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Pima Prickly Park Labyrinth

Under Construction

Types of Labyrinths

Labyrinths have appeared in different formats during their history of over 3,500 years. The theme of a single, winding path leading to a center that returns to the outside has been found in multiple variations in many cultures.


This is the initial format which appeared on coins and pottery in the area of Europe and Africa near the Mediterranean Sea. The “man in the maze” is a classical style labyrinth that is a symbol of the Tohono O’odham Indians belief in life, death, and life after death.


The Roman labyrinths were primarily mosaic pavement laid in the floors of bathhouses and homes of the wealthy for decorative purposes; they were too small to actually be walked upon.


The eleven-circuit design that is familiar to us today was developed in the ninth century. This popular pattern was constructed in several churches and cathedrals in Europe.


Labyrinths have renewed popularity in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as people seem to be striving to find a way to lead a more balanced, mindful, and productive lifestyle.

About the Pima Prickly Park Labyrinth

The labyrinth at Pima Prickly Park is a medieval-style pattern based on the labyrinth inside the Chartres Cathedral in France. That labyrinth was likely built in the early13th century and is constructed of limestone. Both of these labyrinths consist of 11 concentric circuits.

The labyrinth served as a safe metaphorical path of pilgrimage during the 13th century when the Crusades made traveling to sacred destinations too treacherous. Determined and creative, would-be pilgrims used the path within the safety of the church.

The labyrinth at Pima Prickly Park is constructed of a three- inch base of decomposed granite to provide a stable, porous surface. To provide an easy-to-navigate surface for visitors using wheelchairs, the paths are 30 inches wide and consist of an additional 2-1/2 inches of decomposed granite that is compacted and level with the pavers lining circuits.

The transformation of an unused, overlooked triangular-shaped tract of the park began in October 2022 when the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society approved the project and a study group was formed soon after. The path leading to the labyrinth and the labyrinth itself were constructed almost entirely by the members of the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society who volunteered their time, tools, creativity, and energy to make this project a reality. Concrete work at the top of the path and crosswalk painting were completed by the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation. NRPR also provided two of the benches.

You will likely notice sea glass and other small objects at the center of the labyrinth at Pima Prickly Park. These are offerings people have left to symbolize the letting go of something, an expression of appreciation or remembrance, or an acknowledgement of an intention.

The reasons for walking labyrinths have expanded to include self-discovery, healing, contemplation, revelation, relaxation, and other stress reduction- related exercises to quiet the mind during these often turbulent, fast-paced times of the twenty-first century.

The labyrinth and the path leading to it were completed in November 2023; the landscaping was completed in January 2024.

How to Walk a Labyrinth

Please note that there is not a right or wrong to walk a labyrinth. Try walking at a leisurely pace.

Labyrinth walking is a simple process: a person walks on the path that leads from the outside of the labyrinth to the center, and then back out, usually on the same path. The center of the labyrinth is always visible—there is no need to figure out how to get to the center, as with a maze. As a result, you can be free to have a mindful walk that calms both the body and the mind.

How to use a Tactile Labyrinth

Using your non-dominant hand, enter the labyrinth from the opening on the edge and trace until you reach the center. Then pause and take a deep breath, and trace back out to the edge again.

Tactile patterns can help one develop the sense of touch, clear and settle the mind, and experience calming, rhythmic movements.

The tactile labyrinth can improve a child’s ability to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions.

Fun Facts About the PPP Labyrinth


74 tons of gravel
3,700 pavers in the construction of the path and labyrinth 4,320 pounds of concrete mix
96 tons of decomposed granite
8 tons of riprap


74.5 feet in diameter
11 30-inch circuits and 7-foot center 1,137 feet from the mouth to the center

Plants for Pima Prickly Park Labyrinth Site


Prosopis velutina 5 gal (6) - velvet mesquite

Dasylirion wheeleri 3 gal (3) - desert spoon






Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society (TCSS)

PO Box 64759  -  Tucson, AZ 85728-4759   -   Phone: (520) 256-2447  -  Email:

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