McDowell Mountain Regional Park

Sunrise at McDowell Mountain Regional Park

Campground: McDowell Mountain Regional Park – E.I. Rowland Campground
Location: Fountain Hills, Arizona
Site: 71
Cost: $30
Services: W/E (50 AMP)
Comments: One of our favorite campgrounds when we are visiting family and friends in the Phoenix area. It has great access to fun mountain biking trails and hiking trails. The sites are spacious and have fantastic views. Site 71, in the southern loop, is quite spacious with no sites across from it or directly next to it.  It sits high in the campground such that the views are 360 degrees and include the fountain in Fountain Hills.

 

The mountain biking trails are great and range from very easy rolling trails to a bit more difficult as you get closer to the mountains.  Tonto Trail and Delsie Trail provide a 2.5 mile downhill runs (along with many others) heading east and the Chuparosa Trail, North Trail, and Pemberton Loop to the Trailhead Staging Area are easy and lots of fun.  We decided one day to do the entire Pemberton Loop which is about 15 miles long.  There are a few rocky parts which can be a bit steep.  I, unfortunately, took quite a tumble along the Pemberton Loop heading clockwise (the preferred direction) between the intersection of Bluff Ridge Trail and Delsie Trail.  There are waterbars (i.e., feel like speed bumps) along the trails to help with water runoff. I was going way too fast and flew over 2 waterbars and was ditched by my bike (that’s my opinion) and came slamming down on the ground and skidding along some dead tree branches.  I had plenty of time to think about the fall as I was flying through the air in a vertical position!! No broken bones, lots of scrapes, some minor blood, and every muscle in my body was sore. I was just way too overzealous because I was having so much fun. Hopefully I learned a lesson.

 

We had one day of lots of rain and black clouds and also we were there during the Super Moon on Nov 14.  We had great views from our site of the clouds and the moonrise.

 

We also attended the Fountain Hills Air Fair and a few luncheons and dinners with family and friends. I also spent some time playing Pickleball with the Fountain Hills Pickleball Club at the Fountain Hills High School.  They have two sets of courts which are free all day on Sundays.  We had terrific weather for the majority of the time. It was hot during the day so we did use A/C in the motorhome which is one of the first time in almost ten years that we have had to use A/C. The other two times were in the Everglades in Florida and in southern Texas near Brownsville.  The evenings were nice and cool.