You've probably heard of Camelback Mountain, but there are plenty of other trails in Greater Phoenix that are perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. Here's a list of a few of our staff members' favorite hiking trails in the metro area.
Nature Trail at Piestawa Peak
Don't mistake this hike for a nature stroll. Even though it's located in the middle of the city, it can be a little rugged. This is a great hike for learning about the desert, thanks to the informational plaques placed along the trail.
The trailhead is located at the Apache picnic area at the end of the entrance road in Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area. Paved parking, drinking water and restrooms are available. This hike is about 1.5 miles.
Fat Man's Pass
Located within the 17,000 acres of desert in South Mountain Park, Fat Man's Pass is a great hike for families. This trail gets its name from the 20-foot-long passage between smooth granite boulders that are only a foot apart in some places. (Claustrophobes, don't worry: You can go around the boulders if you want.)
This hike begins at the Buena Vista Lookout, which is approximately 6.5 miles from the park entrance. Follow road signs along Summit Road to the "Buena Vista/Hidden Valley Lookout". The parking area for this trailhead has limited spaces and is usually full during peak seasons. The trail, which is initially paved, provides direct access to the National Trail. At that junction, head east on the National Trail. You'll reach Fat Man's Pass in about 1.8 miles.
Sunrise Trail at McDowell Mountains
When you reach the high point of this hike, you'll likely forget that you're on the edge of the sixth-largest city in the U.S. The Sunrise Trail is located McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a 21,400-acre desert jewel in the northeast Valley. This isn't an easy hike, but it pays off in the end with sweeping views of the desert floor.
The Sunrise Access Area is located at 144th Street and Via Linda. There is an upper parking lot and a lower parking lot. The one-way trek to Sunrise Peak is a little less than 2 miles; from there you can turn around or hike another 3 miles or so to Lost Dog Overlook.
Coach Whip to Sunrise Pass
This dog-friendly hike is located within Thunderbird Conservation Park, a 1,185-acre park in the Hedgepeth Hills. From the top you'll look down on homes and golf courses with views of mountains to the north. This is also a great trail to run.
This trail originates at the 67th Avenue parking lot at Patrick Lane and intersects with the Sunrise Trail on the west side of the park. The distance varies from 2 to 5 miles depending on your return route; there are several options for looping back to the trailhead.
Hieroglyphics Trail in the Superstitions
This is easy hike to ancient petroglyphs that resemble Egyptian hieroglyphics. Start at the Hieroglyphic Canyon Trailhead in the southwest corner of the Superstition Wilderness Area. You'll soon reach a spring where clear water pools in the rocks. In the stone cliffs next to these pools are several petroglyphs carved by the Hohokam.
To reach the Hieroglyphic Canyon Trailhead, take U.S. 60 to Kings Ranch Road, between mile markers 202 and 203, and turn north. Proceed 2.8 miles, then turn east on Baseline Road. This round-trip hike is about 2 miles.
The most edible week in Arizona is almost here. Explore Arizona’s best restaurants at amazing prices May 18 - 27 during Spring Arizona Restaurant Week. The Greater Phoenix area is fast becoming a foodie destination, so this is a great opportunity to see what the buzz is all about at an affordable price. Reservations will fill up fast for the most popular restaurants so make your reservations today!
Which restaurants are you most excited to try during Arizona Restaurant Week?
Watermelon Agave Margarita
2 oz. Tequila (we recommend a reposado such as Siete Leguas or Anjeo such as Tonala)
1 – 1 ½ oz. agave nectar
Fresh muddled watermelon
Squeeze of lime
Get in touch with your inner surf master and enter to win a getaway to Phoenix, where you can hang ten in the desert at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.
Visit us on Facebook to enter for a chance to win a 4-day/3-night stay at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, plus two passes for the FlowRider surf simulator, a poolside cabana rental, dinner for two at Deseo, and a $100 gift card to Kierland Commons shopping district.
The Phoenix Premium Outlets opened their doors to shoppers yesterday with special promotions, live music and more that will continue through the weekend (April 4 - 7, 2013). There are over 90 stores to choose from, most are already open with a few slated to open over the next few months.
Friday, April 15
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Otis and the Beat: Classic Rock Cover Band
Noon - 2 p.m. Barrel Boy from KNIX (102.5 FM)
3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Dina Preston Band: Live Acoustic Entertainment
Saturday, April 6
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mike and T: Music of the 60's - 80's
Noon - 2 p.m. AJ from Mix (96.9 FM)
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Red House Family Jazz: Live Blues Entertainment
Sunday, April 7
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Scott Hallock: Classic Acoustic Rock Cover Band
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Canyon Walls: Live Acoustic Entertainment
The new Premium Outlets are located on tribal land, adjacent to the Sheraton at Wild Horse Pass Resort and Casino. I visited the outlets during their grand opening yesterday to bring you a sneak peek of this new Phoenix shopping destination.
The outlets are designed to represent a racetrack, where you can make a loop to shop. There's also a food court with a few choices available now with more opening over the next few months. I noticed that there was plenty of shade with large fans and misters blowing to keep shoppers cool. Of course, you'll spend most of your time inside the air conditioned comfort of your favorite stores.
The Phoenix Premium Outlets are located at 4976 Premium Outlets Way in Chandler.
After a long week my husband and I decided that we needed a date night. We headed over to Trattoria del Piero at the Biltmore Fashion Park to enjoy some refreshing drinks and appetizers on the patio. Later that evening on the main lawn of the Biltmore Fashion Park one of my husband’s favorite movies, Caddyshack, was being shown as part of the Movies in the Park series. A perfect date night.
Trattoria del Piero is the second location of the Queen Creek Olive Mill’s Tuscan themed restaurants and is a part of the new UNION shops at the Biltmore Fashion Park. The menu consists of appetizers, bruschetta, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts made from local and organic ingredients. You can sit inside or outside on the patio. Or, if you prefer, you can belly up to the bar. Since it was such a lovely spring evening, my husband and I opted to sit on the patio. (Tip: If you want to sit on the patio to eat, let someone inside know first so they’ll come out to take your order. The patio is shared with other businesses in UNION so they may not know you are waiting for service.)
A little known fact is that Trattoria del Piero serves the famous meatballs made by Lisa G. All of those that mourned Lisa G.’s closing can now enjoy her famous meatballs anytime at Trattoria del Piero. Upon the confirmation of this rumor, my husband promptly ordered a bowl. I decided on the bruschetta board and a hot pink Prickly Pear lemonade.
Now, I’m going to be honest with you, while perusing the menu I noticed the cupcake sampler right away. I wanted to order it as an appetizer but held off until the end of our meal. The wait was well worth it. The cupcakes are made with olive oil from the Queen Creek Olive Mill and are delicious. My personal favorite was the Mexican chocolate cupcake. I had to stop myself from going inside and buying a full sized Mexican chocolate cupcake to go.
Trattoria del Piero is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (I’m ready to go back soon for their famous Vanilla Bean Olive Oil waffles). Take note that the dinner portions are more like appetizer portions. Trattoria del Piero also serves wine and beer.
If you want to make a date night out of it like my husband and I did, check out the Movies in the Park spring schedule.
Trattoria del Piero is located at the Biltmore Fashion Park at 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix.