Sundial: 1039
State/Province:  Arizona Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Sun Alignment Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 32° 28.631' N  110° 55.776’ W
  • Drive to Vista United Methodist Church at 3001 Mira Vista Lane near Oracle Highway and Golder Ranch Road. Go 3/8 mile on Mira Vista Lane then drive to south end of Church parking lot. Walk 200 feet on gravel path to the Sun Wheel
  • The Vista Sun Wheel is 63 feet [19.2 m] outside diameter and 197 feet [60 m] in circumference. The Wheel is composed of 28 tons of broken limestone. The central cairn is 11 feet [3.4 m] in diameter and 3 feet [1 m] high. In the center is a post marked by a sandstone block about 30 inches [76 cm] tall. The floor of the Sun Wheel called for another 28 ton of crushed decomposed red granite about 3/4 inch [2 cm] thick. Stone spokes indicate the solstices and equinox. Other stones 30-40 inches [75-100 cm] are set to various alignments outside the ring. A post indicates the setting sun on Groundhog Day, indicating one of the cross quarter days. The layout was made by direct observation, watching the progress of the sun along the horizon to solar standstill then return. 18 months were required to observe, mark and verify positions then setting stone and making the ring. The layout is similar to the Bighorn Wheel in Wyoming.
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner:
  • None, but there is a kiosk with a handout explaining the wheel and its historical importance.
  • Designer:
  • Builder:
  • Suggested visiting times: 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset and all daylight hours. If the Church office is open check, in as a courtesy.
    Sturdy shoes are best to walk the gravel path. In warm weather wear a hat, bring water and watch for desert denizens! These are a blessing from nature, live closest to the earth and see all. Please remain in the graveled area, do not go into the brush.

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Last Revised: 2021-12-15 20:09