Best Dog Park, East Valley Phoenix 2013 - Mitchell Park
At Mitchell, the large leash-free park near Arizona State University, the pet-watching is good and the people-watching even better. The 30-something girl who looks like a hip barista but actually is a post-grad in water science. The amiable drunk who feels compelled to guess the original pedigree of every mutt he meets. Don't get us wrong, though — most folks who go there are friendly and fairly normal. It's just that Mitchell, located just off University Drive, seems to have a wider variety of humanity than, for example, the much larger dog park at the Hardy Sports Complex in south Tempe, which attracts more family types and elderly people. Best of all, the park feels secure and it's kept up nicely by city employees. And those people we mentioned? They're very good about cleaning up after their dogs.