Sunday, February 7, 2010

South Mountain Park/Preserve

The reverse of the this postcard reads: "A fifteen minute drive to the south of Phoenix brings one to this colorful park where all the cacti and vegetation of the desert have been preserved."

Well, due to urban sprawl, Phoenix now extends to the foothills of South Mountain, but the park remains. Though it is definitely a bit taxed from overuse, South Mountain is still a pretty cool place. It's over 16000 square acres and boasts over 50 miles of hiking trails - not bad for a municipal park. If you hike deep enough, you'd never guess you're in a city park. It's not an artificial natural environment like Central Park; it even includes some really good spots to see Hohokam petroglyghs.

Missing from this great old postcard are the hideous cell phone towers that now protrude from the top of the highest peak. They're really ugly. Furthermore, there have been some plans to put part of AZ State Route 202 through the park to connect the city to the West Valley. The other option is to go through the Gila Indian Reservation. Until recently, the Gila Tribe has stalwartly opposed this option, but they recently agreed to conduct a study of what the road extension would mean for them if it passed through their land. Their official position is still "no build," though; it's sad that this apparently needs to be built either through Native American land or a wonderful city park. Too bad western cities can't start building up instead of out...

You can drive up to Dobbin's Lookout and watch the sunset, which is also very, very popular. The following pictures where taken from Dobbin's lookout:
South Mountain
South Phoenix
Shitty urban sprawl.
South Mountain Lookout - 13/365

Downed Saugaro - South Mountain Park, Phoenix, AZ - 3/365

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