Our Opinion: Rave. This large regional park has spacious sites and good hiking trails, adjacent to an urban area (Phoenix, AZ).
Weather During Stay: Lovely mild southwest winter weather. Lows at night in the low 50’s, daytime highs in the 70’s. Mostly blue skies.
Site Description: Our site (27) is a very spacious back-in, aligned mostly east-west, perfect to capture the sun’s morning warmth. The reasonably level, gravel pad is suitably sized for a big rig, with lots of level, graveled space behind. A Palo Verde provides shade and privacy on the south (patio) side.
Of the 75 sites available, it looks as though half a dozen are occupied by hosts - and it shows in the meticulous maintenance of the sites. Both “pullout” and back in sites are available (predominantly back ins). All sites are raked gravel, with large concrete picnic tables, fire rings and grills at each site. All sites have water and 30/50 amps. Most sites can accommodate big rigs, and most sites are level enough – but we did see several that are too sloped for our use.
Rate: W/E sites are $25/night. No senior discount; no weekly discount. Camping fee includes use of dump station. All sites are first-come, first-served, no reservations. 14 day consecutive stay limit enforced, but only one night out required before you return.
Phone/radio/TV: Verizon service is good on both the aircard and phones. No obstacles for roof mounted TV satellite. All networks, PBS, and a few independents on rooftop antenna. NPR on 91.5 (probably others as well).
Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is gently rolling terrain, punctuated by arid hills and stony mountains. Fairly dense desert vegetation: palo verde, saguaro, barrel and cholla… very appealing desert scenery. Elevation is 2,000 feet above sea level. Views from the campground are of other (reasonably distant) campers, cactus, multitudes of birds, and high, rocky mountain outcroppings. Distant views of the city lights at night.
Lighting/Noise: No streetlights in the camping loop (a good thing), but the restrooms have fairly bright lighting at night. We were positioned so that wasn’t a bother. Very little urban noise of any kind.
Favorite Sites: Many, many, appealing sites here. Choose according to your sun exposure and view preference. As usual, we prefer perimeter sites to the interior sites, and back-ins to pullouts.
Hiking/Walking: Walking the loop road of this campground is pleasant for a stroll, or take the half-mile nature trail. Trailheads for several longer hikes are a short drive from the campground. We enjoyed the birds-eye view from Wind Cave, and a viewpoint on the Pass Mountain Trail. Trail maps and information are available at the check-in kiosk.
Comments: This park is a lovely oasis next to densely populated Phoenix, AZ. The campground occupies a small area of the park, which includes substantial day use areas, numerous trails, and a horse staging area. November and December would be ideal times to visit - the campground was half full during our stay, but is full daily from mid-January through the end of March.