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Hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking -- even golfing -- among the otherworldly buttes, crags and palm-shaded water holes of one of the few significant parcels of lowland Sonoran Desert remaining in the urban Valley. West-facing Hole-in-the-Rock, a Hohokam archaeoastronomy site, is famed for its sunset views; Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo are situated within the park.
You can hike, bike, picnick, fish -- even golf -- among the otherworldly buttes, crags and palm-shaded water holes of one of the few significant pa...
Phoenix summers mean it is time for the off season for all Valley-based racers, right? Wrong.Thanks to the Short Track at Papago, a little non-sanctioned grassroots race series that runs every Tuesday... More »
The weather's finally warmed up and spring is about to make its official debut in mere days. Sounds like the perfect time to get your ass outta the house and into the great outdoors. The members of the Ministry of EDM will celebrate the start of... More »
The majestic red rock sculptures and rare desert vistas of Papago Park are in the gun sights of some of the most powerful real estate interests in the Southwest. Led by Phoenix attorney Grady Gammage Jr., the intellectual architect of Arizona's... More »
No matter how hot it gets, it doesn't feel like summer when we're riding our mountain bike at night around Papago Park. Within minutes of pumping the pedals over the trails, we're covered in sweat from head to toe. And that means wind-chill. Instead of 111, it feels like a gorgeous 85 or so. Papago's trails are conducive to the effect because of the constant up-and-down, rollercoaster-like single track. One of the great things about summertime night rides at Papago is the ability to make the... More »
Grandpa is pushing 90, and he's on the way out. A couple strokes down, he's still got enough fire to get out of bed and into a wheelchair (but that's about it). Snap out of your denial and take the old soul out for a stroll in our beautiful desert on the Accessible Trail at Papago Park. This paved path stretches for 1.2 miles, but if the old-timer ain't up to the whole thing, a quick turnaround is always an option. This "hike" is relatively flat, with a few gentle slopes and zero climbing.... More »
Wanna get your tires dusty without blowing out a lung or risking your neck? Try the tame but fun loop trails of Papago Park, centrally located on the borders of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Access the trailheads from the parking lot on the west side of Galvin Parkway, just across from the entrance to the Phoenix Zoo. Begin on the 2.7-mile Elliot Ramada Loop and head toward the buttes. Much of this trail is kid-friendly -- rolling, sandy, wide single-track without the need for... More »
One recent Saturday morning, we drove past the Camelback Mountain trailhead at Echo Canyon, and our hearts went out to the scores of hikers making the one-mile trudge from the overflow parking lot on 44th Street to the Camelhead. Mind you, we didn't feel for the poor wretches because they had to pound a little pavement. We pitied them because they didn't know any better.That kind of ignorance is bliss for those of us who frequent Papago Park, a little-utilized, 1,200-acre recreational... More »
Unless you're one of those "green" parents who strap a backpack on their kid when he's 2, hiking is probably an afterthought for you and your busy clan. After all, there are scads of things to do that don't require clambering on rocks and fending off snakes -- and most of those other places have bathrooms.We have the perfect solution for 'tweeners: a day hike at Papago Park. For most Phoenicians, the park is easily reached because of its central location, and it's accessible in other... More »
Most people would stop at "shabby" when describing Papago Park, but we think it's one of the coolest and most underutilized hiking areas in the Valley. Yes, the Phoenix city park is something of a faded dowager; yes, it's trashy; yes, the pea-green muckhole generously termed a pond looks as if it might spontaneously combust; and no, the hiking here doesn't require the technical skills of Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain. However, if you venture out of the more visited areas of the park,... More »
One recent Saturday morning, we drove past the Camelback Mountain trailhead at Echo Canyon, and our hearts went out to the scores of hikers making the one-mile trudge from the overflow parking lot on 44th Street to the Camelhead. Mind you, we didn't feel for the poor wretches because they had to pound a little pavement. We pitied them because they didn't know any better. That kind of ignorance is bliss for those of us who frequent Papago Park, a little-utilized, 1,200-acre recreational bonanza and one of the few significant parcels of lowland Sonoran Desert remaining in the urban Valley. In the time it takes you to find a place to park at Camelback, death-trudge to the trailhead, scale the nasty piece of rock, and limp back to your car, we've already checked off two, three, maybe even four of the activities Papago has to offer. These include, but are not limited to, hiking and bouldering, mountain-biking, orienteering, urban fishing, picnicking, golf, archery, the Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Garden, and . . . you get the picture. Wish you were here. But not really.