An aerial view of Piestewa Park

Piestewa Peak

Located in the heart of the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas, is Piestewa Peak. Piestewa Peak’s Summit Trail is one of the most heavily used hiking trails in the United States. Even with the crowds, this is a must do for any moderately experienced hiker.

Originally known as Squaw Peak, Squaw Tit Peak, Phoenix Mountain and Vinom Do’ag (its Pima name), Piestewa Peak was renamed for Lori Piestewa, who was a member of the Hopi Indian Tribe. She was the first Native American woman in history to die in combat while serving in the U.S. Military, and the first woman serving in the U.S. Military to die in the Iraq War.

Enjoy Challenging Hikes at Piestewa Peak

The Piestewa Peak Summit Trail is roughly 1.2 miles one way. The easy to moderate lower part of the trail soon becomes steeper and more difficult. Inexperienced hikers can hike the lower portions of the trail, then turn back. But not to worry, views are spectacular from all points on the trail.

The Peak itself is 2,680 feet high, second only to nearby Camelback Mountain. Piestewa Peak is part of the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area. This area along with the adjacent Dreamy Draw Recreation Area act as entrances to the surrounding desert, with miles of desert trails and approximately fifteen miles of interconnecting trails. If the Piestewa Peak Summit Trail is too crowded for you, there are many other trails, of varying difficulties, in these parks to choose from.

Piestewa Peak in Phoenix is known for its abundance of colorful wildflowers that bloom in early spring but is also home to the typical lower Sonoran Desert flora and desert wildlife. Almost all varieties of Arizona cacti can be found here, as well as mesquite, desert lavender and giant sage trees. And you can be on the lookout for many varieties of snakes and lizards including the western diamondback. Also, on hand are coyotes, bobcats, kit fox, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, hawks, turkey vultures and Gambel’s quail.

The best time of year to walk, hike or run Piestewa Peak in Phoenix is from October through March. The trail is open daily from 5am to 11pm. You can find the peak at 2800 East Squaw Peak Drive in Phoenix. And because of its location, it is close to all the Phoenix and Scottsdale attractions you could possibly need to fill your time. Indoor or outdoor, you will be able to find something worth doing nearby. Another plus is that all the great Phoenix and Scottsdale restaurants and bars are close too!

Take a Break with Parsons Villas

Return from long hikes and scenic views to an equally beautiful villa from Parsons Villas. Contact us today to book your stay!

People hiking the Hayden Butte Preserve

Hayden Butte Preserve

An urban park with fabulous views, the Hayden Butte Preserve is located at East Rio Salado Parkway and South Mill Avenue overlooking Tempe, Arizona. The butte has a long history, from its historic connections with local Native Americans to more current ties to Arizona State University.

Scenic Views from Hayden Butte Preserve

Over 500 petroglyphs made by the prehistoric Hohokam (the Four Southern Tribes of Arizona) between A.D. 750 and 1450 remain today. The Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community considers Hayden Butte as a sacred site. The butte was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 2011.

Locally known as ‘A’ mountain in Tempe, an ‘A’ appeared (for Arizona State University) in 1938. A new steel and concrete ‘A’, measuring over 60-inches top to bottom, was built in 1955 after vandals destroyed the previous letter. The ASU Sun Devil Stadium sits in the ‘saddle’ between the butte’s two peaks. One side of the butte had to be partially removed for the stadium.

Because it is now a preserve, hikers need to keep to the trails. There are several trails and you can hike up to the “A” or continue to the top. The closer to the top, the steeper the climb. But there are plenty of side paths and benches for taking a break and taking in the amazing views of the city. This is a short but very popular hiking trail. The trail is 0.9 miles one way, and it’s an out-and-back route (really an up-and-down route), with an elevation gain of 278 feet.

Once you have climbed the butte, there are still many things in Tempe to occupy your time, many located within a mile from the butte. Here are several very nearby things to consider.

If you want to climb instead of hike, go on over to the Phoenix Rock Gym. Bring your own gear or rent some. With over 17,000 square feet of climbing surface and 30-foot walls, this is the perfect place to practice your rock-climbing skills. If you want to continue hiking, Papago Park and South Mountain Preserve are a little farther away, but still within a few miles of Hayden Butte Preserve, and offer many trails of varying difficulty, all with amazing views.

