South Mountain: Javelina, Ridgeline and Beverly Loop Trail

Lilia Menconi
The Ridgeline trail offers some spectacular views to the north. Aw, so pretty.
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I'm feeling a little soft lately -- and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

It's been over a month since my last hike and when it comes to getting back on the trail during these squishy body phases, it makes me feel like crying a little bit. So I hit the lengthier ones that offer long walks on flat surfaces with hardly any climbing. This strategy makes the reintroduction much less painful.

And South Mountain is a great spot for this kind of a hike.

Lilia Menconi
When the sun starts to go down, the cholla will glow.
I love South Mountain

because there are so many intersecting trails and it's fairly easy to create a loop using a combination of specific pathways.

I hate South Mountain because there are so many intersecting trails where I always, without fail, take a wrong turn.

This past weekend, when we mapped out a loop with the Javelina, Ridgeline, and Beverly trails, we got freakin' lost.


Had we stayed on track, this trail trifecta would have provided a scenic jaunt just under four miles. Instead, we wandered on a trail that ran right next to an ugly apartment complex and some gross office buildings.

Here's how to do this loop right:

Get to the Javelina and Beverly trailheads (both share the same parking lot ... remember kids, it's a loop so the whole point is to end up where you started) by taking Interstate 10 to Baseline. Head west until you hit 46th Street and cruise south on 46th until the end of the road. The Javelina trailhead is on the west side of the parking lot with the Beverly trailhead on the east.

Hop on the Javelina for 1.7 miles of flat terrain with a small climb at the very end. You'll reach a saddle where the trail splits. Hang a left to follow Ridgeline trail -- this part is well-marked. Follow Ridgeline through some ups and downs for .9 miles. Here's where you're going to catch some killer views looking north to the city.

Beverly trail comes up quick. Take another left and just stay on the trail for another 1.3 miles until you spill out on the east side of the parking lot.

Be sure to keep in mind that the Beverly trail is an almost perfect diagonal to the northeast.

We didn't. So when a poorly-marked intersection crossed our path, we took a wrong turn and walked an entire freakin' mile until we realized we should turn back. Take note: If you come across an ugly apartment complex, you are on the wrong path, my friend.

Distance: 3.9 miles

Time: 2 hours, assuming you don't take a wrong turn.

Elevation climb: 400 feet

Hiker's tip: Keep a good map on-hand and don't let those pesky intersections tempt you.

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