McDowell Mountain Regional Park: A Maricopa County Park. During spring break last month, we had a great time exploring Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park outside Fountain Hills, Arizona. This park is part of Maricopa County Regional Parks and has many exciting activities to offer. We paid only $7 for our vehicle to enter the park and had an enjoyable day.
We started by visiting the park’s Visitor Center, which had a gift shop and a room with various desert creatures, including snakes, a tarantula, and a gila monster. We obtained a map and consulted with a ranger to identify suitable hiking trails for children.
Normally, we would have attempted the 3.1-mile loop on the North Trail, which is relatively flat. But this time we needed stroller friendly trails. So the Ranger suggested the Tortoise Trail (1.4 miles), Hilltop Trail (0.4 miles), and Nursery Tank (0.6 miles).
The Tortoise Trail started from the visitor’s center which was perfect! The views were beautiful and we even spotted the 300 foot tall fountain from Fountain Hills! The trail took us to a large dirt lot, and we crossed over to take the short Hilltop Trail. This one is not stroller friendly but easy to climb and worth it. We then doubled back to the visitor’s center.
McDowell Mountain Regional Park: A Maricopa County Park
We drove around a bit to admire the views, stopping at the Nursery Tank trail. Short and sweet, and stroller friendly for the win! There were also gorgeous flowers blooming when we went.
Next, we visited the park’s desert-themed playground, which the children loved! The Maricopa Regional Parks are known for their themed playgrounds and this one was no exception. With a huge rattlesnake slide, and a spider web and cactus to climb, the playground also has shade and restrooms nearby. We ate lunch here too.
Here are some helpful tips for visiting the park:
- bring plenty of water
- wear comfortable shoes
- watch for bikers and runners
- pick up a map at the visitor’s center
- wear sunscreen
- pack snacks
- and carry a first aid kit.
Check the Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park website for upcoming events, such as reptile feedings and fitness hikes!
More great hikes can be found here.