10 Favorite Oddball Landmarks in Phoenix
Perhaps one of the wisest things L. Ron Hubbard ever said was, "If you want to make a little money, write a book. If you want to make a lot of money, create a religion."
Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was definitely onto something there (although we can't vouch for the quality of his science fiction novels). We'd be interested to hear the late Hubbard's take on how to make a residence into a religious mecca, especially considering all the hubbub surrounding Hubbard's old house near Camelback Mountain.
Hubbard moved into the house, located on 44th Street just north of Stanford Drive, in March of 1952. While there, he founded Scientology (the first organization was the Hubbard Association of Scientologists) and authored his first five books on the then-new religion. More ...
3. The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch just might be the coolest place in Gilbert. This idyllic, 110-acre preserve sits in the heart of the city, providing both a home for wildlife and a source of renewable water for the town.
Located next to a big library, the preserve is several yards from the street and easy to pass on Guadalupe Road. But it's worth the turn-around. Even a quick walk through the preserve reveals of a plethora of different birds, bugs, and flora. There are plenty of people around during the day, too, hiking the nature trails and fishing in the well-stocked lake. More ...
2. Hohokam Petroglyphs at South Mountain Park
It's hard to say what remnants of metropolitan Phoenix will remain a thousand years from now, but it's easy to see remnants of what was in the Valley a thousand years ago. There are numerous prehistoric petroglyphs carved into the rocks across the sprawling, 1600-plus acre South Mountain Park.
These petroglyphs were tapped and pecked into the stone by the Hohokam people, who farmed around the Gila River and Salt Valley from around 1 A.D. to A.D. 1450. Like the petroglyphs themselves, the Hohokam are something of a mystery. Their name means "those who have gone," and at some point, scholars say, they simply vanished.
The designs they left carved into the rock faces across South Mountain Park depict animals, hunters, and abstract images that could symbolize the elements. The Pima Indians consider the Hohokam petroglyphs to have spiritual significance, but the true original purpose of the rock art is unknown. More ...