Telegraph Pass Hiking Trail

Telegraph Pass Hiking Trail – South Mountain

The Telegraph Pass Hiking Trail 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.

paved hiking path leading towards base of mountain with antennas at top. Group of houses to the left, where neighborhood ends at base of mountain

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.

Hohokam Petroglyphs

wooden fence and yellow sign block off pile of brown and black boulders that have petroglyphs carved into

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.

pile of brown boulders with ancient petroglyphs of animals and stick figures carved in
Hohokam Rock 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.

hiking trail maker saying Telegraph Pass and pointing to the left to desert wilderness. In background two mountain peaks meet with an arrow pointing in the middle, saying "end"
Note the ending location at the upper left side

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.

light brown stone path leading up on incline towards blue sky, green tree along left side of hiking trail

Once up this final portion, you will be greeted by Summit Road, the main road in the park.

desert mountain sloping down with saguaro cactuses and outline of more mountain in background

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.

Phoenix Hiking Trail Essentials:

Over 200 hikers a year have accidents along the Phoenix hiking trails. The desert is a beautiful wide open space but with that also comes a bit of danger that all hikers need to be aware of and be prepared for.

To give you the best hiking experience be sure to bring these following essentials with you on your Phoenix hike

  • Water
  • Sunscreen/Sun Protected Clothing
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Salty Snacks (electrolytes)
  • Durable shoes

Phoenix
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