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South Mountain Park and Preserve

A Guide to the Trails, Plants, and Animals in Phoenix's Most Popular City Park
By Andrew Lenartz

Details

Overview

In the heart of the city of Phoenix, Arizona, sits the natural wonder of South Mountain Park and Preserve. It is an oasis of mountain terrain and desert landscapes, comprising more than ninety miles of hiking trails in over sixteen thousand acres, easily accessible to the residents and visitors of the fifth-largest city in the United States.

Longtime Phoenix resident and outdoor enthusiast Andrew Lenartz guides readers through the extensive history of the park; the park’s ecosystem, with an overview of the plants, animals, landscape, and topography of the Sonoran Desert environment; the many trails in each of the four sections of South Mountain Park; and a variety of other outdoor activities found within the park. Designed for all ages, the trail maps and descriptions note access points, facilities, elevation gain, and level of difficulty, pointing the way for all hikers to enjoy their trek. A true southwestern treasure, this all-inclusive guide encourages readers to discover the nature and adventure available in this massive outdoor playground.

Contributor Bios
Andrew Lenartz is a professor of psychology at Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. He visits South Mountain Park daily, where he also volunteers as a Park Steward.