Hayden Butte, also known as Tempe Butte, is a 1,500-foot tall mound of rock and dirt covered by desert shrubs, cacti, and history.
The Butte has been here for centuries, but human activity around the Butte began in the 1400s when the Hohokam settled the land. They left behind pottery, petroglyphs, and an extensive canal system.
Charles Trumbull Hayden ran freight wagons along the Santa Fe Trail from Missouri to New Mexico. In 1860 he traveled to Prescott and came across the Butte. Ten years later, he returned and laid claim to 160 acres, opened a ferry across the river, and a flour mill at the base of the Butte.
Tempe Butte is now a preserve owned by the city, with trails going to the top. At the top of the Butte, you can see for miles over the flat landscape. To the right of the Butte is the vast ASU football stadium, and south of that is the ASU campus. ASU also has a 60-foot golden letter “A” on the Butte, which gives it the name of “A” mountain. The Butte is iconic to the city and ASU. Locals have fought many times to keep the Butte intact and free from buildings. The Butte is a landmark that is important to Tempe’s history and is a part of ASU’s history as well.