What makes a park in Phoenix great?

Three best parks in Phoenix AZ
Determining which parks are the best truly depends on what you want in a park. Some park goers are looking to relax and include¬†features like granite benches. Others want to hike and enjoy the scenery, and some love sports amenities or family friendly options. We will highlight the amenities each park offers. Parks are chosen based on reviews and activity type. By the time you’re done, you’ll know which park to visit for exercise, socializing, and kid-friendly fun. The weather is great nearly year round so there’s no reason to put off a visit to the park.

Don’t forget water when you hit the trails at South Mountain Park!

What can you expect at South Mountain Park? Get ready for more than 25 square miles of desert fauna and flora. As one of the areas largest nature preserves it’s a stunning place to visit. Those interested in an incredible view will be excited to hike to the lookout point. At over 1000 feet above the desert, you can see all of Phoenix from this mountaintop view.

South Mountain Park is a leading destination for residents who want to see the native Chuckwalla lizard. They average 65 per 100 acres.

Did you know that South Mountain Park is the US’s largest municipal parks? That can only mean one thing. Miles and miles of trails. Between the different activity specific trails the park clocks in at a total of 58 miles worth of trails. One of them might even lead you to the Mystery Castle.

What are the best activities in South Mountain Park?

  • Because of its large size, this park is home to an avid horsemanship population. You can bring your own horse or rent one from the Ponderosa Stables. Horse riding opens up just how much of the park you can view in a single day and an experienced guide can make sure you never get lost.
  • Hit the trails on your mountain bike. Whether you stick to the low desert or set your sights on a hilltop, bike riding is a must. The trails are regularly frequented which means you’ll have easy purchase without having to worry about puncturing a tire. Just make sure you bring enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Put on your most rugged shoes and go on a hike. Hiking may as well be a certified Arizona State past-time. There are some pretty amazing sites in South Mountain Park. In addition to the large lizard population, you may run into the twisted trunk of an elephant tree.

Papago Park delivers an all-in-one park experience perfect for families.

Papago Park is located next to a number of major landmarks and other entertainment hotspots. That makes it one of the very best family destinations in Phoenix. If one family member doesn’t enjoy an aspect of the day you’ve planned, you’re only a short distance away from another great site.

Papago Park is located right next to the Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo making it easy to see all three in a day!

What are the best activities in Papago Park?

  • Grab your reel and get ready for a great catch! There are 7.8 acres of fishing lagoons located in Papago Park. Depending on the season you’ll be able to catch a different type of fish. These are regularly stocked making it almost a guarantee you’ll reel in a catfish or trout! If you don’t catch anything, there are other great food options in Phoenix, though.
  • Take a photo-op at the hole in the rock. Erosion has created a gorgeous vista and photo opportunity. It’s just a mild hike but lets you travel clear through the hillside! Don’t miss your chance to visit the hole in the rock. You’ll regret it if you do.
  • Reserve a Ramada and call some friends and family! The park features some great Ramada areas that can be reserved beforehand. These provide you with the perfect space to throw a birthday party, wedding ceremony, quinceanera, or other major events.

Buffalo Ridge Park is perfect for the sports enthusiast!

If you love sports and want a park that accommodates all of them, you’ve got to visit Buffalo Ridge Park. This park offers a lot to both casual sports enthusiasts and those feeling a bit more competitive. Best of all? You can let the kids run wild at the playground too. Looking for something more passive? Try a museum!

The highly rated disc golf course at Buffalo Ridge Park sports 27 holes for golfing!

What are the best activities in Buffalo Ridge Park?

  • Shoot some hoops on the basketball courts. Why watch basketball when you can get outdoors and live it? A full-court makes it easy to put together a game with friends or join an ongoing game. If the courts full, you’ve always got other options though.
  • Watch a baseball game. Sometimes a park is a perfect place for a spectator. At Buffalo Ridge Park you can grab a great bleacher seat and settle in for a baseball game.
  • Grab your bag of discs and play some frisbee golf! This active game of skill isn’t just for college students. Disc golf requires a ton of skill, especially when you’ve only got a map to plan your next shot. A massive 27 hole course makes this one of the best places for disc golf in Phoenix. We’ll see you there!


Buffalo Ridge Park
19250 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85024

Get on AZ-101 Loop W from N 16th St and E Beardsley Rd
6 min (2.4 mi)

Take I-17 S to S 23rd Ave. Take exit 199A from I-17 S
17 min (18.1 mi)

Take W Sherman St to S 25th Ave
1 min (0.4 mi)

L&M Granite Countertops
801 S 25th Ave #6, Phoenix, AZ 85009