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Paved path leading through the desert up to Star Tower

26 April . 2016

Get the Star Tower Experience

When you leave Phoenix behind and make the drive to the master-planned community of Estrella, you can feel the hustle and bustle of the city melting away as you cross the Gila River and wind your way up Estrella Parkway. Just before you arrive in the community, you’ll notice a curious spiral tower just off the road to your right.

Adorned with grey stone and rust-red metal, the fifty-foot-tall Star Tower is a beautiful sight set next to a bubbling waterfall. Visitors who climb its many steps to the top are rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding Estrella Mountain landscape and the distinct flora of the Sonoran Desert, a view that is particularly stunning during one of our famous Arizona sunsets. While the tower is striking during the day, the real showstopper happens at night, when hundreds of bright stars light up the structure’s surface.

The Estrella community built Star Tower with the desire to create a landmark at the entrance to its community that celebrates the unique beauty of the Arizona skies. Much of the inspiration for the design came from Steven Kates, a local TV and radio personality known as “Dr.Sky.” He can regularly be seen on programs like Fox 10’s “Arizona Morning” and 3TV’s “Good Morning Arizona,” delving into such topics as the September 2015 blood moon and the August 2015 Perseid Meteor Shower.  His deep voice is often heard on KFYI “Wake Up Arizona” as he explains the mysteries of science and space.

Everything about the tower was intended to educate and inspire a love of astronomy in the community. For example, if you were to look down on Star Tower from above, you might notice that it coils in the shape of a nautilus shell, reminiscent to the spiral of the Milky Way Galaxy. Its spot on top of the hill offers a view of the stars that’s free from the light pollution of the city. 

A commemorative plaque, marked with a quote by Dr. Sky, reads: “Welcome to the Star Tower – your place in the cosmos. For thousands of year, man has looked to the heavens with mystery and awe. The tower to the sky is a living memorial to the many Native American cultures that have studied the sky from this very location – the desert southwest …

The Star Tower depicts the evolution of our galaxy and helps you understand your place within it. At the observation plaza, you can reflect on your place in the universe and observe nature from this sacred ground of our ancestors, where we reach up and out to the skies.”

When reflecting on this monument, Dr. Sky said in an interview, “What more beautiful place could you have this monument that an upscale community that was built from the rocks and dirt of the desert. Whether you’re buying a new home or just visiting Arizona, Star Tower is a must-see destination.”

Make sure to add Estrella’s Star Tower to your Arizona bucket list. And don’t forget to pop in to our information center afterwards for a coffee and information about the community.