Black Canyon

General

This west Phoenix neighborhood is a hub for many business parks, older malls, midcentury homes and affordable townhouses. Light rail runs through the southeastern corner and is being expanded north. Interstate 17 runs through the middle. The Turf Paradise horse-racing rack is here. North Mountain is a popular hiking spot. Entertainment center Castles N’ Coasters is near the middle. Lots of great ethnic restaurants and stores can be found in this neighborhood.

This neighborhood guide - like every one on Street Scout - was researched and written by experts from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. It's based on public records, census data and on-the-ground reporting. Our Emmy-winning photographers and videographers have brought images of each neighborhood to life. We know our neighborhoods. If you want to live here, you want to read this.

Transportation

Interstate 17 runs through the middle of this neighborhood. Interstate 10 is just south of the area, and Loop 101 is north.

School Map
Walk Score

Explore the 5 Areas of Black Canyon

Northwest Central: 85021
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Northwest Central has one of the Valley’s first shopping centers and overlaps with the Uptown neighborhood. This area has affordable and high-end homes. 

Northgate/Moon Valley: 85023
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Northgate/Moon Valley is named after a large office park near the center of this area. The Moon Valley community spans two ZIP codes, and the western half is in this neighborhood. This neighborhood has many of the area’s more high-end homes. Horse-racing track Turf Paradise is located here.

North Mountain: 85029
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North Mountain is named after the popular mountain preserve found here. The area is just north of the Metrocenter mall. Several office parks are located in this neighborhood. Neighborhoods around the park are more upscale.

Metrocenter: 85051
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Metrocenter is home to this mall. The entertainment park Castles N’ Coasters is also here. Neighborhoods are older, and home are affordable. Townhouses and condos are the norm.

Greenway: 85053
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Greenway has many condominiums and brick homes built in the 1970s and ’80s. Conocido Park is near the middle of this area, which is near several large office parks.

Housing

Housing

This area has many brick and block homes built mostly in the 1960s and ’70s. Affordable townhouses and condominiums can be found on the west side of this area. Northwest Central, North Mountain and Moon Valley have higher-end, ranch-style homes.

The Market

Northwest Central85021

Northgate/Moon Valley85023

North Mountain 85029

Metrocenter85051

Greenway85053

  • This west Phoenix neighborhood has higher-end houses on the east side. More affordable neighborhoods can be found on its west side in the Metrocenter and Greenway areas.

  • Home prices are higher in Northwest Central and North Mountain, where more houses have been renovated and can cost more than $500,000. The east side of Northwest Central has many bigger homes and infill pockets with new houses.

  • The western side of Moon Valley has newer homes, but there’s little vacant land left in this neighborhood. Most new development is going up where older and rundown properties once stood.

  • Metrocenter was hit hard by the housing crash and prices are still low there.

  • Rentals are easy to find and range greatly in price depending on where they are located in this neighborhood.

Living Here

Living here

Expect a more central Valley neighborhood with a mix of big ranch-style homes and affordable older townhouses and condos. Christown Spectrum, an older Valley mall that has been renovated and is nearly full, is here. Metrocenter mall is here, too. I-17 runs through the center. Light rail treks through the southeastern corner and is being expanded north. There are plenty of business parks and jobs around the freeway. Turf Paradise is Arizona’s biggest racetrack. Some pockets of this neighborhood around I-17 have high crime rates.

Things To Do

Northwest Central85021

Northgate/Moon Valley85023

North Mountain 85029

Metrocenter85051

Greenway85053

Main attractions

The light-rail extension makes this and surrounding neighborhoods easier to explore. The train offers cheap and easy access to Downtown Phoenix and points in between. Castles N’ Coasters, the amusement park home to a double-looping roller coaster Desert Storm, is nearby. There are also go-karts, bumper boats, an arcade and miniature golf there.

Out on the town

Metrocenter Mall and surrounding shops and restaurants make for hours of retail therapy. Sporty folks can make good use of Rose Mofford Sports Complex and its soccer and softball fields, tennis and basketball courts, track, playground and large dog park. This neighborhood is also flush with authentic ethnic dining, with gems such as Las Glorias Grill, Thai Lotus and Akaihana Sushi & Grill.

Main attractions

Tee up at Cave Creek Golf Course and Moon Valley Country Club. There are also tennis courts, an aquatics center and a fitness center at Moon Valley. This area has many parks, including Moon Valley Park, with walking paths, playgrounds, tennis courts and more. Close by is amusement park Castles N’ Coasters, home to Desert Storm, a double-looping roller coaster.

