The Complete Guide to Arizona Spring Training (Cactus League)

Everything you need to know if you’re headed to the Valley of the Sun for baseball spring training and other activities

Are you a baseball fan who is craving a warm weather getaway? Then you need to check out spring training in Arizona—aka, the Cactus League.

A spring training trip is the perfect excuse to watch your favorite baseball team play a few no-stress games all while enjoying an amazing RV road trip somewhere warm and sunny while you’re at it. Sounds pretty awesome, right?

It’s every baseball lover’s dream and this Complete Guide to Arizona Baseball Spring Training will help you plan the perfect getaway to sunny Phoenix without a hitch.

Are you ready to get started? Keep reading for all my helpful tips!

Phoenix © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

About the Cactus League

During spring training, Major League Baseball (MLB) teams hold a series of practices and exhibition games which allows them to try out new players and practice existing players before the regular season starts.

The Cactus League is one of two spring training leagues (the other is the Grapefruit League in Florida) that are home to the MLB during the baseball spring training season.

Phoenix and the cities in its metropolitan area (Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Goodyear, Glendale, Surprise, and Peoria) are home to the Cactus League. Within a 50-mile radius, you’ll find 10 facilities that host 15 major league baseball teams during spring training which typically runs mid-February through March (February 22-March 26, 2024).

Papago Park, Phoenix © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

15 teams across 10 stadiums

American Family Fields of Phoenix

Location: 3600 N. 51st Street, Phoenix

American Family Fields of Phoenix is the spring training home to the Milwaukee Brewers. They were formerly known as Maryvale Baseball Park the facility is owned and operated by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. The facility can hold up to 10,000 people.

Camelback Ranch-Glendale

Location: 10710 W. Camelback Road, Glendale

A state-of-the-art baseball facility like no other, Camelback Ranch-Glendale celebrates its eleventh season as Spring Training home of the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. This Sonoran Desert-inspired facility offers baseball fans more than top-quality playing fields and facilities; the site also features picturesque walking trails, landscaped grounds, citrus groves, and extensive water features. One of the largest facilities in the Cactus League, Camelback Ranch-Glendale’s main stadium boasts a capacity of 13,000 which includes 3,000 lawn seats, 12 luxury suites, and a party deck.

Goodyear Ballpark

Location: 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear

Goodyear Ballpark is the spring training and player development home of the Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds. A great deal of emphasis is put on the fan experience—guests enjoy a fun atmosphere with between-inning promotions, giveaways, kids’ days, family-friendly ticket pricing, and the largest kids zone of all Cactus League facilities.

Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hohokam Stadium

Location: 1235 N. Center Street, Mesa

Hohokam Stadium is the spring training baseball home of the Oakland Athletics. The venue puts fans near all the action and up close to their favorite players from the major leagues.

Peoria Sports Complex

Location: 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria

Peoria Sports Complex is a baseball complex and Spring Training Home of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. There are twelve practice fields around the main baseball stadium.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

Location: 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale

Salt River Fields, the Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, is the first Major League Baseball Spring Training facility built on American Indian land. The ballpark seats 11,000—7,000 fixed seats and 4,000 lawn seats—and features two large hospitality suites, the Pepsi Patio and Miller Lite Loft/American Airlines Deck for large groups and special events.

Scottsdale Stadium

Location: 7408 E. Osborn Road, Scottsdale

Scottsdale Stadium is the spring training home to the San Francisco Giants. The baseball field located near Old Town Scottsdale was designed by the owner of the Baltimore Orioles’ Camden Yards. The new stadium was built in 1992 and holds 12,000 people.

McDowell Mountains Regional Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sloan Park

Location: 2330 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Mesa

Sloan Park is the Spring Training home of the Chicago Cubs. Distinctive touches of Wrigley Field align nicely with 360 views and a convenient location in this 15,000-seat stadium. Sloan Park is conveniently located next to Riverview Park with playgrounds extraordinaire, splash pads, shaded picnic areas, and miles of accessible sidewalks.

