One of the Top Ten Day Hikes in Scottsdale
The walk was cool and pleasant in December and it was along a fairly well-worn trail through the desert. We encountered other hiking and biking groups along the way and learned that there are a lot of accessible paths and loops in the area. Although there is free parking directly under the Rock, I would recommend walking to Hole in the Rock, if possible. As someone who has spent very little time in the desert, the walk was a small adventure, and I came to appreciate the landscape in a way that is impossible from a car.
What first struck me about Hole in the Rock was also what first struck me about the Arizona landscape in general. The color. The deep red hue of the earth and majestic rocks never fails to amaze me.
At nearby Pueblo Grande, archaeologists have uncovered a room that functioned as a calendar for the ancient Hohokam people. For two days only - the summer and winter solstice - a shaft of light aligns with these two doorways and signals the midpoint of the solar annual cycle. Archaeologists also noted that the doors also align with the Hole in the Rock!
We walked back to the hotel as the sun was setting and the birds were chirping. After our long day of walking and sightseeing, it was a relief to take a seat at the hotel bar. With a cocktail in hand, we ordered tacos while the friendly bartender gave us advice about what to do the next day.
Story by Marjorie Pichon - Photos by Bret Wirta