It’s Labor Day weekend and we were itching to get out off the house for some shutter clicking and hit up a Labor Day sunset for some color. So we clicked to Google Maps and started pouring over the mountain ranges around Phoenix, AZ to see what roads we could find up there. There are of course a million recommendations for each of the two car drive-able lookouts located on South Mountain. However the August monsoon this year has had it’s way with the roadway up there at the current moment. The South Mountain website shows it as closed currently without access to Summit Rd (as of 9/6/15). We’ll hopefully get up there a little later on. We kept on digging and ended up spending our early evening looking off the top of this instead.
The Estrella Star Tower is located less then 15 minutes from our driveway at the entrance to the “Estrella” community in the Sonoran Desert Valley.
Star Tower is a 50-foot spiral shaped observatory located at Estrella’s entrance. It was designed as a tribute to the area’s many historical stargazing cultures. Built “spiraled” to resemble the shape of the Milky Way constellation, and topped off with a rusted steel sail.
Estrella is a mixed-use master-planned community approximately 17 miles west of downtown Phoenix off the I-10 and Estrella Parkway in Goodyear, Arizona. It is a 20,000 acre lakeside community home to more than 12,000 residents ranging from young couples to retirees. Its design includes an abundance of parks, trails and open space, with three distinct communities – Mountain Ranch, Montecito and the gated, 55-Plus CantaMia with others planned for the future.
Photographing the Estrella Star Tower is quite the treat! The lighting design throughout the grounds and tower is lit for your enjoyment. We arrived not long before sunset on a Sunday afternoon, Labor Day weekend 2015. Watching the grounds change over from day to night provides amazing opportunities for timed exposure shots.
In fact there really are so many locations and great shots to be had, you can spend quite a few hours shooting the entire area. We certainly will be back many times, with this location so close in the backyard.