A Visit to Papago Park in Phoenix
Papago Park is a beautiful recreational park nestled among the cities of Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale. This park is another special place where you can escape to and get away from city life for a while and be more in touch with nature.
What's unique about Papago Park is that unlike other parks that are characterized by lush greens, sprawling grass lawns and lots of trees, bushes and flowering plants, it features Arizona's dry, desert-like landscape which in itself is a pretty beautiful and spectacular view. When you visit the park, you get the feeling that you're in the middle of nowhere and that you're far away from civilization despite the fact that it's close to three cities.
So for those who haven't experienced being in a desert-type environment or who are simply looking to enjoy beautiful scenery, Papago Park is definitely worth visiting. There are a number of activities that can be done by the solo adventurer or by the whole family like hiking, sightseeing, or having picnics. The park features hiking trails, unique geological formations and a variety of desert plants and wildlife which makes Papago Park a source of pride for the state of Phoenix.
It also has other amenities which include a playground for kids, a golf course, a volleyball court, and even a dog park. So it's safe to say that the park can cater to the needs of a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts.
Papago Park highlights
One of the most prominent attractions of Papago Park is the Hole in the Rock. This land formation is so aptly named: a hole in a big chunk of rock. It is actually a red butte and through a span of over millions of years, the big hole or chamber and other openings were formed by erosion.
These openings are accessible from the rear side and those who venture to go up the steep path to get to them are rewarded with a spectacular view across the city. This is definitely a must-see feature of the park.
Another fascinating fact regarding the Hole in the Rock is that it was used by an ancient group of people known as the Hohokam. They used the ray of light that passes through an opening in the ceiling of the chamber to mark the sun's seasonal movements as well as the solstices and equinoxes. Papago Park itself has a rich history and it's really fascinating to know about these various past events and witness what's been left behind.
You can also see a small pyramid on top of a hill known as Hunt's Tomb. This serves as the tomb for Governor George W.P. Hunt, his wife, and other family members. Being on top of a hill, the tomb is visible from anywhere in the park.
Papago Park also has a zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden where you can enjoy a great variety of flora and fauna. There are also a number of ponds with a good diversity of fish species where you can do some fishing.
Because of the park's size, you can easily spend the day there without necessarily running out of things to do. You can have barbecues, group gatherings, go hiking, jogging, horseback riding, cycling, taking your dog for a walk, and so much more. You can definitely get the most out of your outdoor experience with a visit to Papago Park.