The Tempe Marketplace is a destination spot for both locals and visitors alike and is within a mile of the butte. With over 1.3 million square feet of space and over 100 stores, restaurants and bars, you will be able to get some indoor hiking done. Or visit a distillery or brewery. There are several located within a mile from the butte – Adventure Stills, Four Peaks and the Sleepy Dog Brewing Company just to name a few.

Climbing the ‘A’ mountain in Tempe is one of those things you need to do when you visit Tempe. Try the climb in the early morning and watch the sun rise over Tempe and the surrounding areas. A great memory well-worth the climb.

Comfortable Accommodations from Parsons Villas

Once you have tired yourself out visiting Hayden Butte, return home to a comfortable villa from Parsons Villas. Contact us to book today!

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Bridge crossing over Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake is in the heart of downtown Tempe. A man-made reservoir, constructed in 1999 where the Salt River and the Indian Bend Wash come together, the lake gets most of its water from the Colorado River. The lake is separated from the two (frequently dry) rivers by inflatable, flexible, rubber dams. Not just a tourist attraction or recreational facility, the lake also provides flood protection for the city and has helped boost the economy of the area.

Fun in the Sun at Tempe Town Lake

Since the lake’s construction, Tempe has built several parks and entertainment facilities along the shores. The Tempe Center for the Arts, the Tempe Lake Marina, the Veteran’s Memorial, and amphitheater are a few of the city constructed amenities. Splash Playground, a one-acre playground, is a great way for kids to have fun at the lake – water is kept flowing across the playground (just a few inches deep), then filtered, cleaned and recycled. There is a baseball field, and the amphitheater can seat 5,000 people.

The Tempe Town Lake Marina is home to sailing clubs – including the Arizona State University Sailing Club and the Arizona Yacht Club – as well as private boat owners. And several rowing clubs use the lake for practice. And it’s always great fun to watch the outrigger clubs practice.

Paddleboard, kayak, pontoon boat – all ways to spend your time out on the lake. You can bring your own board or boat or rent what you need at Tempe Town Lake Boat Rentals or Riverbound Sports. This Tempe lake is stocked regularly with rainbow trout during the winter months for your fishing enjoyment. And catfish, largemouth bass, yellow bass, tilapia, and bluegill abound in the lake naturally. Just remember to get that fishing license first – do it the easy way – online.

Wide paths have also been added, encircling the lake, and you will see people jogging, walking, biking, and roller-skating at any and all times of the day. If you didn’t bring your bike with you, not to worry, there are several bike rental centers in the city. Benches and seating areas abound, so you can sit for a spell, and just watch.

Things are happening all year round at Tempe Town Lake, from festivals to marathons. Some of the annual events include the Fiesta Bowl New Year’s Eve Block Party, the Tempe Festival of the Arts, the Rock’n’Roll Marathon Arizona, IRONMAN Arizona, Oktoberfest, the city’s Fourth of July fireworks and the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade.

But if you are still looking for things to do around the lake, it will be easy. The lake is in the heart of Tempe, so you are minutes away from everything. Stroll through the downtown Tempe area, with all its attractions, shops, bars and restaurants. And the Tempe Center for the Arts is right on the lake and offers a free Gallery along with their year-round theater and musical programs.

Once all the fun is done, return to a fantastic villa from Parsons Villas. Contact us to book today!

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Tom’s Thumb Trail

Welcome To Tom’s Thumb Trail

Scottsdale is a bustling oasis in the desert. There are so many reason tourists like to visit this beautiful city, but for hikers, there’s a very good reason to go there. It’s called Tom’s Thumb Trail. Named after a local rock climber, Tom Kreuser, this famous trail near Scottsdale got hikers’ attention because it’s heavily trafficked, has great rock formations, and has an unusually smooth surface. The 4-miles long trail is one of the oldest trails on the north side of the McDowell Mountains. It is the setting for beautiful wild flowers, offers several activities, and you can even take your dog with you. Just remember to keep your dog leashed.

Before You Start

Tom’s Thumb Trail doesn’t have water. So make sure you stock on water as you climb this trail. It’s also a great idea if you know how to stay cool in Scottsdale as well. For an average person bring 2-3 liters of water with you. You’ll take a few breaks during your climb, especially during the middle part and without water, you risk dehydration and seeing stars. If you’re bringing your dog, bring water rations for them too, and make sure they are leashed.

Moderate Trail

As on the greatest hikes this side of Arizona, you can access Tom’s Thumb Trailhead from the trailhead off North 128th Street. Take your time there to get enough information and food from the several kiosks and restaurants there. Make sure you get an idea of the geology, flora, and fauna of the trail before you start. The first part of the trail is rather moderate. You’ll see some desert flora ranging from ancient saguaros to yellow-tinted cholla. But halfway through the first mile, the ground starts to rise sharply. It’s a rather steep climb that will take you to the ridge line. Make sure you take a break every now and then and hydrate.

Getting to the Top

As you continue your hike pay attention to the traffic. You’ll meet blind corners and mountain bikers coming down at top speed. So make sure you use your ears to pick the whirring sound of the bike to alert you beforehand.The last part of the trail turns into an easy hike once you’ve reached the ridge. Weave your way between huge boulders and pay attention to the road signs in order not to lose your way. Once you’ve reached the top of the trail you’ll be met by the sight of mountain climbers using conventional climbing gear in the fashion of Tom Kreuser himself. Now you can find a scenic view and use it as a backdrop to enjoy a well-deserved snack and rest. Tom Thumb’s Trailhead is a 1.4 billion years old route through boulders, desert flora, and fauna, and leads to great scenic views. Call us today to book a vacation rental in Scottsdale.

Arizona Outdoor Fun

Arizona Outdoor Fun
You do not need to find anything particularly fancy to do in order to find joy and value in an Arizona vacation. Endless natural beauty paired with a unique and bustling community ensure that there is fun around every corner. But people from out of town and even some Arizona locals often have trouble finding the very best way to take advantage of this incredible place. Well, Arizona Outdoor Fun is taking all of the work out of it for you, so you can focus solely on fun in the form of tours, equipment rentals, and so much more!

Unparalleled Services
There are many ways to find a fun day with Arizona Outdoor Fun, but the most popular is definitely in their guided tours in the beautiful wilderness of the Bradshaw Mountains. These tours allow you to be the driver of a top of the line ATV (single passenger) or UTV (up to 4 passenger) vehicle. This experience brings the thrill of tearing through some very fun landscape with the benefit of seeing some incredible natural beauty that you would not experience without a knowledgeable tour guide. You can find opportunities for 2-hour tours up to 4-hour excursions where you can choose what you encounter; see everything from Native American Ruins to some of the desert’s most beautiful natural qualities.

You can also pair this tour experience with one of Arizona Outdoor Fun’s other popular services, shooting. You will find a shooting experience unlike any other at this private gun range in the desert, all under the supervision of a certified NRA member. Safety is the main goal here, so each experience starts with education on how to use these weapons safely, after which you get to use 9 mm handguns, AK-47s, and AR-15s! If you do not want to take a guided tour, then you can just stop and rent some of the top of the line gear from ATVs and UTVs to dirt bikes and more.
Regardless of how you choose to take advantage of their many offerings, you can be sure that you will enjoy amazing customer service. This is because everything at Arizona Outdoor Fun begins and ends in providing a fun and safe experience where everyone is welcome.

There are endless ways to enjoy an Arizona vacation, but getting out into this one of a kind wilderness with some fun toys is far and away the best way to make it a vacation that you will never forget. You can start your adventure north of Phoenix at 35972 S Old Black Canyon Highway or direct questions to a friendly staff by calling (602) 400-2445 or email them at Visit them online at

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Landscape like that at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

There is no natural beauty quite like the haunting and mystical beauty of the Arizona desert. No trip to the state would be complete with out a hike or bike ride through the desert. If you want to avoid the tourists at the Grand Canyon, you may want to check out Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The area contains 30,000 acers of desert land and provides a more secluded getaway than some of the other natural attractions in Arizona. The preserve has an interesting history and terrain and there are some fantastic hiking trails.

The History

The conservatory, which is located outside of Scottsdale, was established in 1991; in 1996, they began a trail building program as well as a program which trains volunteer stewards. The conservatory was integral in the year 2000s movement to strengthen the laws protecting Arizona’s public trust lands, and by 2004 it had become one of the largest urban preserves in the country. Today, the area has many hiking, biking, and horse trails and over 500 stewards. It has become a center for wildlife study and research.


McDowell Sonoran Preserve contains an impressive 160 miles of hiking trails making it the perfect way to see some scenery and get some exercise to boot. There are seven trails in the area each of them offers its own unique scenery and a different level of difficulty.

Lost Dog Wash Trail offers a short and easy hike for both children and adults to enjoy. It has a natural desert dry wash where the foliage attracts much desert wildlife.

The Sunrise Trail is a switchback that offers a view of both the upper and lower canyon. It is quite steep and provides an excellent cardio vascular work out.

Ringtail Trail is a 2.4-mile loop where you will see some breathtaking views and wildflowers. You can also see the remnants of tools that were used by early man.

If you like a little education with your exercise, you may want to try the Brown’s Ranch Trail, which has an interpretive exhibit about the history of the area. The trail is three miles long and has a gentle 100-foot elevation.

Accommodations Near the Sonoran Preserve

After a long, hot day of hiking the Sonoran Preserve, you will want to relax and unwind in your very own air-conditioned getaway. We would love to help you find the perfect vacation home at Parsons Villas. Call us at 480-781-0717 or visit our website today.

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Arizona Outback Adventures

Explore Arizona with Arizona Outback Adventures

Specializing in day tours throughout the Phoenix and Scottsdale metro area, as well as multi-day guided tours exploring the natural beauty of the Arizona desert, Arizona Outback Adventures is the perfect company to book for your next adventure! Whether you want to bike around the city for a few hours, or hike through the Grand Canyon over the course of several days, Arizona Outback Adventures has the tour for you at a surprisingly affordable price!

In-Town Tours

Want to have an adventure close to the city? You can rent bicycles from AOA to bike around town among the many bike paths around the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. They also have guided half-day tours of the McDowell Mountains that surround the city, that can accommodate beginners or expert mountain bikers. Not feeling a guided tour? AOA also has pre-planned multi-day road bike tours that have everything planned in advance and allow you to go at your own pace!

Why Choose AOA?

Arizona Outdoor Adventures is the perfect company to book your next outdoor tour with, for several reasons! They offer a wide variety of services, from bicycle rentals, backpacking, camping, hiking, rafting, and more! During their multi-day tours, they have comfortable accommodations, even while in the wilderness, and their menu of food options are healthy, fresh, and can be catered to any dietary restrictions. Above all else, they have experienced and professional tour guides that give an educational and fun experience while on your tour!

Adventure Awaits

For those looking to get out and truly explore Arizona, AOA offers some amazing tours. You can backpack through the Grand Canyon, hike through the beautiful Havasu Falls, raft or paddle board in the Colorado River, and more! Whether you want a half day or a whole week to explore nature, Arizona Outback Adventures offers the tour that is perfect for you!

After a day of having adventures in Scottsdale, make sure to book one of our vacation rentals!

Pink Jeep Tours

Have an Adventure with Pink Jeep Tours

Those looking to have an adventure, perhaps go a little off the beaten path, will love the adventure and fun of a tour with Pink Jeep Tours. Pink Jeep Tours, and the iconic pink Jeeps that have made the company famous, offers tours around Arizona and Las Vegas. Whether you’d like an off-road adventure or a pleasant scenic tour, see some of the beautiful sites in the Southwest with Pink Jeep Tours!

Book your Next Group Event

Pink Jeep Tours are the perfect activity for family reunions, team building events, or even youth groups! Pink Jeep’s tour guides are professional and experienced, and can tailor their tours to accommodate your group’s interests. The best part is, Pink Jeep Tours are fun for any budget, with tours starting at under $100 per person. There is also special pricing available for large groups of over 20, so the more the merrier with Pink Jeep Tours!

Grand Canyon and Sedona Tours

Grand Canyon National Park and the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona are some of the most naturally stunning places in the world. What could be better than exploring one of the 7 natural wonder of the world from an open air jeep? Tours range in time from 2 hours up to a half day of activities and adventure! Tours of the Grand Canyon touch on the geological history of the area, as well as the Native Americans that once lived there. Sedona tours range from relaxing scenic tours, to off roading fun, and exploring the ancient ruins surrounding the area.

Whether you are looking for a some extra fun on your next vacation, or planning a fun group event, Pink Jeep Tours are an excellent way to get out and explore! Contact us today to learn more about these tours, or check out our rentals! We can’t wait to see you here in Arizona!


After a day of going on fun tours, make sure to book one of our vacation rentals to fully enjoy your stay here!

Rainbow Ryders

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride with Rainbow Ryders

Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Company has been one of the best and most reliable hot air balloon companies in the country for nearly 35 years! Rainbow Ryders operates in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico and have been designated as the official hot air balloon ride provider for the New Mexico Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta since 1999. No one is more trusted or more experienced than Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Company!

Rainbow Ryders Puts Safety First

Rainbow Ryders makes safety their top priority, and they have maintained an impeccable safety record throughout their 35 years of experience. Their pilots have flown a combined 35,000 hours and carried more than 250,000 passengers! Rainbow Ryders is fully licensed and insured, and are a member of Professional Ride Operators a division of the Balloon Federation of America. This organization adheres to strict safety standards and procedures, making Rainbow Ryders the best choice in hot air balloon safety.

Sunrise and Sunset Tours

Every day of the year, Rainbow Ryders offers sunrise tours of the beautiful Phoenix desert. Float above the beautiful Deer Valley scenery and take in the breathtaking views! If early morning tours aren’t for you, then book a sunset tour instead! From November 1st through March 31st, Rainbow Ryders offers sunset tours as well for equally breathtaking views.

Book a Private Tour or Give a Great Gift!

Book a private balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders for an unforgettable activity like no other! Perfect for fun with friends, or a corporate get-together, but also a great date idea. Take your date to the next level with a romantic balloon ride and find out why it was voted one of the top 5 places to propose! There are also gift certificates available for balloon tours, which make a thoughtful and fun gift!

A hot air balloon ride is the experience of a lifetime, and Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Company is the best in safety, experience, and fun! Contact Parsons Villas today for more information about attractions in Arizona, or book our rentals today!


Arizona Outdoor Fun Adventures and Tours

Explore Arizona With an Outdoor Tour

One of the truly great things about an Arizona vacation is the many opportunities for fun, excitement, and adventures that the vacationer can experience. Because we have an average of 299 sunny days each year in the Phoenix metropolitan area, a large portion of those adventures are outdoors. No one wants to be cooped up inside when the sun is shining outside!

The people at Arizona Outdoor Fun Adventures and Tours understand this and offer you the chance to make this vacation one that is unforgettable! Offering ATV/UTV tours, Ride and Shoot adventures, team-building fun, and the opportunity to rent an off-road vehicle of your choice to play on your own, your Scottsdale vacation in a Parsons Villas vacation home promises to be the most exciting trip you’ve ever taken. Keep reading for more information!


Offering guided tours that last anywhere from two to four hours, you get to choose whether you want to be the master of your own single passenger ATV or multiple passenger UTV and ride your way to excitement through the Bradshaw Mountains. Beautiful views, Indian ruins, and ghost towns give the tour an exciting appeal that only can be found in the Southwest! Ride-along tours are also available- let a guide take the wheel for you, while you take in the sights!

Shooting Adventures

Whether you take a the three-hour Guided ATV/UTV Ride and Shoot or just a stand-alone shooting adventure, you will have the chance to try your aim with a variety of handguns, semi-automatics, or fully automatics. This Wild West-style adventure will keep that smile on your face long after the day has ended.

Team Building Activities

Co-workers that get along well will make your business more money, and the team building adventures offered through Arizona Outdoor Fun include a desert survival adventure, including challenges that test your ability to think under pressure and survive in the unforgiving desert.

Book Your Parsons Villas Vacation Home Today!

When the sun has set on your desert adventures, you can relax in peace and luxury in one of our sumptuous vacation rentals. Life is better when you vacation in Scottsdale!