Weekend Trip: White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Weekend Trip: White Tank Mountain Regional Park

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When you live in central Arizona you don’t have to look far for natural adventures. Often, getting out into nature is right in your own backyard. This weekend, why not upgrade a staycation with a weekend camping trip to White Tank Mountain Regional Park? Just west of Glendale, White Tank Mountain Regional Park is home to an extensive system of trails and campsite facilities for both tent and RV visits. 

Mountain Vistas Close to Home

Central Arizona is surrounded by dramatic mountains, but often they fade into the background as we go about daily life. Visiting White Tank Mountain Regional Park gives you an up close experience of the wild rugged beauty of these surrounding mountain ranges. The White Tank Mountains are a dramatically serrated range of ridges and canyons. The name of the area comes from granite “tanks” – large basin-shapes- formed at the bases of steep ledges through years of desert flash floods. The region is known for a striking landscape with sharp drops and carved canyons. 

At the heart of the activities available at White Tank Mountain Regional Park are the 30 miles of trails that give you access to astounding beauty and breathtaking views of the desert wilderness. There are trails in the park to accommodate a wide range of ability levels, including some trails which are hard surfaced and barrier free. For the adventurous, backcountry wilderness camping is also an option. 

The trails in the park, excluding a few pedestrian-only paths, are open to mountain bikers as well as to horseback riding. If you want to make your park visit an equestrian experience, in-park trail rides are available with Corral West Horse Adventures.

The Advantage of Camping

With White Tank Mountain Regional Park just a short drive from Central Arizona’s cities, what is the advantage of making your visit a camping trip rather than a day visit? While a day in the park can give you a full experience of the marvelous hiking and outdoor fun White Tank Mountain offers, staying the night gives you a front row seat to the natural wonder of the night sky. Stargazing in White Tank Mountain Regional Park removes you from the light pollution of the city for a truly remarkable experience of the stars above. As public programs gradually reopen in pandemic-safe conditions, public stargazing events in the park will also resume.

The proximity of White Tank Mountain Regional Park to the metropolitan region surrounding Phoenix also makes it a convenient way for families to introduce children to camping and the great outdoors. Safe, convenient and with activities for every age and ability level, White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a close and convenient way to have a desert camping family adventure. Camping reservations have recently reopened for both tent and RV campsites in the park on developed and semi-developed campgrounds.

Planning Your Trip

Whether you are planning a day trip or a long weekend camp out, always keep in mind smart desert safety. Always have plenty of water with you, even for short hikes, and turn back once you have used half your water, even if you haven’t reached your destination. Don’t hike alone, especially on rugged and remote trails. Let people know where you are going when you hike, and stay on established trails. Most importantly, recognize the risks of the desert’s extreme heat. Avoid long hikes on dangerously hot days, and plan short hikes around the early morning or late afternoon when heat is an issue. 

Spring is a great time to visit White Tank Mountain Regional Park for the mild weather and optimal camping. Be sure to visit the park’s expansive nature center which offers education and guidance around the ecology and experience of the park, as well as information on hiking, maps, trail guides and wildlife information. Most trails in the park are open daily from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

For those who want to get more involved in White Tank Mountain Regional Park, park events and volunteer opportunities are available, COVID-19 precautions permitting. From guided tours of the desert’s ecosystem to volunteer-fueled efforts to control invasive plant spread, White Tank Mountain offers multiple ways to get closer to the park. 

Day trips are great because you always get to go home! And the best way to ensure that your home is cool and comfortable for the entire family is to invest in sunscreens for your windows. Contact us today for a consultation.