We Take Open Space for Granted

One of the best things about living in metro Phoenix is that we can be in the center of a seemingly never ending city, but still be surrounded by the beauty of the desert at every turn.  There is a plethora of open space and people that care about preserving it.  One of the hidden gems that the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation department has been fighting to implement despite continued reduction in funding is the Maricopa Trail.  The trail runs throughout Maricopa County and connects nine of the counties parks.  The pathway will be over 240 miles and larger than Loops 101, 202 and 303 combined.  How about that for perspective?


  1. Oooh! Looks like part of it will pass really close to Red Mountain (Mt. McDowell)! Like, over the reservation! (I’ve always viewed that as mysterious and forbidden territory.)

  2. I love the wide open spaces around Phoenix. There’s plenty of wide open space in Kansas, where I lived before 2001, but it’s flat, processed, farmland. I know several people who do their damndest to keep have their travels across Kansas be at night and at speeds above 100mph.

    Arizona, on the other hand, is beautiful. I love the open desert, with it’s deep reds, oranges, and browns. I like to think it looks a lot like it did 100, 200 years ago. It’s awe inspiring and to be able to venture out into that is a truly special benefit to us living in the Phoenix area.

    I didn’t know about any of this trail, but I’m going to check it out that’s for sure.

  3. @Tyler,

    I will never understand what’s so special about “amber waves of grain” in the midwest. To me, it represents the mechanized commercialization of nature. The desert, meanwhile, remains rugged and untamed (at least until Del Webb gets his hands on it).

    Our national forests are something else. Everygreens reaching to the sky, casting shadows all around, and the smell of pine with every cool breeze, but in the desert, the Creosote smells of rain, even on the hottest days. It’s not hard to find yourself some place so quiet that your ears will ring.

    When I make the drive to LA, I never find the scenery boring. I scan the peaks and rock faces north and south of the I-10 and wonder, “Has anyone been there in the last 100 years? How many wild animals are within my field of vision, even if I can’t see them?”

    The desert is wild with life and I can’t get enough of it, personally.

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