In mid-January, our hiking club chose a 4-mile (6.4 km) hike on a trail in South Mountain Park that was new to me. Holbert Trail starts at the base of the mountain near the park’s education center and climbs steadily about 1200 feet (366 m) vertically in about 2 miles (3.2 km). At that point, there is a spur trail that ventures off to the right toward Dobbins Lookout. From there, you can make the decision to keep climbing upward to the end of the trail, or take the spur to the lookout. At the lookout, there is a stone structure that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. Nearby is a short observation tower with a compass indicator and markings indicating different valley landmarks.
The view from the top is spectacular and it’s the highest publicly accessible viewpoint on the mountain. I have been to Dobbins Lookout several times, but every other time, I used the road and sat comfortably in an automobile while it did the work of all that climbing. This was my first hike from the base to the lookout. The South Mountain Park website identifies Holbert Trail as difficult, though a map in the visitor center indicates it’s level of difficulty as moderate. Believe the website. The climb is steadily upward and unless you are a highly conditioned hiker, you will get an aerobic workout. Having said that, the view from the top is worth the trip. If you want to see the view, and don’t want the effort, it’s an easy drive with spectacular views along the way. More views from the lookout as well as a picture of the stone ramada are in a post I wrote from July 2014 you can find here.
About the photo: The image above was captured with a Samsung S7 cell phone. Exposure at f/1.7 1/4200 sec. ISO-50. The rule for Cellpic Sunday is simple. The image must be captured on a mobile device.