Surprise Area Guide

Surprise, Arizona is one of Arizona’s fastest growing communities, with an estimated 96,000 residents. Up from 10,000 residents just 10 years ago, the town of Surprise has changed from a rural community to a full fledged suburb of Phoenix.

The Surprise city center is still taking shape. The campus includes a regional library, aquatic center, recreation center, and 37-acre park with a 5-acre fishing lake and a large playground. Eventually, the area will house a square-mile City Center which will include government buildings, museums, retail and restaurants. Also on tap is a $1.7 million recreation center and $1.5 million youth softball complex. Even with all these new amenities, the Surprise property tax rate ranks among the lowest in the state at .9101 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Real estate in Surprise, Arizona remains one of the best values in the Phoenix valley. The lack of freeway access to downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale (both are about a 50-60 minute drive from Surprise) has kept real estate prices down, but this thriving community is far from being remote. And commercial real estate is booming in Surprise, with new shopping, dining and office complexes in the works.

Home to the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers baseball spring training facilities, Surprise attracts many visitors during the spring season. Surprise is also home to some large retirement communities, including Sun City Grand.

White Tank Mountains

A quick drive from Surprise, the White Tank Mountains Regional Park offers great hiking trails designed around the villages of the Hohokam and Yavapai Indians. The White Tanks Mountains Regional Park is a great place to hike and catch a sunrise. The terrain is rugged and rare flash floods in the area can cause very heavy runoff that pour down chutes and ledges. The water eroded a series of depressions, or tanks, in the white granite rock below, thus giving the mountains their name.

Goat Camp Trail is one of those tracks that offers easy access and awesome views of Goat Canyon. Though you may not encounter any of the famous white tanks, you will encounter a great sunrise if you get going early enough. After paying the $5 to enter the park, grab a map and follow it to the trailhead. Parking isn’t usually a problem and restrooms are available. The first mile can be enjoyed by everyone, but after its intersection with the Bajada Trail, the hike becomes much narrower with a few dry wash crossings. For those who carry on, the trail continues along a wash where it eventually crosses over. Switchbacks take you up and, though challenging, the terrain can be dealt with for those who want to get a better view. Many hikers continue up to take advantage of the best seat in the house. At about 3,000 ft elevation and right off the trail is a huge boulder offering a free bench to take a breather and watch the sunrise.

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