Hike | Holbert Trail to Dobbins Lookout | South Mountain



  • Length: 4.1 miles round trip
  • Trail Type: Out and Back
  • Gain/ Loss: +931 ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Dog-Friendly: Yes


South Mountain Park offers more hikes than one can probably count. Each hike ranges in difficulty and while they can all be found in the same relative location, every view manages to be incredibly different. Take Holbert Trail for example. What starts off as fields of saguaros and cliff sides turns into a view of the city of Phoenix in a matter of hours. Holbert Trail is most notably the hike outdoor lovers take to get to Dobbins Lookout. You can certainly drive to Dobbins and get the same view, but where's the fun in that?


Dobbins lookout is a popular spot in South Mountain Park that offers some of the best views of the Phoenix area. Expect to see other hikers on this trail as well. If you want a different kind of scenery, consider doing this hike at night time when all the city lights come to life! Whenever you choose to hike the Holbert Trail, the lookout will not disappoint.

There is no entrance fee for the trail. While this is a popular hike, expect to find parking- the lot is big enough to host large groups of folks visiting the trail and it's surrounding areas. The parking lot also has restrooms, which is different from most trails in the park. The Holbert Trail starts off in the center of South Mountain Park, immediately leading into a canyon. The trail is comprised of loose gravel and sand, which are nice changes from most of the rockier trails in this area. At about a quarter mile in, the trail dips into a small wash, then back out. You can expect the trail to be relatively flat from here, as most of the elevation gain takes place in during the last mile or so. Along the hike, you'll pass large rock formations and a few shady spots to take a quick break.

After an easy mile, get ready for the switchbacks! This hike will get your heart rate going as the rest of it can be quite the incline. Once at the top, though, Dobbins Lookout is the perfect place to sit back. The rest of the hike is an easy descent to the bottom. Consider visiting this trail the next time you want great views and a workout!


This blog was thoughtfully written by Danielle Rodriguez. You can find her on Instagram at @Dani_The_Explorer

* Please remember to hike at your own risk. To learn more please refer to our Hiking Disclaimer