Wednesday, March 17, 2021

White Tank Mountains ~ Northwest Phoenix~ Waddell, Arizona

White Tank Mountains Regional Park ~ Nearly 30,000 acres makes this the largest regional park in Maricopa County. Most of the park is made up of the rugged and beautiful White Tank Mountains on the Valleys west side. The range, deeply serrated with ridges and canyons, rises sharply from its base to peak at over 4,000 feet. Infrequent heavy rains cause flash floodwaters to plunge through the canyons and pour onto the plain. These torrential flows, pouring down chutes and dropping off ledges, have scoured out a series of depressions, or tanks, in the white granite rock below, thus giving the mountains their name. The park offers visitors day use and overnight camping. There are many walking trails including one to view petroglyphs and another to a waterfall. You can also either bring your own horse to ride the trails or rent one from the nearby stables. Day use entry fees are generally $7/carload and camping fees are $32/night which includes the entry fee. Water and 20/30/50amp hookups. No sewer but there is a dump station on site.    GPS coordinates to the entry station ~ 33.566088, -112.496239

 

 

The park has a nature center where you can learn about desert creatures on display and family-friendly activities like stargazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though you're close to civilization, over 15 restaurants are within 5 miles of the park, you get the feeling of being away from it all.






While some of the hiking trails can be challenging, many are level and can be used by anyone. As with any hike, carry water and stay hydrated.





Dogs are allowed on leash and remember to please clean up after your pet. Even though it's the desert, many of the dwellers of the desert may contract harmful bacteria or worse from your pet's waste. Besides, it's the proper thing to do.

 

 

 

Petroglyphs found in the park date back 10,000 years, but the Hohokam were the first people to call it home. These predominate hunter-gatherers built seven villages, ranging in size from one to 75 acres, during their stay in the area from 500 to 1100 AD. Petroglyphs, or rock carvings are reminders of their time here.




Waterfall Canyon gets it's name from, (drum roll please) waterfalls. Unfortunately, water only falls right after a rainfall, otherwise it's just rock outcroppings.  The trail to the waterfall is still spectacular and offers wonderful views.

 

 

Hiking is very popular and the park offers many trails from easy to difficult. The waterfall trail is just short of 2 miles, round trip, but is a very easy trail. Even though you may not see the waterfall it's still a worthwhile hike as you go through Petroglyph Plaza before you get to the waterfall.




Of course, hiking is just one of the fun things you can do at the park. Mountain biking,horseback riding, stargazing and just relaxing are some things to enjoy while you're there.






There are currently 40 camping sites that can accommodate RVs up to 45 feet in length, and all have water, electrical hook-ups, a picnic table, barbecue grill, and fire ring.The park's address is 20304 W White Tank Mountain Rd, Waddell, AZ 85355.

1 comment: