Papago Park covers 1,200 acres of park recreation and extends to the cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale AZ. It is not the largest park in the city of Phoenix. Papago features the widest variety of outdoor fun and is home to some of the most visited attractions in the Phoenix area. Including “Hole in the Rock” – The hole-in-the-rock is the most prominent icon in Papago Park and carries evidence that the prehistoric Hohokam Indians settled this area thousands of years ago. The red butte was created 6 to 15 million years ago and naturally formed with a series of openings caused by erosion. The openings and “chamber” (hole) near the butte’s summit are easily accessed from the rear via a smooth, but somewhat steep path. Those that trek to the chamber hole-in-the-rock are rewarded with great views across the city.
Camelback Mountain is the highest peak in Phoenix – and probably the most scenic hiking spot in the city. Over 2,704 feet high, Camelback’s summit offers spectacular views of Phoenix and Scottsdale and can be reached from the 1.2 mile Summit Trail.
Piestewa Peak, at 2,610 feet is the second highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, after Camelback Mountain, and the third highest in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. It’s a 2.3 mile trail that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is only open from March until October. (Not far from Earnhardt’s Mr. Eds Auto Center).
Off-Road Desert Tours
Travel through rugged and beautiful terrain and go deep into the desert where most people don’t; This Adventure takes you deep into the Sonoran Desert where you may see javelinas, desert mule deer, wild burros, coyotes, rattlesnakes, scorpions and other indigenous creatures.
Desert Botanical Garden
For more than 70 years, the Desert Botanical Garden has been teaching and inspiring visitors from the local community and around the world, providing research, exhibits and more designed to help us understand, protect and preserve the desert’s natural beauty. Today, the Garden features:140 acres, 55 under cultivation, over 50,000 plant displays showcased in beautiful outdoor exhibits, and more!
South Mountain Park
At more than 16,000 acres South Mountain Park/Preserve actually consists of three mountain ranges, the Ma Ha Tauk, Gila and Guadalupe; and is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country. It boasts 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking for all ability levels. From the park’s main entrance, you can drive up the Summit Road 5.5 miles to Dobbins Lookout and spectacular valley wide views or you can continue to the Gila Lookout for a view of the Gila River Valley.