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Featured Campground: McDowell Mountain Regional Park

McDowell Mountain Regional park is a part of the Maricopa County Parks system and is a roughly 40 minute drive East of downtown Phoenix, AZ just outside of Fountain Hills, AZ. Within the park, there are two campgrounds that we service for Campsite Outfitting, E.I. Rowland Campground and Ironwood Campground. Both campgrounds have clean facilities and bathrooms with flushing toilets, as well as picnic tables and fire rings at each campsite. The main difference between the two campgrounds in McDowell Mountain Regional Park is that E.I. Rowland Campground has more campsites and caters to both RV campers and tent campers while Ironwood Campground has only a few campsites and mainly caters to tent campers. We personally prefer Ironwood Campground because it’s set a bit further out in the desert wilderness and there’s less noise from RV generators but both campgrounds are more than capable of providing you a great place to stay while enjoying the activities in the park.

Speaking of activities, the campgrounds within the park are conveniently located near a plethora of hiking and biking trails that give you beautiful views of the surrounding desert. The hikes range from an easy 3.1 miles on the North Trail to a more intense 15.3 miles on the Pemberton Trail. If you want to get a real workout in and be rewarded with some beautiful views, start out at the E.I. Rowland Campground and hike the Pemberton Trail West (towards the McDowell Mountains) and then link up to the Tom’s Thumb trail. Once at the top of Tom’s Thumb Trail you’ll get great views of The Valley, Four Peaks, Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain, and the McDowell Mountain Preserve (it’s a tough hike, so make sure to be prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and a hat but it’s well worth it). While at the top of the trail be sure to explore all of the caves, nooks, and crannies made by the huge boulders that lay around the namesake rock feature “Tom’s Thumb” which is a massive natural granite tower that stands 140 ft. tall!

Regardless of whether you want to hit the hiking or biking trails hard or just soak in the desert’s natural beauty, the campgrounds in McDowell Mountain Regional Park will deliver. Now let’s get camping!

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