The scientific answer is actually pretty interesting, and has a lot to do with the ecosystem, landscape, and something called scattering. Small particles and molecules found in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays as the sun goes up or down. The color of the scattered light is determined by the size of molecule or particle and the actual wavelength of light. Because Arizona is generally dry, dust particles are able to float effortlessly on the breeze, so there’s a lot of them available for scattering. More particles equal more color. Here’s where the locals go to catch the colors:
Freestone Park – The best view is at the lake on the north end of the park. Watch the sunrise from Juniper east of the soccer fields and large playground.
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch – Catch the sunrise at cactus garden near the parking lot, east of the library.
Spectacular sunsets can be seen from the top of the parking garage east of Culinary Dropout.
Usery Mountain Regional Park, though not in Gilbert, is a top local pick for another stellar view of the Arizona sunrise.