Best Petroglyph Hike (2010)

Kiwanis Trail, South Mountain

For this award, we're not talking about a petroglyph "hike" that barely tips the quarter-mile mark. In our book, walking a few hundred feet in dirt just doesn't count. So when we trekked the two-mile Kiwanis Trail in South Mountain, we not only felt like justified hikers, we got to spy some sweet petroglyphs along the way. The trail runs through Snake Canyon and offers lush vegetation, a peaceful wash, and virtually no traffic; unlike Piestewa or Camelback, this trail hasn't grabbed the attention of the masses. The steady incline makes for an easy cardio workout and, just as you're ready to catch your breath, you may see an ancient spiral rock etching beyond the trail. The markings are left over from our beloved Hohokam Indians, and it's believed that the trail was used as a trade route. Who would have thought that history and exercise could make such a lovely pair?


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