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The San Tan Mountains located on the southeastern corner of the Phoenix Metro Area are just barely far enough away from the city to cut down on the amount of trail traffic… ever so slightly.
That little bit of extra driving to reach this small mountain range will be rewarded by delightful trails and incredible views! The straight forward out-and-back route mapped here follows the Goldmine Trail to the top of a mountain ridge.
From the top of this ridge, you’ll enjoy stupendous views of the San Tan Mountains and the metropolitan area spread out below you.
Thanks to the west-facing viewpoint, this is a great spot to watch the sunset. The trail to the viewpoint is quite wide due to its popularity and is usually wide enough for two people to walk abreast.
If you do, be sure to remain vigilant for other trail users, as mountain bikers and trail runners also utilize these trails. After a mellow approach through the desert, the trail steepens dramatically, climbing an eroded fall line trail on rippled bedrock.
Despite the erosion, the footing is generally quite reliable, affording both an easy ascent and descent. Once you’ve finished at the viewpoint, return the way you came.
While there are other trailheads to the north that may look appealing, only drop down that side of the mountain if you began at that trailhead, are prepared to climb back up and over to where you started, or have arranged a point-to-point shuttle of some sort.