- Location and directions from ASU Tempe Campus
Tempe Butte is one of the interesting sites in Arizona Tempe, found in the city’s north end. It is also known as the Hayden Butte since it forms a part of the Hayden Butte Preserve. The peak, nicknamed “A” Mountain has been on the south slope of the peak since 1955. The letter emerged from the renaming if the ASU, which is an important community in the region (Stumpf 389). “A” Mountain is heavily trafficked, offering an out and back trail with scenic views for any interested person. The site is mainly used for trail running, hiking, and road biking and can be accessed throughout the year (AllTrails). “A” Mountain is located 0.9 miles from ASU Tempe Campus and only five minutes away through E 5th St and S Mill Ave (see fig. 1).
Fig. 1: Map of the direction to the “A” Mountain from ASU Tempe Campus. The screenshot was adopted from the Google map view of the Arizona Tempe showing the direction from ASU to the site.
Tempe Butte is situated on the southeast corner of Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue. It is one of the Arizona Tempe’s most famous outdoor spots with a rich history that the surrounding communities, especially ASU students can learn. It is a significant place for the people around the area and tourists who can easily visit it from Arizona Tempe (Stumpf 389). One can easily navigate to “A” Mountain from Arizona State University, Tempe Campus by heading west of E Veterans Way and going straight towards E 5th St, before turning right to S Mill Ave and right again onto E Rio Salado Pkwy. From Hayden Butte, one can have a beautiful view of Arizona Tempe (Arizona State University). People have easy access to the mountain from the ASU and the Arizona Tempe.
Arizona State University, being in proximity to Tempe Butte, has for a long time been involved with the site. Members of the community can easily walk or cycle to the mountain for recreation or learning purposes (Arizona State University). Many students have found interesting scenery on the mountain, a place they regularly visit.
- Reason Why this Place is Special
Tempe Butte is one of the most exciting sites in Arizona Tempe. It is an appealing outdoor area to have a fascinating view of the city (see fig. 2). The site is intriguing for hikers, runners, and bikers. The environment is appealing, and one can remain around for hours without experiencing boredom. In fact, it is a great place for relaxation. The site is also accessible to those seeking historical information and can learn from the ancient petroglyphs (City of Tempe, AZ). People enjoy the historic Hayden Butte and feel proud of the natural sceneries in Arizona.
Fig 2. ‘A’ Mountain at Hayden Butte, 2018, https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/a-mountain-at-hayden-butte. The photograph represents an appealing view of the city from the “A” mountain.
Besides the physical attractiveness of the site, it has cultural significance to communities in Arizona Tempe. Three communities, including Arizona State University students and alumni, the people of Tempe, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community draw considerable cultural significance from “A” Mountain. The mountain holds different meanings for the members of those communities. For example, the place is considered sacred by some of the adjacent communities because of the cultural value and human history it holds (City of Tempe, AZ). For instance, the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community have for a long time considered “A” Mountain a sacred area and connect it to the lives of their forefathers. They hold it in high esteem and desire its protection from damage since it would destroy the important connection.
Tempe Butte has a long history as home to Native Americans. As a result, these individuals attach a lot of meaning to this area and pay homage to it. The ASU has a lot to learn from “A” Mountain (Hayden Butte Preserve) and should strive to protect it for the future generations of students and members of the other communities (Elvidge 108). The site is dear to many people in the Arizona Tempe. The students from the university were involved with the mountain for the very first time in 1917 when Tempe Normal School’ students held the Lantern Walk, what has come to be known as ASU (City of Tempe, AZ). The festival entailed the passing of a torch from the first year to the second year students.
Large letters are engraved into the mountain by the college community to represent the historical transitioning of the institution. A large “N” was the initial letter on Tempe-Hayden Butte and was installed by the Class of 1918. The “N” became a “T” in 1925 when the institution was renamed to Tempe State Teachers College (Arizona State University). Notably, the letter “A” first appeared in 1938 (see fig. 3). A new “A” was built in 1955 to represent the renaming of the college to Arizona State University. The “A” that measures 60 feet from base to top is reinforced with steel and concrete.
Fig. 3: “A” Mountain, 2018, https://tours.asu.edu/tempe/a-mountain
The image shows the engraved golden “A” on Tempe Butte which the ASU students take pride in and seeks to protect.
The ASU community guards the gold “A” from being damaged by the U of A students. The high chance of painting and damaging of the letter might occur during the week, leading to the ASU vs. U of A football game. The protective community reveals how dear the monument is to the ASU community. The Student Alumni Association coordinates the efforts to protect the “A” (Arizona State University). Although the mountain, especially the petroglyphs, has been experiencing some damages from the hikers, the efforts by students and the community members ensure that they remain intact for the future generations.
The “A” Mountain holds a significant history of the community which is another reason for its being special. Hayden Butte was named after the founder of Tempe, Charles Trumbull Hayden. He is believed to have spearheaded the development of the site by opening a ferry service and a flour mill at the butte’s base during the 1800s (City of Tempe, AZ). He must have had a home on the western side of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway. Thus, just like many other inhabitants of the region at the time, he must have lived only a short distance from the mountain. Consequently, the Tempe Butte holds pleasant memories for many of the current inhabitants in the area.
