Usery Mountain Regional park east of Mesa features a short hike to the nearest rocky bluff, overlooking a broad plain to the west. Recent rains have encouraged some desert flowers to bloom, so the hike is amply decorated with color. I made it up and down early enough so the usual hordes were only an impediment as I passed them coming down.
The bluff from a fencepost
Further east, the Boyce Thompson Botanial Center has 90 years of desert flora from around the world going for it., plus a small lake with a cormorant.
A few of the blossoms are just like April in Iowa (wild plum species).