Surprise Stadium

Location: 15930 N. Bullard Ave., Surprise

Surprise Stadium is located at the Surprise Recreation Campus athletic facility. The venue was opened in 2002 and is the spring training home to both the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. The stadium holds just over 10,000.

Tempe Diablo Stadium

Location: 2200 W. Alameda Drive, Tempe

With amazing views of the Buttes, Tempe Diablo Stadium is the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels.


The average high temperature in the Phoenix area in March ranges from 72 degrees at the end of February to 80 by the time March ends. In a typical spring training season many afternoons can get into the low to mid 80s which is quite comfortable given the low humidity. 

Pro tip: That low humidity means that once the sun goes down it can be a bit chilly at night. Light jackets or sweatshirts are useful to bring along if you’re going to sample the nightlife.

Papago Park, Phoenix © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Getting around Phoenix during spring training

No matter which teams/stadiums/games you come to Arizona to visit, you know you’ll need to get to Phoenix, find campgrounds and RV parks in the area and get to know the layout of the region. A car and a handy map and/or a reliable GPS are pretty much all you need to enjoy a Cactus League sojourn but here are a few handy tips.

It helps to think of Phoenix as the dividing line of a valley that is typically split geographically into two regions—the East Valley containing Tempe, Scottsdale, and Mesa among other suburbs, and the West Valley containing Glendale, Peoria, and Goodyear among others.

Only one team, the Brewers, trains in Phoenix proper and their complex in the Maryvale section of the city is closer to the West Valley than to the East.

Depending on which teams you wish to see most consider concentrating your search for an RV park or campground to one side or another (see recommendations below). However, count on a drive of 30-45 minutes minimum to cross over—something to consider if, say, you try to attend an afternoon game in the West Valley and then head over to an evening game in the East Valley.

For reference, Surprise Stadium and Hohokam Stadium are the two venues with the most distance between them at just less than 40 miles.

Get to know Loop 101, the freeway that connects both valleys as it carves a giant inverted U through the region. Not only is it an alternative to driving through a crowded Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix during rush hour but five Cactus League venues (Camelback Ranch, Peoria, Salt River Fields, Scottsdale Stadium, and Sloan Park) are within a few miles of it.

Public transportation isn’t an option for any Cactus League venue. Phoenix’s Valley Metro light rail doesn’t go near any of the ballparks. As for parking, the cost varies at each ballpark (some have offered free parking for weekday games) but expect rates starting at $15-20.

Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth seeing in the Cactus League

Thanks to a building boom in the 2000s, the Cactus League is full of newer and renovated venues. The newest park is Sloan Park opened for the Cubs in 2015 to replace its longtime home of Hohokam Stadium (which was promptly renovated in order to become the A’s new spring base).

So if you’re a fan of stadium architecture or just like new things be sure to check out Sloan Park, Salt River Fields, Camelback Ranch, and Goodyear Ballpark, all opened over the last 15 years. The Brewers unveiled a renovated ballpark and complex in Maryvale in 2019.

If you’re a fan of regional food many of the ballparks offer specialties of the home teams’ cities in their concession stands. Some notable items worth mentioning: Skyline Chili at Goodyear Ballpark; Chicago deep-dish pizza and pork tenderloin sandwiches at Sloan Park; K.C. and Texas barbecue at Surprise Stadium; fried cheese curds at Maryvale Park; and Dodger dogs at Camelback Ranch.

Queen Creek Olive Mill, Queen Creek © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

All 10 Cactus League ballparks have some form of berm seating in the outfield. While they are typically the cheapest tickets offered, they are also some of the most popular throughout spring training. This is particularly true on weekends.

Be sure to bring a blanket to sit on and some sunscreen though many venues have installed sunscreen dispensers in the berm sections.

Scottsdale Stadium stands out among its Cactus League brethren because it is part of the downtown Scottsdale district within walking distance of many restaurants, bars, and other entertainment options.

However, this also means there’s limited space around for other ballpark operations while the Giants’ major-leaguers utilize an adjacent practice field their minor-league complex is actually a couple miles away.

