On the Road

  • On the Road: The Big Game in the Old Pueblo

    The Big Game is Thursday night at 6. If you’re heading to Tucson to see the Cats beat down the Devils and retain the Territorial Cup (that’s right, I’m a Wildcats fan), here’s some travel tips for you.

    I haven’t been down to Tucson for several years but I checked in with some current and former Wildcats and got some recommendation on where to go when you’re near campus. I’m on good authority to recommend these places for dining and drinking (if you’re over 21 and responsible, of course) near campus:

    If you get there early enough in the day, Frog N Firken is a family-friendly English pub that was recommended to me as a place to get lunch. see more


    November 30, 2010 at 12:01 am

  • On the Road: Skiing and Snowmen

    I’m getting a bit ahead of myself blogging about skiing when there has been so little snow in the high country, but there are only a few posts left this semester and there are other posts planned. So bookmark this post, plan your trip early and keep an eye on the snow reports for Flagstaff and the White Mountains.

    While it may be 70 degrees and sunny here in the Valley, it’s much cooler in the high country and snow should be falling within the next several weeks. If you’re looking to hit the slopes, go tubing or just make snowmen, there are plenty of options here in the state.

    There are two main ski resorts in Arizona. One is Flagstaff’s Arizona Snowbowl. It’s the more convenient of the two resorts, as it’s less than three hours away from the Valley. There are four lifts servicing 32 trails that accompany a variety of skill levels. All-day passes will run you between $50-60 for a day and there are also seasonal passes available. They also offer lessons and equipment rental. see more


    November 16, 2010 at 12:01 am

  • On the Road: Pinnacle Peak Park

    It’s a short trip down the road this week to Pinnacle Peak Park in north Scottsdale, 27 miles north of Tempe campus.

    The Pinnacle Peak area is without a doubt one of the more scenic areas of the Phoenix metro area. Though the landscape of the area has changed dramatically over the past 10 to 20 years due to the ever-expanding residential areas, the 150-acre park still provides plenty of scenic views along its trail.

    The 1.75 mile trail is rated as moderately difficult with a smooth tread, according to the City of Scottsdale’s website. It’s not as difficult as the main trails at Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak here in town. see more


    November 2, 2010 at 12:21 am

  • On the Road: Fall Colors

    It seems most out-of-state students, and even a few natives, don’t think we have changing seasons here in Arizona. But believe it or not, the entire state is not ever-brown desert and sunny skies.

    Just a few hours outside of the Valley, there are various places you can find a chill in the air and leaves changing to the oranges, yellows and browns of fall. It’s been awhile since I’ve made any fall drives myself, but there are plenty of sources available if you’re looking to add some actual autumn to the season.

    AZCentral has a good travel guide here with three highlighted trips. If you’ve read any previous posts, you’d know I recommend the Oak Creek drive. see more


    October 26, 2010 at 12:01 am

  • On the Road: Boyce Thompson Arboretum

    I hit the road myself on Sunday and took a drive with my girlfriend to Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park in Superior. If you’re a fan of Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden, you’re likely to enjoy the arboretum.

    Located an hour east of the Tempe campus, the park is home to over 3,000 different types of plants and over 14,000 total individual plants representing various desert locales throughout the world. There are about three miles of trails and paths throughout the park that take you through 100 acres of natural areas.

    The park makes for a nice, leisurely stroll like the one we took Sunday. They also have various classes, events and guided tours scheduled throughout the year. The trails are easy to walk and mostly flat, but there are a few short sections that are steep. see more


    October 19, 2010 at 12:01 am

  • On the Road: Lost Dutchman State Park

    Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction has much to offer an outdoor enthusiast. Whether you enjoy hiking simple or more difficult trails, mountain biking, camping in the open desert or searching for legendary lost caches of gold, the park has something to fit your needs.

    Located 30 miles east of the Tempe campus, Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstition Mountains makes for a great escape from the city for several hours. Unlike the other hiking areas in the Valley I mentioned earlier in the semester, Lost Dutchman is more secluded with wide-open spaces.

    There are several hiking trails of varying difficulties at the park. There is a simple ¼ mile nature trail and three longer, moderately difficult trails along the base of the mountain. Mountain bikers can ride one of those trails, trail number 58, too. see more


    October 12, 2010 at 12:01 am

  • On the Road: Montezuma Castle

    If you’ve ever driven north on Interstate 17 toward Sedona or Flagstaff, you’ve likely noticed signs directing you toward Montezuma Castle National Monument near Camp Verde.

    I had seen them myself many times but never thought too much about it. I was more concerned with getting to my destination than stopping off for some sightseeing. Plus, being an Arizona native, I had seen plenty of pictures of the 1,000-year-old cliff dwellings and thought it was neat enough, but never thought it warranted going out of my way for a visit.

    However, my girlfriend and I decided to make the short detour on our way to Sedona about two years ago. We’re both glad we did because pictures don’t do the site justice. see more


    October 5, 2010 at 11:49 pm

  • On the Road: America’s Largest Ghost Town

    My friend and fellow ASU student Jesse German sized up the town of Jerome pretty well in a Facebook status update over the summer: “in jerome right now.. what a crazy little one horse town!”

    A crazy little one-horse town, indeed.

    It’s tough to describe Jerome. It’s certainly tough to describe it to a group of college students and convince them it’s worth the two-hour drive to get there from the Tempe campus. Driving a couple hours out of town, then up a winding 2-lane road road to an abandoned mining town on a hill in the desert may not sound like an ideal way to spend a day. But I assure you, Jerome is worth at least several hours of your life. see more


    September 29, 2010 at 11:55 pm

  • Hiking Around Town

    We aren’t going very far down the road this week. Instead, we’ll take a look at some places around town where you can escape into the desert without ever leaving the city. There are several places to hike through desert and mountains around the valley, and we’ll take a look at three of them here.

    Closest to Tempe campus is the nearly 17,000-acre South Mountain Park, arguably the world’s largest city park. There are several different points around town to access the park, but for ASU students coming from the Tempe campus, I’d recommend the Pima Canyon area which provides a number of trails of varying length and difficulty.

    To get to the Pima Canyon section from Tempe campus, head south on Rural Road, take a right on Guadalupe Road and head several miles west to Pointe Parkway. Turn left at Pointe Parkway, followed by a right on 48th Street and a quick left into the gates of Pima Canyon Road. see more


    September 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

  • Hiking Red Rock Country

    Sedona is without question one of the most scenic regions of the entire country and it happens to be only two hours away from the ASU Tempe campus. (Shuttle companies are available for students without a car.) I highly recommend all students get up there, even just for a day, before they leave ASU. There are few better places to go when you need to take a break and unwind from the stresses of school.

    With as much as there is to see and do in Sedona, this is unlikely the only blog post I’ll write on the area this semester. In this post, I’ll focus on some great hiking trails and recreation areas in the red rocks.

    There are two places I usually go when I’m up there: Red Rock State Park and Bell Rock Pathway. see more


    September 12, 2010 at 10:44 pm