After San Xavier and Titan II, we had time for a short hike on our way into Scottsdale. San Tan Mountain Regional Park sits on the very southern edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area and features a viewpoint overlooking the southern end of greater Phoenix. We reached this county park on a mix of controlled access and country roads – we knew we were getting close to Phoenix when the traffic thickened considerably. We paid a $7 day use fee to enter and park at the Phillips Road Trailhead.

From the trailhead, we went out on the Goldmine Trail (which is part of the Maricopa Trail) and up to a lookover on the spine of Goldmine Mountain at about 2,100 feet (640 m). From there we did have a great view of the astounding urban sprawl that is today’s Phoenix. After trying to comprehend the unsustainability 🤔 of what we were seeing, it was time to head back. We varied our return by taking the Littleleaf Trail, which parallels part of the Goldmine Trail.

On the Goldmine Trail
View from the trail
Starting the short climb to the spine of Goldmine
View to the south from Goldmine
Here the trail is an old mine road
Clouds over Goldmine Mountain
View from the lookover
Quartz Peak from Goldmine
View of Chandler from Goldmine
Descending the Goldmine Trail
On the Littleleaf Trail
Approaching the trailhead
Day’s end

This was a short hike (3.2 miles (5.1 km), with only 450 feet (137 m) of elevation gain). But it was across a pretty desert area and the view from Goldmine was as good as promised. Doing it left us the time needed to push through the congealing traffic and reach Scottsdale in time for a wash-up and dinner. 😁

Our route to and from the lookover (camera symbol)