Hole in the Rock - Short Hike with a Big View

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hiking is something that I really enjoy so I have been looking forward to the time when my kids would enjoy it as well.  We've tried some other hikes in the area and it always starts out well, but the interest and stamina seems to fade rather quickly. We've tried bringing along snacks, binoculars and even trail maps as distractions, but none have really made a difference.  They would still rather be out riding their bikes instead of hiking, until we found Hole in the Rock.

Papago Park's Hole in the Rock

Papago Park is characterized by its sandstone buttes that were formed over 6 million years ago.  Over time erosion has formed the large holes that we see today.  It's the access to these cave like holes, called tafoni, and the view from inside that has made this hike our new family favourite.

Families flock to Papago Park on weekends, not only for the chance to see Hole in the Rock, but to take advantage of the trails, picnic facilities and the fishing pond.  We like that the trail is so close to the zoo and we often do both on the same day.

The hike is only 1/10 of a mile (160m) from the parking lot to the summit but it gains almost 200ft (67m) in elevation. 

The entrance to the hole is on the reverse side of the rock and steps have been laid into the path to make the ascent easier.

The most difficult part of the hike is convincing our kids that it's time to go.  For the five minutes that it takes them to reach the hole, we spend at least half an hour at the top everytime we go.  The good news is that we've finally found a hike that captures their interest. Now hopefully we'll be able to convince them that there are other great hikes that they'll like just as much.

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