Hiking the Waterfall Trail in the White Tank Mountains in Phoenix Arizona

Hiking the Waterfall Trail in the White Tank Mountains in Phoenix Arizona

White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell Arizona USA, offers many family activities. You’ll be overwhelmed by opportunities for hiking and biking, the character trails, camping, horse back riding, mountains, cactus, rocks, desert shrubs, hieroglyphics, birds, dry waterfall canyon, children’s playgrounds, picnic ramadas, handicap trails, trees, washes, Indian artifacts, and interesting rock formations. White Tank Mountain Regional Park at over 29,000 acres is the largest of the Maricopa County regional parks. White Tank Mountain Regional Park offers approximately 22 miles of excellent shared-use trails. The hiking trails range from easy to difficult. There are handicapped easy to reach trails obtainable in the park which makes the park all the more user friendly.


The range, often referred to as simply the White Tanks, is a moderate sized mountain range whose peaks rise to an elevation of around 4,000 feet (1,219 m). The Park has both mountain and desert environments and includes most of the White Tank Mountain range. Two handicapped easy to reach trails at White Tank Mountain Regional Park allow visitors in wheelchairs to take in the splendors of the area in addition as visit Petroglyph Plaza. During seasonal heavy rainfall, accumulated water tends to rush rapidly by the steep canyons, over time scouring out a number of depressions or “tanks” in the white granite near the base of the mountains. These white “tanks” are the source of the mountains’ name.


Waterfall Trail is in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park and is a popular place for family hiking. The trail will take you past Petroglyph Plaza, where you will find some 1,000-year-old pictures on giant boulders, signs left behind by the Hohokam Indians who inhabited the mountains until about 1100.

The range, deeply serrated with ridges and canyons, rises severely from its base to peak at over 4,000 feet and provides wonderful opportunities for hiking on established trails and includes facilities for picnicking throughout the park. The park offers a variety of hiking trails, character trails, 35 regular campsites, picnic facilities and special programs throughout the year. There are about 22 miles of hiking and biking trails at all levels of difficulty. The White Tank Mountains Park does not have a trail to the top, and they discourage people from ‘visiting the towers’ with mild threats that it is patrolled by law enforcement. Horseback and mountain bike riders are welcomed, although caution is stressed as some of the trails may be extremely difficult.

With so many amenities, this is a park that receives many visitors in the cooler times of the year. You’ll find people of all ages on the hiking trails and many of them will have their family pets along for the day. As with any hiking in the desert Southwest regions of the U.S. you must be careful to drink plenty of water. The air is so dry that you don’t already notice that your body is losing moisture at a rate that is much faster than usual. Be sure to bring drinking water in containers that you can carry along with you as you analyze this beautiful mountainous park.

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