It’s official. Winter’s over (did it really even happen?) and we have a brief window of pleasant weather that’s ideal for getting out and enjoying the great outdoors before summer roars into the valley again. Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of the several great camping spots around the Mesa area. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Lost Dutchman State Park
Located near the Superstition Mountains, this 320-acre state park is easily accessible by taking the 60 east out of town. Named after the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, a legendary tale of the old west, the park offers camping facilities and acts as a trailhead for the trails that lead into the Tonto National Forest. Some of the most popular walks are from the park onto the National Forest Service trails that lead across the western face of the Superstitions (Jacob’s Crosscut trail) and up the face of this edge using Siphon Draw trail.
The campground has 134 sites: 68 sites with electric and water and the others are non-hookup sites on paved roads for tents or RVs. Every site has a picnic table, bbq grills and fire pits. For more info, go to
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Located 10 miles north of Fountain Hills, this 21,000 park is one of the largest in the Maricopa County Park System. It’s known for being a mecca for mountain bikers, but it’s also a great place to camp and hike! Nestled in the Verde River basin, the elevation rises up to 3.000 feet on the western end at the base of the McDowell Mountains. There are over 50 miles of trails full of spectacular views.
The campground consists of 76 camping sites for either tents or RVs. Each one has water and electric hook-ups, picnic tables and fire pits. All of the sites on this one are first-come first-serve.
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Another quiet area in the east valley is Usery Mountain Regional Park, which is 3,600 acres on the western end of the Goldfield Mountains. The park is also home to the WInd Cave Trail, a 3.2 mile out and back trail that takes you through the WInd Cave at the boundary between the volcanic rock and granite on Pass Mountain.
The park offers 73 individual camping sites, each with a large parking area for RVs and water and electrical hook-ups, picnic tables and fire rings. You can reserve a site at