Hike review: Desert Classic Trail on South Mountain in Phoenix, AZ

I continued my quest to hike every foot of charted trail on South Mountain by hiking a portion of Desert Classic Trail with my 12 year-old daughter on Christmas Eve morning in 2013. She had recently hiked it with her 7th grade class, so I asked her to lead the way.

The highlight of the hike was a rest stop on the notorious helicopter pad, which is the highest point on the trail. We walked the perimeter of the helipad and admired the views of million dollar homes, mountains, and clear blue skies. We could even see my daughter’s school where we parked the car.

Desert Classic is appropriately named since it offers a great variety of desert terrain and plant life in a relatively short distance. I found the vegetation to be more noticeably dense and diverse than on many of the trails of South Mountain.

Hike details:

  • Trail: Desert Classic
  • Length: 3.5 miles round-trip*
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation gain: 100 ft.*
  • Difficulty: moderate

*Rough estimates. I don’t do GPS.

Check out the pictures and captions below for more insights. Click on pics to expand. One of these days, I’ll add highlighted maps showing the exact trail(s) I hiked.

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