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The "Hole-in-the-Rock" is a very popular spot for ppl who love climbing, hiking, walking, or taking their kids out there to the Papago Park. These rock formations are accessible (even while carrying a cup of nicely hot coffee) via a smoothly going path that passes behind and around the hill. We were climbing up to the "face of the hill" to reach the chamber, although this might be dangerous for kids & inexperienced. The chamber provids a fantastic view on the city of Phoenix. A nearly constant wind blows through the openings in the rock.
The "Hole-in-the-Rock is a series of openings (tafoni) eroded in a small hill composed of bare red arkosic conglomerate sandstone. The sandstone was first formed some 6-15 million years ago, and the tafoni are thought to have been eroded by water. An open, shelter-like chamber in the face of the formation communicates with the rear of the formation via a hole eroded completely through the rock. Another substantial opening exists in the ceiling of the chamber. There is evidence that the Hohokam, early inhabitants of the region, used and recorded the position of sunlight shining through the latter opening to mark the seasons.
Updated Aug 2, 2011
Next season the Cardinals will be playing at a new, climate controlled stadium, so this tip will no longer be relevant.
From the freeway, Sun Devil Stadium looks amazing, like it is built into the side of a mountain. However, the sad truth is this is one of the WORST places you could ever watch an NFL football game.
Take, for example, a game in 2003 against Green Bay. It was early September, and about 105 degrees at kickoff. As you would expect, many die hard Packer fans made the trip and they had been tailgating. They came pouring in the gate with their heavy duty #4 jerseys on, their cheese heads in place, in their jeans. Also, coming in the gate were the Cardinals fans. They are wearing shorts, and light-weight Cardinals t-shirts, carrying water, because they know that the humidity is only about 5 percent. Every sports arena in Phoenix allows you to carry water into the arena, and if don’t have it you will be sorry.
To get a beer or get to your seat you must crowd into the tiny concourse where the line for the concessions, the long line for the bathrooms, and people trying to walk through the concourse all converge creating hot, sweaty chaos. And by halftime they were out of beer and all the water the Cardinals were selling was warm. By the third quarter they were out of water also, which was not only bad planning, but could have killed some of those cheese heads.
The stadium is built out of concrete and bakes like an oven. The fans sit on uncomfortable metal benches. One side of the has more shade and those tickets cost more. Some people try to get the tickets high in the lower bowl because they are under an overhang.
It isn’t all bad though… it is easy to get tickets (although they aren’t cheap), there is plenty of parking, and the stadium is next to Mill Ave, where all the great bars and restaurants are. Plus, your teams gets to play the Cardinals, usually an easy win.
Equipment: The neighborhood is very safe and touristy. There is a nice golf course on the other side of the stadium and there are several hotels right by Mill Ave, in easy walking distance. The Mission Palms (which is great) and the Marriot Courtyard come immediately to mind.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 5th Street and Rural, Tempe
Phone: (602) 965-5062
This hike is a connector to other trails along the bottom edge of Squaw/Piestewa Mtn. I goes for about 4 miles, but I took the 2 miles at the closest spot near the road. The hike was rather easy, and most is on flat ground/sand.
Written Dec 29, 2010
This hike was a bit easier than others. It starts out on a flat trail that continues for maybe 1 1/2 miles before climbing around the butte and traversing through a crevasse between some hills. I went about 3 miles of the 4 miles around the circumference.
Updated Dec 29, 2010
This mountain stands alone as an isolated pinnacle in the North Mountain area. It is close by Piestewa and Stoney Mtns. The hike was not all the far, but the last 200 yards was steep climbing up to the crest on loose rock, and has a 400 elevation gain over only 1/2 mile. There also is a loop hike around the mountain, which I did 1/2 of that 3 miles.
Written Dec 29, 2010
Troon Golf Course in Scottsdale was a real disappointment. The course is in great shape, but it is boring. The most interesting part of the course are the mansions along the fairways. If you want exciting desert golf, I would recommend Wolf Creek, about 60 miles north of Las Vegas. It is wild and diabolical, the complete opposite of the staid, traditional, every-hole-looks-the-same Troon.
Written Aug 24, 2010
You like hockey, never been to a hockey game? Well if you're in the Phoenix area, and it's hockey season, try to make it to a Phoenix Coyotes game. They're now playing at the new state of the art Glendale Arena (soon to be renamed, I hope). Before, and after the game you can check out the new Westgate City Center, and have a beer at the Yard House, so you don't have to travel too far for a good time.
Let's go Coyotes!
Equipment: Might want to bring a sweater for the game, and a designated driver.
Written Aug 30, 2006
Address: 9400 W.Maryland Ave. - Glendale, AZ 85305
While in Phoenix we decided to catch a ball game. Too bad the Dodgers werent playing here. We saw the Angels vs the Diamond Backs. At first i wasnt too sure it would be a good idea. it was 117 degrees outside and i didnt know that the game was in doors. I have to saw Chase Fiels was awesome. It was nice to get in from the 117 degree heat into some nice air conditioned seats. the whole stadium was pretty nice. I have to say its different catching a game outside of LA. LA folks are just too rowdy. Rob and Koa were, of course, wearing their Dodger gear but no one said anything. The people were so friendly and we had a wonderful time. The whole place looked like state of the art.
Also there were hardly no lines in the consession stands or the restrooms. that was kinda cool.
Equipment: We didnt park too far away but with the blistering heat, having to walk in it was out of the question. These guys riding thier bikes with a bench on the back were all over the place. When they asked us if we wanted a lift we said YES! Basically they work on tips and it was well worth it to me.
Written Jul 12, 2006
NASCAR now runs twice a year at PIR - a night race in the Spring and the traditional Fall race in November. The track is more or less a flat, one-mile oval, but with a weird dog-leg on the backstretch.
Getting tickets shouldn't be much of a problem, as long as you don't wait 'till the last minute. The higher up in the stands you can get, the better. The huge stand in turn 1 is mostly for seaon ticket and weekend pass holders, but you can get good seats along the frontstretch and in turn 4 if you just want to go to the Nextel Cup race. Again, try to get as high up as possible - the sightlines in the lower rows are not as good as they are at other tracks.
Ticket prices are relatively reasonable; Phoenix is certainly not the most expensive track to go to. But it's worth the extra money to sit up high.
Traffic was an absolute mess getting to the race, but this was largely because of the stormy weather (PIR actually sent out a very nice letter after the event - apologizing profusely for the traffic problems and promising it wouldn't happen again). Check the website for directions and pray for the best.
Equipment: The usual applies here - check out the website for restrictions on coolers and backpacks.
Also, if you are a smoker, bring extra cigarettes. You can get any alcoholic concoction you think of, but for some crazy reason, cigs are almost impossible to find! And this at a NASCAR race, yet!!!
Written Jul 7, 2005
In Indian Bend wash which runs through the east side of Scottsdale, are a few golf courses which charge as little as $12 per round. Okay it's not Troon North or the Tournament Players Club, but it is golf in the sun.
Written Jun 11, 2004
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