Campground Review: McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Fountain Hills, Arizona
Why we chose here? We knew we were spending some time in Arizona for the winter, so we decided to spend a few weeks in this park. We wanted to be in scenery, but close enough to town to explore some of the attraction Phoenix and Scottsdale have to offer.
Location: The park is extremely scenic, with expansive views that stretch on forever. The sleepy town of Fountain Hills is nearby with groceries and gas, Scottsdale is a little further away. We learned that in the Phoenix metro area nothing is close to anything else.
Sites: The sites are nicely spaced out and you get a lot of privacy with the vegetation and the way the sites are designed. Each site has a barbecue, a picnic table and a firepit. There are parking areas and large seating areas. All sites have water and electric.
Facilities: They have great showers, and lots of them given the number of sites. They have very limited recycling on site (aluminium cans only), so we had to take our out to Fountain Hills. There is a dump station on site.
Groceries: There are stores in Fountain Hills (Safeway and Fry's) but we prefer Sprouts, Whole Foods and Trader Joes in Scottsdale. A long drive, but we stocked up if we had a reason to be in that area.
Reservations: Yes, this is a very busy park and was full the entire time we were there. They have a 14 day limit to stay in one site, after that you have to move. We found that the park was full with a lot of people in town for Spring Training, often leaving their rigs all day.
Cell Coverage / WiFi: Both Verizon and AT&T in the park, even though we had good signal, the towers were overloaded and we especially found Verizon to be unworkable at times, switching to AT&T when that happened.
Price Paid: $30 for Water & Electric
Date of visit: March 2015
Other: The trail network here is fantastic. Mountain Biking (not really our thing) is a big deal here, but hiking was also beautiful. The hosts at this park were really unfriendly. One guy in particular just road around in his cart scowling at people all day. I guess free-camping wasn't enough to make him happy.
Would we come here again? Maybe. 2 weeks was too long for us in one place, but for a shorter stay this is a really nice park. We did prefer Lost Dutchman State Park and would choose that one as a number one choice in the Phoenix area of the places we have tried so far.
Link to Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park.