It's ironic that the southern end of Central Avenue, the urban heart of Phoenix, is the beginning of one of the most gorgeous scenic drives in the city. Located in the South Mountain Park and Preserve, the road to the Dobbins Lookout starts off gently as you travel through visitor checkpoints and parking lots. Then, you begin to climb. Gentle twists, turns, and switchbacks are the name of the game as you ascend the mountain on a well-maintained paved road. It's hard to decide what's better: gazing at the majestic South Mountain close up or watching the city fall away behind you. After about five miles, you'll make it to Dobbins Lookout at 2,330 feet. The altitude makes for spectacular views of the entire Valley; you can try your hand at identifying landmarks with the compass on the observation tower, or you can get out of the sun in the stone ramada. On your way back down, before you leave the park, make sure to stop at what remains of Scorpion Gulch, a neat little house and store that was built in the 1930s.