Phoenix With Kids

An easy hike at Hole in the Rock in Phoenix, AZ

Hole in the Rock at Papago Park is a great hike in Phoenix.

Chris and Jana Tingom

One of our favorite short hikes in Phoenix.

One of our favorite things to do when friends visit from out of town, is to take them to Hole in the Rock. Hole in the Rock has a superb hike, offering splendid views of the valley, and it’s short enough that kids and seniors can hike it. We’ve taken kids of all ages, from 1-year-olds to teenagers, it’s a perfect hike and not that long of a hike. This is an outdoor activity, so more suited for early morning in the summer, or the winter months.

The hike is approximately 1/4 mile from the parking lot up to the hole in the rock. Longer hikes around the Papago park area are easily accessed after completing the hike to the Hole in the Rock.

Let’s chat about those other hikes for a moment, those other hikes include walking around for reservoir ponds that are beautiful and contain fish stocked by the Arizona game and fish department. Those lakes have been there since before World War II, and are a popular place to fish and relax.

Something else that you can do is hike to the pyramid that is a grave marker for one of Arizona’s previous governors. If you have lots of extra time, you can also visit the Phoenix Zoo, which neighbors, Papago Park. Also, nearby, is the Arizona desert botanical gardens. And the Arizona Desert Botanical Gardens are a wonderful place to take friends and family that are visiting from out of town, we’ve taken friends there in both wintertime and summertime. 

Take them to Papago Park for an early morning hike and watch the sunrise from atop the Hole in The Rock, or alternatively, go at sunset and watch the sunset. Then go to the Desert Botanical Gardens to, And see and learn about the desert plants native to Arizona. 

As a public park, Papago Park does not charge an entry fee, and parking is free. 

On the weekends, Papago Park can be fairly busy, but there is usually plenty of parking. 

Please be safe when you are hiking the Hole in the Rock. It is possible to climb up to the very top above the main cave area, and it is very dangerous. There have been known fatalities from people falling from the rocks. Be careful when it is wet outside as the rocks can be slippery.

Hole in the Rock at Papago Park


The location is just north of the Phoenix Zoo inside Papago Park in Phoenix. Hole in the Rock in Phoenix is huge and is a natural geological formation. If you’re a resident living in the Phoenix area, you must go here at least once! It only takes 10 minutes to get there from downtown Phoenix.

The path up the mountain is smooth and well-maintained. The path wraps around behind the mountain to the entrance to the cave. There are beautiful views of the Phoenix skyline from inside the cave.

Hole in the Rock in Arizona
Papago Park's Play Area

Things to do at Hole in the Rock in Phoenix

Papago Park also offers a nature trail and a simple but unique toddler playground. The kids loved the colorful snake outline! You can access both from the first parking lot option, as you start the one-way drive around the park. Or just meander from the main parking lot by Hole in the Rock. Restrooms are also nearby.

In addition, the park offers nature trails that are easy to walk and explore. There are 3 ponds that are stocked with fish which makes for excellent fishing. The ponds encompass about 6 acres. These ponds were a fish hatchery during the Great Depression and were revived in the 1980s.

Hole in the Rock with kids
Hole in the rock Phoenix, AZ
Can you go to Hole in the Rock at night?

Papago Park trails are open from 5am until 11pm. 

​Papago Park – East of Galvin Pkwy. (the location with Hole in the Rock hike): The parking and entrance hours are 5am to 7pm. This is located at 625 N. Galvin Pkwy.

Papago West Park – West of Galvin Pkwy. is open Sunrise to Sunset. This is located at 626 N. Galvin Pkwy.

Hole-in-the-Rock is a short, 0.25-mile out-and-back trail, accessible year-round.

Getting to Hole in the Rock in Phoenix:
Papago Park
625 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Parking is free and is located right next to the trailhead. Follow the signs.

Interested in more easy hikes for kids? Check out our articles about Dreamy Draw or Pinnacle Peak!

Or visit 6 Nature Areas to Visit in Phoenix.


  • Chris and Jana Tingom

    We live in Scottsdale, AZ and have three children, ages 10, 7 and 3. They are full of energy, and so we're always looking for new things to do. Come join our family adventures!

5 Responses

  1. This looks like an activity our 10 year old and 18 year old daughters both can enjoy — thanks!

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