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Explore White Tank Mountain Regional Park

At 30,000 acres, White Tank Mountain Regional Park is the largest park in the Maricopa County parks system.

Mountain Biking, Hiking, Trail Running Moderate, Difficult, Severe, Extreme

White Tanks: Mesquite Canyon -> Goat Canyon Loop
Photo: Greg Heil


White Tank Mountain Regional Park is one of the lesser-trafficked parks in Maricopa County (home to the Phoenix metro area), thanks to being well removed from the bulk of Phoenix's population. It can take a bit of effort to drive all the way out to this somewhat isolated park, but the reward is undoubtedly worth the work!

If you make the drive out here, you'll discover that White Tank Mountain is Maricopa County's largest regional park, measuring almost 30,000 acres in size. The park protects the rugged mountain range of the same name, which consists of "deeply serrated. . .ridges and canyons, rising sharply from its base to peak at over 4,000 feet," according to Maricopa County Parks.

To explain the "White Tank" name, Maricopa County Parks writes: "Infrequent heavy rains cause flash floodwaters to plunge through the canyons and pour onto the plain. These torrential flows, pouring down chutes and dropping off ledges, have scoured out a series of depressions, or tanks, in the white granite rock below, thus giving the mountains their name."

Thanks to the park's distance from Phoenix, this mountain range is home to a network of beautiful, rugged, and remote-feeling trails. Singletrack trails run up and down several of the narrow canyons in the mountains, connecting the tops of the canyons with traversing trails that run along the upper reaches of the ridges. This arrangement provides numerous loop and out-and-back route possibilities that are attractive to hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers alike.

In this guidebook, you'll find an array of the best adventures in White Tank Mountain Regional Park for all types of outdoor explorers. If you simply want to enjoy a mellow hike, you can walk to a seasonal waterfall near the base of the mountains. Or, if you're in for more adventure, you can hike deep into the mountains and explore to your heart's content. Fit trail runners can cover even more mileage, with the Ford Canyon/Goat Camp Loop providing a challenging 15-mile itinerary.

Mountain bikers have a few different choices here. While the Mesquite Canyon to Goat Canyon Loop is a logical and attractive route, the brutally technical double black diamond descent will absolutely crush the under-prepared rider. For a more approachable ride, the Sonoran Loop Competitive Track near the base of the mountains offers a one-way bike-only trail experience.

White Tank Mountain Park also provides a fantastic campground directly connected to the trail system for the perfect desert basecamp. While you should consider making a camping reservation in advance, this park is one of the easiest in the region for arriving last minute and still scoring a site. Even if that doesn't work, there's overflow camping available for vans and RVs.

Sources: MaricopaCountyParks.net

Routes included

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