Papago Park is one of the most scenic and easily accessible desert areas in the Phoenix metro area. It is located in the heart of the city, where Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix meet. Check out this map of Papago Park that details its 1,200 acres filled with rolling hills, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas and lagoons. Papago Park is also home to attractions including Desert Botanical Garden, the Phoenix Zoo and AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park.
Among the famed saguaros and other cacti, there are more than 10 miles of hiking trails. Don’t miss a quick hike to “Hole in the Rock,” a natural geological landmark and a local favorite spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. Access this trail from the north side of the Phoenix Zoo parking lot. Other trail heads are located near College Avenue and Curry Road and Mill Avenue and Curry Road.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Papago Park is Hunt’s Tomb, a pyramid-shaped resting place for the first governor of Arizona, George W.P. Hunt, his wife, her parents and sister. You can see this historic landmark from almost any point within the park.
Visitors can also tour the Eisendrath Center for Water Conservation in Papago Park. Located just north of the AZ Heritage Center on Curry Road, this is a historic, 1930’s Pueblo Revival adobe house that has been restored to its former glory. Docent-led tours of the historic house are open to the public by appointment on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations can be booked by calling 480-473-0245.
The Papago Golf Course is a course well-known for its location, challenging nature, and the ever-beautiful landscape as a result of a 2008 design revamp.
Rolling Hills Golf Course is a popular 18 hole, par 62 championship course with reasonable rates and great desert views. Rolling Hills has a restaurant and a bar on site.
The desert preserve of Papago Park is a true local treasure located in the middle of Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale. The Park is the perfect place to picnic, hike, mountain bike, rock climb and just enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Within the park are several of the area’s top attractions that are a must-see during any trip to Tempe.
Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.