the view. There are many steep sections and blind curves and cars share the road with bikers and hikers.
Silent Sundays are a monthly event held in South Mountain Park and generally take place the fourth Sunday of each month. The park’s main access roadways are closed to motor vehicles for the entire day. On these days, bicyclists, skateboarders, wheelchair users and just about anything on wheels other than cars, own the roads. Trailhead access sites outside of the park remain open to cars.