With the entire country at a standstill due to COVID-19, Phonecians are incredibly lucky to have the mountains right in their backyard. For those who aren’t big hikers, however, it can be difficult to find something to do outdoors. Papago Park provides an easy hiking environment that is absolutely beautiful and can be enjoyed with friends or family while maintaining social distancing.
One super fun and laid-back trail on the east side of the park is Hole in the Rock. Yes, a literal hole in a rock at the top of a small mountain. Coming in at 0.3 miles, the trek is short and easily accessible to anyone who isn’t used to navigating rocky terrain. Not to mention that the view from the top is impeccable; a highly recommended sunset (or sunrise) spot. The hole opens up to the other side of the mountain, so feel free to walk around and find a good spot to take a snapshot of the skyline.
If after your mini adventure you don’t feel like going back to your regularly scheduled quarantine activities just yet, there are seven acres of fishing lagoon lined with palm trees to sit down and enjoy the view. This area of the park also houses picnic tables for those who wish to relax among the sights, as well as restrooms and drinking fountains. In alignment with CDC recommendations, please stay 6 feet or farther away from anyone else you encounter.
Meanwhile, the west side of the park has accessible trails to both big and small buttes, with a Double Butte Loop trail experience, spanning 2.3 miles so that hikers can get the full picture of the park in all its beauty.
Papago Park is located at 625 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ, 85008, right next to the Phoenix Zoo. Trails are open from sunrise to 11 p.m., and parking/gated areas are open from sunrise to sunset, or 7.p.m. (whichever comes first, according to the park’s official webpage).