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Dobbins Lookout

Perched atop South Mountain Park, the sprawling desert landscape of Phoenix, Arizona, reveals its breathtaking beauty from an unparalleled vantage point at Dobbins Lookout. At an elevation of 2,330 feet, this scenic observation point stands as the highest accessible spot within the park, inviting both locals and visitors to behold its captivating panorama.

Getting There and Views

Accessing Dobbins Lookout is an adventure in itself—whether by a scenic drive or a rewarding hike. Once there, prepare to be enthralled by an unobstructed, sweeping view that spans the Valley. The allure of this spot peaks during sunset when the sky ignites with hues, painting a spectacular backdrop to the cityscape below. From this perch, the grandeur of downtown Phoenix, alongside the rugged McDowell Mountains, Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain, and the mystical Superstition Mountains, sprawls before your eyes. A great place to also visit in Phoenix.

Historical Significance and Facilities

Nestled amidst this awe-inspiring vista is a historic stone building, a testament to the craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Providing a haven of shade, this structure stands as an emblem of the area’s rich history. Essential amenities such as benches, toilets, and trash cans cater to visitors’ needs, although it’s worth noting that water availability is limited, and parking can be a challenge due to its popularity.

Park Hours and Trail Information

Operating hours at South Mountain Park ensure that visitors can relish its beauty from the early hours of dawn until the evening, with extended summer hours enabling a prolonged experience of stunning sunsets. Explorers keen on hiking will find the Holbert Trail an enticing option, offering not just a pathway to Dobbins Lookout but also a glimpse into the ancient past with Native American petroglyphs along the route. 

Safety and Precautions

A word of caution echoes through the park’s scenic roadways, shared by motorists, cyclists, and hikers alike. Treacherous drop-offs, narrow sections, and blind corners necessitate vigilance and adherence to speed limits, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all who venture there.

Legacy of James C. Dobbins

The lookout pays homage to James C. Dobbins, the visionary chairman of the Phoenix Planning Commission, whose pioneering efforts s for ensured the land public enjoyment. His legacy lives on, gifting generations with an unparalleled vista of Phoenix’s splendor.


As of the latest update, Dobbins Lookout welcomes visitors, beckoning them to witness the captivating allure of Phoenix from its highest accessible point. However, it’s advisable to check for any updates or specific regulations before planning your visit, to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience.

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