Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

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wonderwoman78
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Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by wonderwoman78 »

Hi, I am wanting to take my kids for a one-night first-time backpacking trip over Christmas break. We want to make it as easy as possible for them. :) And not too cold. We are very familiar with the Maricopa County Parks, particularly the White Tanks. I read on the website that you can get a permit to backpack, but it was only one sentence and I couldn't find any more info. Any of y'all know anything about this and have any recommendations? Thank you! (Or I guess we could go to the McDowell Man preserves or South Mountain if possible??)

[ White Tanks - Backcountry camping? ]
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chumley
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by chumley »

If you don't get any better information on the parks, you might consider other public land around the valley. I'd recommend something in the Tonto National Forest starting from the First Water Trailhead. Hackberry Spring and Garden Valley have spots that people camp, as does the junction of Boulder Canyon and Second Water Trail. These options are in the 5-6 mile range round trip. The trails are well-marked and generally pretty easy to follow.
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LindaAnn
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by LindaAnn »

I think you would need to call the park headquarters directly to get a definitive answer on backpacking: 602-506-2930 x 5

No backpacking allowed in South Mtn or McDowell Preserves, so either place is not an option.

How old are your kids? Will they be carrying their own gear? Backpacking in the White Tanks (if allowed) might involve a fairly good climb. My suggestion for a first time easy backpack with kids would be the western Supes, starting from either First Water or Peralta trailheads for the likely warmest temps. Or choose a desert section of the AZT and backpack a small portion of that.
If it’s above freezing, it’s too hot.
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AZClaimjumper
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by AZClaimjumper »

You'll pay a $7.00 Park Entrance Fee & need to be out of the park by closing time (Call: 602.506.2930 Ext 5) for details on when the park opens/closes.
You need look no further than the White Tank Mountain Park for all your daily backpacking hikes/trails . It is the nicest, best maintained County park I've ever visited which most recently was 28 & 30 November.
OVERNIGHT CAMPING BY PERMIT. In addition, it is the perfect place to plan a day hike with the backpack & equipment you & your children plan to take on an overnighter at some other place. Get use to carrying a load on a day hike.
Do yourself & your children a favor by turning right into the Nature Center/Library just B4 you enter reach the Park Entrance. Anyone inside the Nature Center will be more than pleased to give you some first-hand guidance.
You can & should do a search of this website & read hike/trail descriptions, look at photo sets of those that have hiked trails your interested in then download the track into your GPS so when you're hiking you'll always know where you are in relation to the trail you are hiking. Look at the top of this page, click on FIND, enter the search term White Tank Mountain Hikes, for openers.
Indoor plumbing, porcelain fixtures, mirror, flush toilets, spic-n-span clean, & fully stocked at most trailheads.
Last edited by AZClaimjumper on Dec 03 2022 6:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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chumley
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by chumley »

AZClaimjumper wrote: Dec 03 2022 11:09 am NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING
White Tank Mountain Regional Park offers 40 individual sites for tent or RV camping
https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/par ... s/camping/

As the OP mentioned, the website for the park clearly states
Overnight backpacking, with a permit, is allowed in established backcountry campsites.
https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/par ... es/hiking/
.
AZClaimjumper wrote: Dec 03 2022 11:09 am You can & should do a search of this website & read
I couldn't agree more! :)
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AZClaimjumper
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by AZClaimjumper »

@chumley
You're RIGHT. I've edited my reply to correct my bad.
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by xsproutx »

I've done this in the past and honestly wouldn't really recommend it for a first trip, especially if you're wanting to make it easy. You'd likely need to carry all your water, making things heavier, unless you've talked to someone who's been there recently and can give you some info. With the rain we're getting now and between then, you might be in luck, though. You'll be lucky if you can get something worked out with just one phone call based on my experience :)

I agree that for first timers/easy, Hackberry is a good one and easy enough to get to/drive to. Cave Creek trail starting in the Seven Springs area has some really good camping next to the creek a couple of miles in (and further) and is also close to the valley (although it tends to be a little cooler than the valley since it's a bit higher, but maybe by 5 degrees?).

But yeh, tons of options out there, just depends on how far you're wanting to hike and your/their physical fitness.
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

@wonderwoman78
Where do you live? That makes quite a difference on where to look. Nobody wants to spend time wasted on driving across the valley just to get to a site for an overnight backpack with kids.
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by ALMAL »

@chumley
Should be some filterable water now, besides the usual spots. FW area perfect for kids trip, road in good shape as of last week.
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wonderwoman78
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by wonderwoman78 »

Thanks everyone. The kids are used to carrying loads and climbing. I'm mainly worried about it being too cold. But maybe we just try hackberry and see what happens. :) Thank you all!
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AZClaimjumper
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Re: Backpacking In Maricopa County Parks

Post by AZClaimjumper »

@wonderwoman78
Please, let us know all the details of your overnighting.
Do you have a dedicated GPS hand held or a Personal Locator Beacon as something you can use in an E-M-E-R-G-E-N-C-Y
Cell phones can be iffy out in the boonies.
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