Hayden Butte – A Mountain

After 30 years of living in Arizona, of which almost 20 have been spent in the Valley it was only appropriate to make the Hayden Butte also known as ‘A’ Mountain trek.


It’s a short but vertical hike.

  • Distance – 0.9 miles
  • Elevation – 282 feet
  • Rated – Easy (given I’m out of shape – Moderate) 🙂

The views are great! You can see downtown Phoenix to the West, South Mountain and the San Tans to the South, Superstitions and Four Peaks to the East and the McDowell Mountains to the North on any given clear day.



Hayden Flour Mill is a relic of our agricultural past, when Tempe was a small town surrounded by miles of farmland and anchored, economically, by the processing and marketing of grain, cotton, fruit, vegetable, and dairy products. Like the creamery complex on East 8th Street, Hayden Flour Mill ranked among the prominent agricultural industries in the Valley. It purchased most of the grain grown in Central Arizona and milled many of Arizona’s best known flours: Sifted Snow, Arizona Rose, and Family Kitchen among them.

As it stands today, the mill remains the oldest cast-in-place, reinforced concrete building in Tempe. Constructed in 1918, it replaced an earlier adobe mill lost to fire in 1917. This earlier mill, built in 1895, had itself replaced the original 1874 Hayden Flour Mill, also lost to fire. The current building was designed to be fire-proof; its architects and builders used techniques developed in the wake of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. The grain elevator and silos east of the mill were constructed in 1951 and remained the tallest structures in Tempe until 2007.

On April 1, 1998, Bay State Milling ceased milling operations at Hayden Flour Mill, ending the longest run of continuous use for an industrial building in the Valley.

Hohokam and Hayden Butte

Hayden Butte Preserve contains approximately 500 petroglyphs, or rock art images, that were made by the Rock art peopleHohokam some time between A.D. 750 and 1450. The Hohokam were the prehistoric inhabitants of this area. They built hundreds of miles of irrigation canals, cultivated corn as their main crop and lived in many settlements both large and small throughout the valley.

La Plaza was a large Hohokam settlement at the base of Hayden Butte. Many remnants of this settlement were discovered during archaeological excavations that were done in preparation for the light rail and transportation center on Fifth Street.

Today, the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community considers Hayden Butte to be a sacred place and a link to its ancestors.

With its gigantic reference to ASU, its long history as a home to Native Americans and its central location, A Mountain, officially named Hayden Butte Preserve Park, is dear to many.

Located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, Hayden Butte is one of Tempe’s most popular outdoor areas for exercise and a quick jaunt to take in a beautiful view.

The butte is culturally-significant to three communities: the people of Tempe, Arizona State University students and alumni, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Peas Out!


Photos: Are all taken by me.
History: City of Tempe

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