Difficulty Level: Moderate
Length: 1.7 Miles (one way)
Location: South Mountain Preserve Park (Main Entrance)
10409 S. Central Ave
Go straight on the main street until you see 1-mile marker. Turn left at the 1-mile marker and make a right at the Five Table Picnic area.
Ranger Trail is really fun. It’s full of switchbacks that will take up to where National Trail is located. It offers a great view within the South Mountain Range and is sure to be explored.
This hike is labeled as moderate. It starts off pretty easy as you are gradually going up the base of the mountain. It connects with Las Lomitas trail within this easier beginning part and offers great views of teddy bear cholla gardens, saguaros and other wild desert plant life. The walkway is clear and has looser fine dust to walk on. As the steepness increases you will actually come to a part where you will have to cross the Telegraph Pass Road. Once this road has been cross is when the trail starts to gets harder. The switchbacks begin and the loose dirt now changes into a rocky path laid out before you. Again, it’s nothing I would consider too steep, but it is a moderate hike. (I hiked this with Cody who hadn’t hike for a while and at times he needed to catch his breath.)
It’s a little shocking when the trail ends, because I had just assumed we would be going until we were on top of one of the mountain peaks. But instead this trail stops when it
runs into the National Trail. So you could decide to keep chugging along if you wanted to onto the National Trail. It makes it feel a little unfinished because you didn’t reach the top of anything and it just abruptly ended, but since you now know what to expect from reading this article you may not feel the same as I did.
The trail is 1.7 Miles long (one-way) and the trail head is located within the South Mountain Preserve Park located at 10409 S. Central Ave. Once you have entered the park, keep going straight until you see the 1 Mile Marker. At the 1 Mile Marker you will turn left where you see signs for the Five Tables and will then turn at the next right. From there you will be at the trail head. I put a picture of the South Mountain Map and have hi-lighted the road in green and the actual trail is in yellow.
Please feel free to reach out and let me know what you thought of the trail. I would love to hear feedback.