Greater Phoenix offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails for all skill levels. There is certainly a different trail here for every day of the year in this hiker’s paradise. The 365 Phoenix Hikes project is my endeavor to connect our geography with the great surrounding neighborhoods. See the growing catalog of the best hikes at the 365 Phoenix Hikes page. Let’s get outside!
My recommendation for this post is a moderate summit trail hike in the North Valley with and distant views of the downtown Phoenix skyline and several major peaks in the area.
For a quick and scenic hike, the Lookout Mountain Summit Trail #150 does not disappoint. The trailhead is located just 1/2 mile south of the Greenway Parkway and 16th Street intersection. This regal peak is visible from most areas of the North Valley inside the Loop 101. It is a relatively well-kept secret with low traffic and supreme vistas from the peak.
There is a drinking fountain at the trailhead, but no restroom facility. The parking lot has 21 spaces.
I like this hike for a number of reasons:
- quick, convenient and accessible location for many north Valley neighborhoods
- rapid elevation gain of 475 feet
- scenic views of Squaw Peak, North Mountain, Shaw Butte from the saddle or peak
- a variety of trails including a separate 2.6-mile circumference loop trail
- sparse foot traffic
- the trail is obvious and well marked
- mobile phone signal from the parking lot to the peak
- 45 minutes up, 35 minutes down
Distance: .6 miles from trailhead to peak
Difficulty: 6 out of 10
Terrain: loose gravel
Water: Drinking fountain at south end of parking lot
Dogs: Yes, on a leash. Dogs prohibited when temps exceed 100F.
Mountain Bikes: No
Park Control: City of Phoenix
Hours: Sunrise to 7 pm or sunset, whichever comes first
Approximate Trailhead Address: 15600 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85022
Have you hiked Lookout Mountain? Leave your comments and trail notes at the bottom of this page.
Remember the rules: Descending hikers yield the trail to ascending hikers when trail narrows. Take plenty of water, wear appropriate shoes and sunscreen. Tell a friend where you are going and when you expect to return. Be awesome to one another.
Local post-hike watering hole: The Codfather (16th St. and Bell Rd.) for fish & chips chased by a pint of Smithwick’s Irish Ale. The Smithwick’s will quickly replenish 150 lost calories. I have no data on calories of cod and french fries, but the trail is only a mile south of the restaurant if you want to summit Lookout Mountain again.
Nearby neighborhoods: Camino Verde, Canyon View, Estates at Moon Valley, Estates at Tapatio Cliffs, Gold Key Estates, Greentrails, Hillcrest, Hillcrest East, Lookout Mountain View, Lookout Ridge, Moon Valley, Moon Valley Canyon, Moon Valley Vista, North Slope, Preserve at Shadow Mountain, Presidio Estates, Regency Heights, Retreat on Lookout Mountain, Sunset Hills, and Cresleigh at the Pointe.