BEST UNOFFICIAL PAINTBALL PARK - 2005
Jomax Drive, west of Cave Creek Road, Phoenix
The dedicated pay-to-spray parks around the city all offer their own unique charms, bunkers and hiding spots. But these days the serious splatter-junkies stock up on their own paintball guns, paint, air and wear, and head out north of Phoenix on Cave Creek Road until just beyond the canal overpass, where a winding ride on a bumpy dirt path takes you to a somewhat forbidden (the paved stretch of Jomax is usually gated closed by highway patrollers) outdoor paradise for go-carters, ATV-ers, remote-control model-plane enthusiasts and, lately, paintballers. Here, amid nature's peerless assortment of rocks, hills, cactuses and the occasional manmade tire fortress, outlaw paintballers create their own version of the painted desert on a weekend basis. Just keep an eye out for Smokey.