Hole in the Rock (Arizona)

Papago Park, located just a few minutes north of downtown Phoenix, features gorgeous Miocene sandstone formations and buttes, one of which is Hole in the Rock.

As its name connotes, Hole in the Rock is known for its series of erosional openings and windows. The formation itself is composed of conglomeritic sandstone (individual clasts can be seen in the bottom photo).

While the front face is quite steep, a gentle trail winds around the back and up toward the main chamber where visitors are provided with sweeping vistas of the Phoenix valley.

In addition to its geologic significance, Hole in the Rock also has an archaeological history. The ancient Hohokam–who inhabited this region of Arizona from the beginning of the common era to the 15th century–are evidenced to have used Hole in the Rock as a seasonal calendar by recording the position of sunlight coming through the upper opening.

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