Side-blotched lizard, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, Arizona

Side-blotched lizard, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, Arizona

Team Gritty recently met some interesting creatures on the trail at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell, Arizona. We saw loads of lizards (some were brightly decked out guys doing push-ups on rocks, trying to impress the chicks and warn off other dudes), birds building nests in the cacti and trees, and yes, even a snake—or two! We camped at the park for a couple of weeks to spend time with family, (boo hoo, a few had to return to the Northeast and face another snowstorm!) and to catch up with friends.

Ducky and Big T in the family campground at White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Ducky and Big T in the family campground at White Tank Mountain Regional Park

White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a gem of a park! Encompassing nearly 30,000 acres with 11 archeological sites, this is the largest of the Maricopa County Parks. The park offers: Trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and has a Competitive Track for those who want to kick it up a notch; a Nature Center where you can get a first-hand glimpse of the hairy and scaly critters who live in the park (located at the park entrance in the same building as the beautiful county library and used bookshop); very clean restrooms and picnic ramadas sprinkled throughout the park; ranger- and volunteer-led walks and events; and the Family Campground now offers sites with electric and water, and a brand new dump station. Our only mild complaint was the lack of decent cell service—aka internet service for our work—(no 4G and 3G that faded in and out like a slow heartbeat), which was strange considering the number of towers and dishes on the ridge line behind the campground.

The White Tank Mountains rise up from the far western edge of the Valley (Greater Phoenix) and on a clear day, we could see the Four Peaks in the distance. The sharp-ridged mountains top off at 4,000 feet and if you happen to be at the Park when it’s raining or has rained (we weren’t!), and hike  the Waterfall trail, you’ll get a rare chance to view a waterfall cascading down into Waterfall Canyon.

For more pics from the White Tanks, click here….

Stay tuned for more Team Gritty adventures and … Keep It Gritty.™

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