Beginning of main content
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Hole in the Rock

Explore a geological phenomenon that has been millions of years in the making. While here, enjoy unbeatable views of Phoenix.

On a small sandstone hill in Papago Park is a distinctive geological formation known as the Hole in the Rock. This intriguing red mound is 6 to 15 million years old. Visit this incredible natural site, learn about its history and enjoy the view.

Notice the number of large holes in the rock. These are natural openings called tafoni and were most likely caused by the erosive action of water. Historians believe that the Hohokam, the prehistoric people of the Sonoran Desert, used the rock formation as a calendar. They are thought to have marked changing seasons by tracking the movement of sunlight on the floor as it passed through the holes.

Hike up to the rock via one of the paths. It only takes a few minutes, but be careful because it is quite steep and the rock underfoot is crumbly in places. One of the easiest routes is via the manmade steps on the eastern side of the hill. Between June and September, it is best to make this trek early in the morning to avoid the summer heat.

Once you are at the top, climb within the main chamber inside the rock where you will easily be able to stand at full height. Take advantage of the elevation to admire views of the park. In the distance, you can see western Phoenix and the mountains that tower above the city.

The Hole in the Rock is located on the east side of Papago Park, close to the main entrance. Just follow the signs. The 1,500-acre (600-hectare) park is approximately 7 miles (11 kilometers) east of downtown Phoenix. There is no public transportation access but on-site car parking is free. 

Papago Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and is free to enter. Explore the rest of the park during your visit. Catch trout in the Fishing Lagoon, make use of the picnic facilities and hike other interesting trails. While you are in Phoenix, enjoy more of its attractions, including the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden.


Map

Lodging Near Hole in the Rock

See all 3,031 properties near Hole in the Rock

Estimated price for 1 night/2 adults

3 Palms

3 Palms

7707 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
    3.5 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Big Surf, Desert Botanical Garden, and Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical ...

    3 PalmsAU$77

    30 Jul - 31 Jul

    Ramada by Wyndham Tempe Near ASU

    Ramada by Wyndham Tempe Near ASU

    1635 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ
      2.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arboretum at Arizona State University and Tempe Town Lake. Sun Devil Stadium and Arizona State ...

      Ramada by Wyndham Tempe Near ASUAU$78

      29 Jul - 30 Jul

      Tempe Mission Palms - Destination Hotels & Resorts

      Tempe Mission Palms - Destination Hotels & Resorts

      60 E 5th Street, Tempe, AZ
        3.5 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in the heart of Tempe, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Arboretum at Arizona State University and Mill Avenue District. Sun Devil Stadium and Arizona ...

        Tempe Mission Palms - Destination Hotels & ResortsAU$142

        1 Aug - 2 Aug

        Red Lion Inn & Suites Phoenix Tempe

        Red Lion Inn & Suites Phoenix Tempe

        1429 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ
          2.5 out of 5.0
           
           

          Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arboretum at Arizona State University and Tempe Town Lake. Sun Devil Stadium and Papago Park are ...

          Red Lion Inn & Suites Phoenix TempeAU$100

          31 Jul - 1 Aug

          3BR Home Papago Park by WanderJaunt

          3BR Home Papago Park by WanderJaunt

          6744 E Moreland St, Scottsdale, AZ
            4.0 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in South Scottsdale, this apartment building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Desert Botanical Garden, Old Town, and Phoenix Zoo. Papago Park and Tempe Town ...

            Hotel Bixby Scottsdale

            Hotel Bixby Scottsdale

            409 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
              3.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in South Scottsdale, this golf hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Tempe Town Lake Marina, Papago Park, and Tempe Town Lake. Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical ...

              Hotel Bixby ScottsdaleAU$87

              21 Jul - 22 Jul

              SLS Old Town Diamond Private Renovated Home - Free Heated Pool, Spa, Fire Pitt

              SLS Old Town Diamond Private Renovated Home - Free Heated Pool, Spa, Fire Pitt

              6913 East Diamond Street, Scottsdale, AZ
                4.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in South Scottsdale, this vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Desert Botanical Garden, Old Town, and Papago Park. Phoenix Zoo and Tempe Town Lake ...