If you have little kids and are looking for a short hike to do around Phoenix, Hole in the Rock in Papago Park is a 0.3 mile out-and-back trail that is great for families with young kids. It is incredibly short, but fun for little ones.
All About Hole in the Rock in Papago Park
In the early years of the Phoenix area, the Hohokam Tribe used this landmark to identify the summer and winter solstice. There are areas within the rock where the sun hits at different times of years, allowing the early inhabitants to schedule their growing season.
It's a quick third of a mile jaunt up to a beautiful rock that overlooks part of the city. While it is great for families with little kids under the age of 7, it may be underwhelming for even novice hikers who are seeking more of an adventure.
The Hole in the Rock Trail
The trail is located in Papago park and there is a short elevation.
There is a lot of gravel, so little kids could potentially slip if they aren't wearing proper sneakers or shoes.
It is a short pathway that leads to a shady spot that has a hole in a big rock that allows you to have a view of the city. It's friendly for dogs and kids who just want a 5 minute walk for a quick view.
The View from Hole in the Rock
If we're being honest, the view from the rock overlooks the parking lot, which isn't really great. The city view isn't that spectacular, but it might be for little kids.
When you reach the summit, you'll find a small staircase that leads you into the hole.
Timing for Hike
Phoenix gets really hot during the day, so I would recommend an early morning hike to be the first ones in the parking lot or for sunset, which a lot of people plan for. At sunset, you'll see people crowded with blankets to watch the horizon. It literally takes less than a few minutes to climb.
If you are looking to take photos with no one else in the background, I would recommend being the first ones in the early morning hours.
Here's a view heading towards the hole.
Here's the view inside the hole overlooking the city:
Trails Near Hole in the Rock
On the other side of the Hole in the Rock, you'll find a smaller trail that leads you to some flat desert where you can take photos of sagura cacti.
It will also lead you to some shade that could be welcoming if you just experienced the Arizona heat.
You can also get panoramic views of the back of the trail.
If you are looking for a short and fun hike with kids in Phoenix, Hole in the Rock in Papago Park is an easy one that rewards you with a good view of the city. Just make sure you plan and time it to beat the temperature and the crowds.