Even in my younger days I was often interested in exploring, rather than just going with the crowd. Of course, I hiked up Squaw Peak (what is now called Piestewa Peak) several times. It's a great hike, and it's part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, so I recommend it. It's just north of the Biltmore, at about 24th Street and Lincoln. But I often took a different route, the one that went south on the foothills. I always enjoyed the view of the city from there, and of course, there was never anyone around. And there was a narrow concrete sidewalk to walk on, which interested me. I called it the Pink Sidewalk, as did most of the people who were familiar with it did.
My research about why exactly it was built, and by and for whom, has been inconclusive. I had always heard that it was built in the 1930s for William Wrigley, Jr. to walk his dog. It could have been built for the guests of the Biltmore to walk on. Of course when I last walked on it, in the 1980s, it was obviously long-abandoned, and I usually stopped where the ruins of the little dam was, which is private property nowadays, at where 29th Street ends, north of Lincoln.
|Location of the Arizona Biltmore in the 1920s. The Phoenix Mountains, and Squaw Peak, are in the background.|
When the Biltmore Hotel was new, the area north of it was just open trails. Lincoln Drive wasn't built through there until the 1960s, and guests of the Biltmore would go up into the foothills of Squaw Peak (where there are houses now) on horses. I don't know anything about horses, but I know that they don't need a narrow little sidewalk.
|Enjoying a trail ride on the foothills of Squaw Peak in the 1970s|
And the sidewalk was very narrow. And my best guess is that it was just ordinary concrete, and over the years the desert turned it kind of pink. Sidewalks tend to do that over time in Phoenix, you know.
Image at the top of this post: Looking north towards Squaw Peak (Piestewa Peak) over the Arizona Biltmore in the 1950s. Note the trails up into the hills just to the left. That's where the Pink Sidewalk was.
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