Mesa Market Place Swap Meet © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Things to do in Arizona during spring training

As one of the largest cities in the U.S. you’ll find every kind of attraction in Greater Phoenix. If you’re not sure where you should start I’ve rounded up the top attractions everyone should check off their Greater Phoenix bucket list.

Camelback Mountain

The panoramic view from the hump of this iconic landmark named for its resemblance to a kneeling camel is worth scaling its two tricky trails, Echo Canyon and Cholla. Hikers gain 1,200 feet in elevation to the summit which looks out over the city and Phoenix Mountains Preserve. Camelback is one of the most popular urban hiking spots in Phoenix so expect trail traffic and consider hiking on weekdays.

Papago Park

Just minutes from downtown is iconic Papago Park, home to red rock buttes looped with trails, scenic views from the intriguing rock formation atop Hole-in-the-Rock Trail, and two of the city’s top attractions: Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo. 

Sun Retreats Phoenix West, Buckeye © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

South Mountain Park and Preserve

Boasting 50 miles of trails through 16,000 acres of the Sonoran Desert, this municipal park is perfectly suited for outdoor adventure just minutes from the city. The skyline views and Sonoran Desert flora aren’t the park’s only perks. Keep a lookout for ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks. If you’d rather drive than hike, bike, or hoof it up the trails hop on the 5.5-mile Summit Road up to Dobbins Lookout, the highest accessible point in the preserve.

Desert Botanical Garden

The winding paths of this 50-acre desert garden showcase a fantastic variety of arid plants from towering saguaros to delicate blooms. This beautiful landscape is also the backdrop for the garden’s seasonal events.

Taliesin West

Tours of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home offer insight on how the masterful architect was inspired by the desert surroundings. Visitors walk through rooms, gardens, walkways, and Wright’s entertainment pavilion on the grounds while learning about his organic architecture.

Cotton Lane RV Resort, Goodyear © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Phoenix Zoo

One of the nation’s largest nonprofit zoos is home to more than 1,400 animals. See Sumatran tigers roam the savanna, feed giraffes in an up-close encounter, and discover the local flora, fauna, and critters of the Sonoran Desert on the zoo’s Arizona Trail.

Heard Museum

The tradition, culture, and history of 22 regional American Indian tribes converge in the Heard Museum’s immersive exhibits and authentic art shop as well as annual events like the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest (February 17-18, 2024).

Phoenix Art Museum

The Southwest’s largest fine art museum features a collection of contemporary work and global masterpieces. Complementing the museum’s galleries of fine art and objects from Asia, America, Europem, and beyond are rotating exhibitions.

Pueblo El Mirage RV & Golf Resort, El Mirage © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV parks and campgrounds

Consider your preferred teams when selecting an RV park or campground. I’ve selected the following list of parks from those personally visited.

West Valley

  • Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort, 11201 North El Mirage Road, El Mirage
  • Destiny RV Resort, 416 N. Citrus Road, Goodyear
  • Cotton Lane RV Resort, 17506 West Van Buren Street, Goodyear
  • Sun Retreats Phoenix West (formerly Leaf Verde RV Resort), 1500 S Apache Road, Buckeye
  • White Tank Mountain Regional Park Campground, 20304 W White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell
  • Pleasant Harbor RV Resort, 8708 W. Harbor Blvd., Peoria

East Valley

  • Monte Vista RV Resort, 8865 E Baseline Road, Mesa
  • Campground USA, 2851 S Tomahawk Road, Apache Junction
  • Usery Regional Park Campground, 3939 N Usery Pass Road, Mesa
Campground USA, Apache Junction © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Additional resources

Here are a few links that may help you prepare for your RV trip to Phoenix:

Enjoy your trip… and bring lots of sunscreen (and trust me on the sunscreen).

Worth Pondering…

Alone in the open desert, I have made up songs of wild, poignant rejoicing and transcendent melancholy. The world has seemed more beautiful to me than ever before.

I have loved the red rocks, the twisted trees, and sand blowing in the wind, the slow, sunny clouds crossing the sky, the shafts of moonlight on my bed at night. I have seemed to be at one with the world.

—Everett Ruess