Route: National Trail (AZ)

Arizona, US
30.2 mi

A very popular, heavily trafficked trail that runs the length of South Mountain Park in Phoenix.  About 15 miles one-way.  There is a water fountain at the Pima Canyon TH (east end).

There was a 50 mile race utilizing this trail in 1998-2001, with the CR being Ian Torrance, 7h1m31s in 2000.

GPS Track


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Profile picture for user SarahConnorChronicles

Is it okay to do this as a one way FKT, instead of OAB?

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I’ll be attempting the one way national trail route on Monday January 3rd 2022. Male Unsupported. Looking forward to a fun one. 

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Profile picture for user rrosenb1

A friend (Julie Gibson) and I will be attempting the two-way supported on 2/26/22 - we are running the trail one way this morning to shake out & make sure we understand validation, etc. Should be a great day!

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Planning to try the one-way unsupported version tomorrow, despite less-than-ideal physical conditions on my part.  I'm here and it's not as hot as it was a couple days ago, so let's try it and see how it goes!

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Had a good run and a fun time today on the National Trail - really enjoyable route.  I'll submit my pics and deets soon (one way unsupported, 3:23).

The last little section on the west end from the San Juan Lookout to Estrella isn't signed, and in fact the post at San Juan Lookout suggests it is the terminal point of the National Trail.  No big deal to follow the trail over to Estrella Drive, except you have to step through a barbed wire fence to get from the trail to the street...?  No trailhead, no obvious place to park, not quite sure what's going on there.

It seems like the San Juan Lookout would make more sense as the west endpoint of this FKT?  It's an actual trailhead parking lot, and the trail sign says this location is the trail ending spot.  Just a suggestion, others might have additional info that makes Estrella the more logical location.

The last section of National right before Estrella Drive went across private property, but no one seemed to care for years. This March, the owner put the barbed wire fence up. Shortly after that, the city of Phoenix altered the trail by about 50 feet to avoid the private property and the fence. It’s clear trail to Estrella Drive now. 

You just happened to run it in the small window after the fence was put up, but before the trail re-route. 

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Profile picture for user Momo25

Hey there, 

I will be attempting the FKT on the national trail this morning, around 9.45am, from east to west (starting Pima canyon trailhead), unsupported. I ran this route in preparation one week ago to see the terrain and everything. Its going to be a great day on the trail! 

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I plan on attempting the unsupported out and back of this trail on January 24th, 2023.  I am looking forward

to the adventure!!!

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I'm planning to run the out-and-back tomorrow and attempt to go faster than Krista's time - which will be a challenge for me.  Either unsupported (from the west) or self-supported (from the east, with a water drop at the turn-around) depending on the parking situation on the west side.