Bring the kids for boating, hiking and more!!
Do you think your kids would have any interest in spending the day fishing, paddling a canoe and splashing around in one of the biggest lakes in Arizona? You bet they would! Maricopa County, one of the largest counties in the nation (more than 9,000 square miles), has many beautiful parks. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, in Morristown, AZ, is certainly one of the best.
Pack a picnic lunch, put the kids in the back seat, and take the scenic 45-minute drive from the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites to Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Make sure you bring your bathing suits and comfortable walking shoes. Daily use admission is only $6.00 per vehicle. Once you pas through the entrance, scout around a bit to get a feel of the size of this massive marvel of nature.
Lake Pleasant is 10,000 acres of clear blue water and has roughly 50-miles of pristine e shoreline. While you are taking your scouting tour, keep an eye-out to see if you can spot one of the many wild burros that live in the Park. The lake views are stunning. Look out in the distance and you’ll see beautiful panoramic views where the blue skies and mountain tops meet.
Nothing is better for getting your heart pumping and the blood flowing than taking an invigorating morning walk before the temperature gets too high. There are a little over four miles of trails that range in length from a half-mile to two miles. The trails are all considered to be moderate in difficulty – no climbing up steep inclines or traversing rough ground. The Pipeline Trail is probably the most challenging and is for people used to hiking. For a more casual walking experience you can try the scenic Roadrunner Trail that takes you by Lake Pleasant and ends at the Visitor Center. If you don’t want to walk that much, the Visitor Center Trail is an easy half-mile trek that connects to the Roadrunner Campground.
While you might not want to rent a tent and spend the night when you could go back to your comfortable bed at the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites, for those who choose to rough-it for a night or two, there are 148 sites for RV and tent camping. The more developed sites have electricity and water, while all of the sites have ramadas (A popular type of southwest shelter with a roof but not completely enclosed by walls), picnic tables, and barbecue grills. Restroom and shower facilities are located nearby for all camp sites.
Boating & Fishing
Lake Pleasant is a favorite fishing spot for residents of Maricopa and surrounding areas. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission made sure the fishing would be good when they stocked the lake with 12 different species of fish. Cast your line and maybe you will hook a Striped Bass or a Green Sunfish. You can rent a boat, fishing gear and other types of watercraft at the Scorpion Bay Marina. Have lunch at Dillon’s BBQ Restaurant or get some cold drinks at the convenience store that is also located at the Scorpion Bay Marina.
There will be plenty of time in the evening to go shopping at your favorite stores and dine at your favorite Scottsdale restaurants. During the day, you can spend some time doing what your kids love. Lake Pleasant is a water enthusiast’s paradise and the Park is an ideal spot for observing birds and wildlife. Memorable experiences are made all of the time when you visit this beautiful place in Arizona’s “Valley of the Sun.”
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