Lake Pleasant Regional Park, near Phoenix, February 2020

We left Quartzsite in the morning, no specific check-out time when boondocking in the desert. We still had plenty of water, plenty of spare room in the waste tanks, a bit low on diesel fuel and almost a 100% battery charge. Lots of folks were leaving the same day.

We headed back east on I10 (our friends from California would call it “The Ten”) to Tonopah where fuel was the cheapest anywhere in that part of Arizona. We took on about 100 gallons that topped up our 194-gallon fuel tank. I start looking for fuel when we have about 100 gallons left. I like to get where we will be parked for a while with a pretty full tank.

Then a bit north and around the northwest corner of the Phoenix area to Lake Pleasant. We were amazed by the number of immense warehouses being built. And what appeared to be an even much bigger computer chip fab plant going up.

Lake Pleasant is a lake created by dams to hold water coming from the Colorado River through the Central Arizona Project. This is a huge system of aqueducts, underground storage reservoirs, pumps, siphons, dams, and lakes to get water to Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima Counties from Lake Havasu above the Parker Dam on the Colorado River.

There are access points where you can drive down to the water. The water level changes up to 60 ft depending on whether they are accumulating water or releasing it.

Our site was on the Desert Tortise loop fairly high above the lake. Water and electric only. The water was quite a ways away, I had to get out my 50 ft hose to reach the connection.

The ramadas (sun covers) in the distance were in a picnic area along that ridge.

There were hot air balloons just to the south.

There are two marinas on the lake, one a county-run marina and the other a private marina.

At the Scorpion Bay marina operated by the county, the only access was by this steep inclined tram. The cars held about 6 people and it was slow. There was a boat launch as well, it was a long steep back down to launch boats, it was 10 lanes wide so at some times it must have been crazy busy.

The other marina, Pleasant Harbor, was the private one. There was a single-lane boat launch, lots of boats, a boat sales office, a water slide, and a floating restaurant where we went for lunch, all accessible by golf cart or walking along the curved floating bridge in the background. There was also an RV park on the hill above the marina level. Pricing close to $90 per night. Yikes!

No inclined tram here, just $10 for parking and a ride down and back on an 8 person golf cart. 5 minutes each way.

Lunch was good, nothing extraordinary but the tab.

There was a big three-chute water slide that was closed for the winter. $10 for one slide. There are other options for a half-hour, hour, half-day, and all day. You had to climb the stairs so I imagine many got worn out before their time was up.

We went to the Visistor’s Center that was on a hill overlooking the dam. There was lots of information about the dam and how it was built. There was an earlier dam that is still there but underwater now. We followed a nature trail past a tortoise enclosure and around to a playground area.

There was an interesting slide that came out of the mouth of a Gila Monster. It had rollers, I had to try it.

Short but fun.

We were only here for a few nights as a filler before we could get into McDowell Mountain Regional Park. It is an interesting park but not one where we would consider for a much longer stay. We are off next to McDowell, we have been there before and it is one of out favorite places in Arizona.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

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