McDowell Mountain Regional Park is west east(ish) of Fountain Hills, AZ. in the northeast part of the Phoenix area. It is a very large regional park in the Maricopa County park system and has a very nice campground. There about 80 sites with water and electric and a nearby dump station. One of the Campground Host couples is from Milaca, Minnesota. They have been here every winter for six months for the last ten years. He remembered us from when we were here two years ago. He is an avid off road biker and this is a great place for that with more than 75 miles of maintained off road trails for hiking and biking.
The campground is up high on a sloping plateau looking out towards the Superstition Mountains. The sites are big and spread out from one an other.
Plenty of room to spread out.
There are mountains in every direction. When someone moves on, the camp ground host stops by at the site and makes sure it is clean. They all seem to be in a Zen Raking competition. The sites (coarse sand, small gravel) are all raked carefully in swirling and circular patterns. I was kidding John, the campground host, about it and his wife said that if they didn’t do it regularly the weeds start to grow. But I think they just trying to make interesting designs in the sand.
After a grueling 2-1/2 hr drive from Tucson it was time to relax. This is a beautiful place, very calm and peaceful. Warm during the day and cool at night. The temperature can easily drop 15-20 degrees in an hour or so as the sun starts goimg down.
Fountain Hills is famous for their fountain. You can see it shooting up more than 300 ft at the beginning of each hour during the day for 15 minutes. The water comes from a 29-acre 100 million gallon effluent lake – rain water runoff and treated waste water. The fountain helps aerate the water as well as provide a highly visable attraction for the city. This water is used to water the public golf course. On St Patrick’s Day the fountain was green. For special occasions the fountain shoots to over 500 ft high using 7,000 gallons of water per minute.
Four Peaks Mountain is off to the right and the sun lit ridge is on the far side of the Verde River.
The Superstition Mountains are off to the east. Their look changes during the day.
Late in the day as the sun goes down behind McDowell Mountain the Superstitions light up.
Roger and Susan