Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wind Cave Hike in Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa

December 24, 2010 Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa Az.
Located on the Valley’s east side, this park takes in 3,648 acres set at the western end of the Goldfield Mountains, adjacent to the Tonto National Forest. 
The last few days since arriving have been filled with last minute Christmas shopping and visiting with my Father and Karen. We've done a lot of driving to and fro and I'm sure we will do a lot more as we plan to visit relatives throughout the Phoenix Valley.
We had some rainy cloudy weather as the system that devastated California earlier in the week, passed over the Valley. I actually was looking forward to the rain to wash off the dust on the roof of the rig!
View on the door side of our rig.
Yesterday, it was still cloudy and cool with a forecasted high of 65 but the weather was clearing. We decided on doing the most popular hike in Usery Mountain Regional Park, The Wind Cave Hike.
The park contains a large variety of plants and animals that call the lower Sonoran Desert home. Along the most popular feature of the park, the Wind Cave Trail, water seeps from the roof of the alcove to support hanging gardens of Rock Daisy. The Wind Cave is formed at the boundary between the volcanic tuff and granite on Pass Mountain. Breathtaking views from this 2,840-foot elevation are offered to all visitors
Beginning the hike.
Pass Mountain
The trail was washed out in many areas no doubt, due to the recent rain fall. Much of the trail up the mountain required stepping over large fallen rocks which made it more challenging.
One of the smoothest sections of the trail
Near the top
The Wind Cave is basically a large hollow in the side of the mountain. I didn't include a picture as there were other people in the photos I took. The hike seemed to be very popular. We found a secluded perch near the cave where we sat and enjoyed our snack and the beautiful view of the valley.
Perched by the Wind Cave.
View looking South.
Our campground in the distance looking West.
While seated from my perch on Pass Mountain, I played with my Canon camera using the 40x zoom to capture the picture below of our campsite. You can see our silver Dodge and the Cameo behind it.
Our site from afar!
We climbed back down returning to the Jeep after our two-hour trek which is the average according to the park information on the hike.
We like Usery Mountain Regional Park especially the campground. The views are fantastic. There is a shooting range in the park and I can hear the target shooting when outside but it's not annoying. Maggie and Rico continue to have encounters with the cactus spines on the ground from time to time so we have to be cautious. There is no sewer hook-up so we have to be frugal with water. I have to empty my 18 gallon grey tote everyday. I don't want to fill my grey (rig) tank as then it can be messy draining it into the grey tote. But that's just me!
We are considering staying longer in the valley but it's difficult to find a park that isn't 55 plus. So we may just stay here for another week. You may only stay at Usery Mountain Regional Park for 14 days.


  1. Check the rules on the park stay, we were told at Cave Creek that you could only stay in the same site for 14 days. The only time that wasn't true was if there were people waiting in the overflow lot. I know they were working on going to a reserved system that will change things some. We talked to people who actually stayed at Cave Creek all winter just moving sites as needed with a couple one night stays in the overflow parking lot.

  2. Merry Christmas Joyce and Darren! When Jim, Gayle and I were at Usery Mountain last winter, we were told pretty much the same thing, that there were folks who were there for the whole winter, just moving to different sites every 14 days. We didn't try that, as we had already been there for a GTG and were ready to leave after an additional week. If you get a chance, some of the ranger guided nature walks/hikes were pretty interesting. I think I liked Usery the best of all the Phoenix area county parks. Debbie (still enjoying Jojoba Hills).

  3. We also enjoyed the Wind Cave trail but were expecting a real cave! If you get a chance, Lost Dutchman State Park also has some good hiking trails and it's not far from Mesa.
    If you want to stay in the area, we also really liked McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Still close enough to Mesa and the sites are similar to Usery Mt. Nice trails for hiking and biking.