Difficulty Level: Moderate (Difficult if beginner hiker)
Length: 2.2 Miles (Round trip).
Location: Desert Foothills Trailhead (South Mountain Park & Preserve)
14251 S. Desert Foothills Pkwy
The trailhead for Telegraph Pass is located within the quiet Phoenix neighborhood known as Ahwatukee. Local residents use this trail heavily so it’s not uncommon to see people jogging up and down the route. Once leaving the parking lot there is a concrete path that will lead you to the actual trailhead of Telegraph Pass.
The path begins relatively flat with a gradual incline occurring as you approach closer to the base of the mountain. Just before the 0.8 mile mark, you will come across an area to your right with a wooden fence.
This is an area where the first signs of Hohokam art can be found. It’s a little off the trail so if you don’t pay attention, you could miss it. As you approach the rock formation, you will surely be able to recognize the ancient pictures that lie before you. There is a stick figure of a man, a coyote, numerous circles and other shapes. It’s a surreal feeling knowing that you are standing where ancient people stood so many years ago creating this art.
As you head back onto the trail, you’ll notice it becomes steeper and therefore a bit more challenging. At only one mile, Telegraph is a short hike but your legs will be working hard to help get you to the top of the mountain.
This area is nothing too technical or difficult, but if you’re a beginner hiker you could find this section more challenging and you may need to stop and rest periodically to catch your breath.
Once up this final portion, you will be greeted by Summit Road, which is the main road for vehicles to drive on throughout the park. As you turn around to look at the trail you just came up you will be rewarded with an awe-inspiring view.
If you need a minute to catch your breath there is a bench located right here at the end to sit on, relax, and take in that view! While resting up here one can’t help but wonder if this could have possibly been a path the Hohokam took to mark the rocks located near the bottom of this trail.