Waterfall Trail – White Tank Mountain Regional Park, AZ, US
The White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a large regional park located in west-central Maricopa County, Arizona. Encompassing 29,271 acres (45.736 sq mi; 118.456 km2) of desert and mountain landscape, it is the largest regional park in the county. The bulk of the White Tank Mountains range is located within the park’s boundaries.
The developed portion of the park provides a number of outdoor recreational activities. Ramadas (generally shaded tables), picnic areas and campgrounds are available and often used for informal gathering places. Several of the campground areas are available for RV access and are semi-developed, including picnic tables, barbecue grills and restroom facilities equipped with showers.
The park is better renowned for its extensive network of hiking trails. Nearly 26 miles (42 km) of hiking trails wind through the terrain in the park, ranging in difficulty from a simple walk to moderately challenging.
The most commonly used is the Waterfall trail, a 0.9-mile (1.4 km) walk that culminates in a narrow canyon featuring a seasonal waterfall. Bicycling and horseback riding are permitted on many of the trails. In addition to the network of hiking trails, the 10-mile (16 km) competitive track is designed for “high speeds, challenging one’s skills, and racing”.
Clear weather typical of the desert environment combined with darker skies due to the semirural setting provide for stargazing and amateur astronomy opportunities. The park hosts an organized stargazing event at various dates through the year. A number of other organized events take place regularly during the year, including interpretive nature hikes, guided health walks, and youth-oriented events.