Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Friday, January 25, 2013

RV Park Review: McDowell Mountain Regional Park (Fountain Hills, AZ)

McDowell Mountain Regional Park (Fountain Hils, AZ) website

Overall:  7/10
The greatest feature about this park was the space at each site and between them.  Sites have large patios with open vistas of the desert.  We stayed at the park so we could see two attractions in the Scottsdale area – Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home) and the Musical Instrument Museum.  The attractions were 35-45 minutes away but well worth the drive and we enjoyed the peace and quiet of the park when we returned.

The park's rating of 7 reflects the fact that there really were not any amenities to speak of, no sewer hook-up or cable.  So take the rating with a grain of salt - we would definitely return.

Site: 78
50/30/20 amp worked well and there is a water spigot.  There is no sewer.  Our site was level but not all are (it seems to be the pull-thrus that were not level).  Sites and patios are gravel and the roads are paved and wide.  There is a picnic table and fire pit at each site.

Verizon cell service and our "hot-spot" worked great. We teetered on 4G.

There are really no amenities to speak of.  There is a small playground and a nature center with exhibits, gift shop, and a few snacks for sale.

In our loop, there were two older bathhouses (with shower and flush toilets).  They are older but still very clean (each loop has a newer bathhouse but I did not go in).  Showers are free but the bathhouses did not seem to be heated.  

The park is located about 8-10 miles from the nearest town (Fountain Hills) with amenities.  It’s remote location is peaceful and the surrounding mountain views are great.  If you like hiking/mountain biking in the desert, this place is for you.  The remote location allows you to enjoy the beautiful starlit and moonlit nights since there is very little artificial light.  

Spirit’s Two Cents:
Great hiking/biking trails that leave right from the campground.  Dogs are supposed to be on-leash but we saw many that were off-leash.  With big patios, a dog has lots of room to roam and there are great smells from the jack rabbits and Gamble's quail that are commonly seen.

The Ugly Truth:
There really are none -what you see is what you get.

Great spacing between sites. 
We were treated to some great sunrises and sunsets.

Finally, Spirit found a stick in the desert. 
Happy dog when she is on a trail.


  1. One of our most favorite places to stay! We saw a nest of baby owls when we were there last--great hiking.

  2. Your posts are making me home-sick - I so LOVE Arizona - wish we had never moved!!!! :>(

  3. We really enjoyed this park. Especially all the room and hiking. Sorry we did not stay longer.

  4. Love this blog. We're picking up our first RV from CA on Wednesday! My husband and I will be doing weekends in our home state of AZ this winter so we can learn how the heck to live in an RV. I'm hitting the road in June to become a summer Roadrunner. I'm hoping to spend my first summer in Northern CA and Or. I love your park reviews and especially Spirits comments. I have 5 dogs and I'm really hoping to be able to take 3 of them with me for the ride.

    1. Congratulations! How exciting to launch into a new adventure. We are entering our fifth year of full-timing and don't see how we could ever stop. You are smart to have a break-in period as there is a lot to learn. Safe travels.


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