Another important reason for selecting the site for the study is based on the importance of protecting it from further damage, especially from hikers. Although the location is an interesting place to spend time, the hikers can potentially damage it by leaving their trails behind (Elvidge 108). Thus, a comprehensive study of the site plays a significant role in promoting its preservation one the people of Arizona and visitors are aware of the potential damage.
- Two Selected Elements of Physical and Human Geography
|Components of Physical Geography||Components of Human Geography|
The two elements of physical and human geography reveal the physical geography around the mountain such as the desert terrain and the human geography, including the potential settlement by the Hohokam and their economic activity.
Hayden Butte is home for a considerable amount of artifacts that reveal a vibrant physical and human history. From the preserve, a visitor can learn about the formation of the mountain and the potential inhabitation for centuries when it was created. The preserve contains about 500 petroglyphs, or rock art images, that were possibly composed between A.D. 750 and 1450 by the Hohokam (City of Tempe, AZ). Fig. 4 shows an example of a rock art image seen in Hayden Butte. The individuals who made these artistic forms to communicate their history were the prehistoric inhabitants of the region, who also constructed irrigation canals in hundreds of miles and farmed corn as the primary crop. The petroglyphs reveal organized farming by the Hohokams potentially to have enough food to feed the community (Crown 223). Besides, they must have lived in numerous settlements both small and throughout the valley. The evidence further shows the precise organization of these people in the valley to form the communities.
Fig. 4: Hayden Butte Preserve Park/A Mountain, 2018, https://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/community-services/tempe-history-museum/tempe-history/hayden-butte-preserve-park-a-mountain. The figure shows an example of the numerous petroglyphs on the “A” Mountain
One such large Hohokam settlement was La Plaza that must have been created at the base of Hayden Butte. Archaeological excavators discovered many remnants of the settlement when preparing for the Fifth Street’s light rail and transportation center (Arizona State University). Although vital developments have been made in the region, the archeologists preserved some of the remnants of the Hohokam at the Hayden Butte preserve.
The ASU School community has always attached significant meaning to the mountain, which reveals an important transformation from Tempe Normal School to Tempe State Teachers College, and finally the ASU. Consequently, they have marked the mountain with special letters that represent the transformation. Another dominant feature in the area is ASU Sun Devil Stadium, which was designed by architect Ed Varney in 1958 (Arizona State University). The football stadium is designed in such a way that it fits the saddle between the butte’s two peaks. The construction led to the partial excavation of the east side of the butte.
- Additional Information of Interest
Hayden Butte is a park, declared so in 1973 by City of Tempe. For visitors, the 25-acre park provides an appealing view of the city and other surrounding regions, including Camelback Mountain, Papago Mountains, and Rio Salado or Salt River. Individuals visiting the park have the chance to take one of the numerous trails around the area to enjoy the scenery (City of Tempe, AZ). One of the famous trails at the park is Leonard Monti Trail, which borrows its name from the former Monti’s La Casa Vieja Restaurant’s founder (see fig. 5). The trail envelops, and includes in its footprint, Charles Trumbull Hayden’s former home. Visitors have the chance to visit any side of the mountain for entertainment and to learn about its rich human and geographical history.
Fig. 5: Jayden Butte Preserve, Leonard Monti Trail, Tempe, AZ, February 13, 2018 in Jayden Butte Preserve, Leonard Monti Trail, Tempe, AZ, https://pilotsdiscretion.com/14a-jayden-butte-preserve/
Arizona Tempe has designated the mountain as a preserve in 2002 due to its rich historical and cultural significance to the surrounding communities. The region is also rich in desert fauna and flora, making it more interesting. The future of the butte is worth protecting to maintain the critical connection with the past. Individuals interested in learning more about the site can easily access it from the Arizona Butte, especially from the ASU, Tempe Campus.
- Sources Used to Write this Assignment
“City of Tempe, AZ.” Hayden Butte Preserve Park/A Mountain. 2018. November 7, 2018. www.tempe.gov/city-hall/community-services/tempe-history-museum/tempe-history/hayden-butte-preserve-park-a-mountain. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
“City of Tempe, AZ.” Jayden Butte Preserve, Leonard Monti Trail, Tempe, AZ, February 13, 2018, https://pilotsdiscretion.com/14a-jayden-butte-preserve/. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
“The Impact of Global Warming in North America.” Global Warming: Early Signs. 1999. www.climatehotmap.org/. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
AllTrails. “A” Mountain at Hayden Butte. 2018. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/a-mountain-at-hayden-butte. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
Arizona State University. “A” Mountain, 2018. tours.asu.edu/tempe/a-mountain. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
Arizona State University. Sun Devil Stadium, 2018. https://tours.asu.edu/tempe/sun-devil-stadium. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
Crown, Patricia L. “The Hohokam of the American Southwest.” Journal of World Prehistory vol. 4, no.2, 1990, 223-255.
Elvidge, Christopher D., and Carleton B. Moore. “Restoration of Petroglyphs with Artificial Desert Varnish.” Studies in Conservation, vol. 25, no.3, 1980, 108-117.
Stumpf, Richard J., John Douglass, and Ronald I. Dorn. “Learning Desert Geomorphology virtually Versus in the Field.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education, vol. 32, no.3, 2008, 387-399.