Papago Park, Phoenix
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Papago Park Road
Phoenix, Arizona
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Papago Park, Phoenix

 

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Papago Park, in the City of Phoenix, is noted for its distinctive red rock formations. Take the short hike (0.22 miles) to Hole-in-the-Rock, a Phoenix landmark, and gain insight to the area's geological history. And if you look closely at the boulders and bedrock you may discover what the Hohokam Indians have long known: the tafoni (holes in the rock caused by weathering) and rays of the sun can be used to mark the solstices and equinox. Yet there is more to Papago Park than sandstone and Phoenix hiking trails. Try your hand at orienteering, test your skills on the archery range, cast a line in the fishing pond, enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch and discover a different kind of outdoor family fun.
Red Rock Formations
Red rock formations at Papago Park

Red rock formations at Papago Park

City of Phoenix

 
The curious red rock formations you see at Papago Park are nature's answer to modern art. Here, the sandstone has been sculpted by millions of years of weathering, as the process of breaking down rocks is known. The holes or cave-like recesses called tafoni are created by salt, which expands when heated by the hot desert sun and, over time, causes small pieces of rock to chip away. Erosion, the movement of rock by water and wind, takes the pieces that have broken off away. Yet weathering and erosion aren't the only natural phenomena that make the rocks in Papago Park interesting. Oxidation, the change that occurs when oxygen reacts with minerals, is responsible for their color. When iron and oxygen combine to form hematite they turn the rock a deep red.
 
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Papago Park West of Galvin: not for tots OR dogs

Submitted on 17 March 2011 by a kidscantravel.com member
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I visited Papago Park, west of Galvin Parkway, this week. The scenery is lovely. We saw birds and lizards. The trails on the flats are fine. But beware of approaching the red rock formations. The approach is nothing but loose rock absolutely littered with shards of broken glass and is very slippery. It is very difficult to keep your footing. Recommended for kids 8 and up, who are wearing long pants and hiking boots. Don't try this wearing a child in a backpack, and don't bring your dogs. Also- no bathrooms on the west side of Galvin Parkway.
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