Out on the town

You’re a quick ride on the freeway from Desert Ridge Marketplace, an expansive outdoor mall offering dozens of retail, dining and entertainment options for all ages. Find a state-of-the-art AMC Theater and Dave & Buster’s, a two-story arcade, bar and restaurant, there. Also, a short drive away are the Shops at Norterra and Happy Valley Towne Center. Look for a Harkins Theatres location there and eateries including Mellow Mushroom, Red Robin and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. Stay closer to home and catch a film at Deer Valley Towne Square’s 30-screen AMC Theatre or a round of bowling at AMF Deer Valley Lanes.

Main attractions

North Mountain and Shaw Butte peaks are Valley landmarks and offer gorgeous views of Phoenix. Hike to the top or enjoy the views with a fine meal nearby at Different Pointe of View at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The Arizona State University West campus is so close you can bike to it. There’s a shuttle service to the main campus in Tempe. When it’s time to play, you need go no farther than your own backyard: Castles N’ Coasters. The amusement park is home to Desert Storm, a double-looping roller coaster, as well as go-karts, bumper boats, an arcade and miniature golf.

Out on the town

Need some family fun with an edge? Gear up at Laser Quest for several rounds of laser tag. Metrocenter mall and surrounding shops and restaurants make for hours of shopping. Sporty folks can make good use of Rose Mofford Sports Complex and its soccer and softball fields, tennis and basketball courts, track, playground and large dog park.

Main attractions

This is a good neighborhood for the athletic at heart. North Mountain Park and its many hiking trails offer beautiful views. At lower elevations, there’s Rose Mofford Sports Complex and its soccer and softball fields, tennis and basketball courts, track, playground and large dog park. Close proximity to a major freeway puts Downtown Phoenix and its sports games, concerts and conventions within easy reach.

Out on the town

If you’re looking for a place to play, you need go no farther than your own backyard and Castles N’ Coasters. The amusement park is home to Desert Storm, a double-looping roller coaster. There are also go-karts, bumper boats, an arcade and miniature golf. Next door is Metrocenter mall and hours of shopping. Dining options are plentiful and are as wide-ranging as barbecue, Mexican and Asian fusion. 

Main attractions

Close proximity to many major freeways means all points of the Valley are within easy reach, from a Suns game in downtown Phoenix to the Barrett-Jackson auto show in Scottsdale. Arizona State University West campus is so close you can bike to it, and there’s a shuttle service to the main campus in Tempe.

Out on the town

A quick ride on the freeway will take you to Desert Ridge Marketplace, an expansive outdoor mall offering dozens of retail, dining and entertainment options for all ages. Find a state-of-the-art AMC Theater and Dave & Buster’s, a two-story arcade, bar and restaurant. Stay closer to home and catch a film at Deer Valley Towne Square’s 30-screen AMC Theatre or a round of bowling at AMF Deer Valley Lanes. For the more adventurous, there’s Castles N’ Coasters amusement park close by.


Explore the Outdoors

Outdoors

These neighborhoods flank North Mountain Park, with more than 17 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The area is near the Phoenix Mountain Preserve with a variety of trails and landscapes and a popular hiking and mountain biking destination. And the Arizona Canal paved trail cuts through with miles of uninterrupted off-street bicycling, running and walking.

Stats & Facts

Northwest Central85021

Northgate/Moon Valley85023

North Mountain 85029

Metrocenter85051

Greenway85053

Who lives here

The Black Canyon neighborhood nearly exactly mirrors the racial demographics of the Valley as a whole. But its houses are generally older, and its residents earn below-average incomes. More than a third of the residents of Metrocenter (85051) and Northwest Central (85021) neighborhoods are Hispanic.

5 Things To Know About Phoenix

It’s big.

Phoenix is the nation’s sixth-biggest city and its population is still growing faster than many other U.S. cities. The city was named in the mid-1800s by settlers who compared their new home to the mythical bird that burned and rose from the ashes.

It’s a great place to hike.

National Geographic ranked Phoenix as one of America’s 15 best hiking cities. The city has a vast network of desert preserves and hiking trails, including iconic summits like Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak. You’ll find trail maps and descriptions online.

It has a reputation for being a well-run city.

Phoenix has received various awards for good governance and has the highest credit rating of the nation’s six largest cities. But the city has struggled to get its fiscal problems in order since the Great Recession. City Council members regularly have coffee meetings open to all residents.

It is focusing on urban growth and transportation.

Phoenix’s General Plan focuses heavily on infill development along the light-rail corridor. Light rail will continue to be one of Phoenix’s key redevelopment tools, with city leaders hoping to triple its miles of track by 2050.

It has a thriving cultural scene.

The Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona all perform in the city’s Symphony Hall located downtown. The Orpheum Theatre, Herberger Theater Center and Valley Youth Theatre are nearby. Also located in the central city are the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona Capitol Museum, Children’s Museum, Arizona Science Center and Heard Museum. A popular monthly art walk to a growing number of downtown galleries is called First Fridays, held on the first Friday of each month.