In a last minute change of decision, I saw information about the South Mountain Hidden Valley Mormon trail and it sounded like a trail I wanted to tackle right away! This trail was going to be 3.6 miles long, so I thought, and we were running late so we didn’t start until 10am. Now 10am may not seem that bad to the average person but if you’re a Phoenician, you know that’s getting way to late to hike unless you can handle a possible heat stroke. Regardless we set out to conquer the beast.
The trail starts off immediately gaining elevation and followed with some “bouldering” as you go up. Once you get up to the top, the Mormon trail ended and we started down the Hidden Valley Loop to check out all of the awesome features I had read about. At this point, I hadn’t realized how far we had hiked yet still. We made our way to the right of the loop so we hit Fat Man’s pass first. This pass is a narrow “walkway” or as I would call it, squeeze way on the trail that gets as small as 9 inches for you to wiggle your way through. I actually thought it was pretty cool even though I did start to panic at the end from my claustrophobia problem.
Once we got through the pass the trail continued on through a wash which did get a little confusing as to what was the trail and what wasn’t but it wasn’t too bad thankfully. Once you start coming out of the wash you look like you’re at a dead end with large boulders in front of you however, there was small spaces for you to slide down the boulders to continue on the trail. Be warned, these boulders are slippery so you definitely choose the right path for yourself of you could definitely end up injured.
After sliding through the boulders and jumping down a couple of more, we made our way through a cool little natural tunnel and made our way back to the Mormon trail again to head back to the parking lot. As we were descending back down the mountain is when we realized the distance we had actually traveled thus far. It ended up being over 5 miles and an overall elevation of 895 feet which made me feel better about being a little exhausted.
Though I did babycarry, I probably wouldn’t recommend doing it for anyone who isn’t use to hiking or the Arizona heat. Yes, you can do it but if you’re not prepared, it would not be safe at all. I think if you have any little around 6-7 years old and above they would love this trail and think its a great adventure!