Estrella Mountain Regional Park, AZ

Estrella Mountain Regional Park, Arizona

Perched on a ridgeline of Estrella Mountain Regional Park, one could have witnessed the unfolding of many interesting events and lives that have been lived out in the desert landscape below. The history and lives of the area begins with the Hohokam Indian culture which inhabited the area from around 500 A.D. to 1450 A.D. Part of the Hohokam, or later cultures, utilizing a canal system, were once located within the park boundaries of Estrella Park.

This 19,840-acre park features 65 acres of grass with ten covered ramadas, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, playground equipment, two lighted ballfields, an 18-hole golf course, and a rodeo arena.

Even though there has been a steady growth and expansion of facilities in the park, development is still limited to a very small portion of the park. Most of the landscape of the park today remains pristine desert, very similar in appearance to the landscape seen by the first European explorers who traveled past these mountains and foothills. These factors that have worked to resist development have preserved a very valuable resource for the Maricopa County Parks system. Estrella Mountain Regional Park contains many untapped resources and excellent potential for providing a greater variety of quality recreation opportunities.

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Estrella Mountain Regional Park Camping

Estrella Park Campgrounds
Estrella Park CampgroundsEstrella Mountain Park offers 7 full hookup RV camp sites. Full hookup sites are $18.00 per night. Group camping is permitted for a night or two in certain areas of the park. Group camping is $5 per vehicle, per night. Motor home and R.V. clubs can reserve a group ramada, and park in nearby parking lots. Electricity is provided at the ramadas for small appliances such as coffeepots and radios, outlets do not provide enough amperage for motor home or RV hookup.

Cactus Scout and Youth groups can camp at one of the ramadas or they may prefer the Navy Area located on the east end of Estrella Park's picnic loop. Camping is $2.00 per person per night. Groups are permitted to camp on the turf and under shade trees. Picnic tables, barbecues and fire pits are provided. Trailheads and hiking trails are nearby. Estrella has restrooms with flush toilets. Shower facilities are not available. Advanced registrations are required.

10 ramada areas are available for large group picnics, weddings, birthday parties, and office parties. The ramadas all have lights, electrical outlets, cement slabs, large grills and parking areas nearby. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling the Park office. Reservation fees are for the 1st 4 hours, additional hours are extra. Following is a list of the ramadas at the park and their amenities:

Ramada #1 -located on the north side of the picnic loop, has 6 picnic tables, one large grill, a fire ring and volleyball poles.
Reservation Fee: $40.00*

Ramada #2 -located on the north side of the picnic loop, has 2 ramadas with a concrete slab between them. Each ramada has 5 picnic tables and 1 large grill. There is a large fire pit and volleyball poles.
Reservation Fee: $60.00*

Ramada #3 -located on the north side of the picnic loop, has 6 picnic tables, one large grill, a fire ring and volleyball poles. Close to the Superplayground.
Reservation Fee: $40.00*

Ramada #4 -located on north side of the picnic loop, has 4 picnic tables, 1 large grill, a fire ring and volleyball poles. This ramada is the closest to the Superplayground.
Reservation Fee: $30.00*

Ramada #5 -located on the south side of the picnic loop, has two large ramadas with a concrete slab between them. There are 10 picnic tables, 2 large grills and a fire ring.
Reservation Fee: $60.00*

Ramada #6 - located on the south side of the picnic loop, has 6 picnic tables, one large grill, a fire ring and volleyball poles.
Reservation Fee: $40.00*

Ramada #7 - located on the south side of the picnic loop, has 2 large ramadas with concrete slabs between them. There are 14 picnic tables,2 large grills, a fire ring, and volleyball poles.
Reservation Fee: $80.00*

Ramadas #8, #9, #10 - are situated in a plaza, close together with a fire ring. They are located on the west end of the picnic loop near the park entrance. There are 48 picnic tables, 4 large grills and a fire pit with seating.
Reservation Fee: $80.00/each of $100.00 for all three*

* Non-refundable, must be paid in advance.

If an area is not reserved, it is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other Recreational Facilities

Estrella Park also offers a number of other recreational facilities for your enjoyment. A large amphitheater located south of Ramada #5 has a stage and seating for hundreds. The amphitheater may be reserved for activities including weddings, church gatherings, and scout groups. Two softball fields located at the park entrance can be reserved for teams or for use by a large group wanting to picnic and play softball. A large lighted rodeo arena, including bucking and roping chutes and seating for 1,000 is also available. Reservations for these facilities can be made by calling the Ranger Station.

Estrella Mountain Regional Park Hiking

Estrella Park Trails
Estrella Park TrailsEstrella Park offers over 33 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Park Trails range in length from 2.3 miles to 8.8 miles and range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. If you are looking for an easy, relatively short hike, the 2.3 mile Gila Trail is recommended. If you are looking for a long, all day hike, the Rainbow Valley Trail encompasses 14.6 miles.

Competitive Track

The third competitive track in the Maricopa County Regional Park system, located in Estrella Mountain Regional Park, was completed in February 2000. The track consists of two loops totaling 13 miles. The long loop is 8 miles and is challenging, but may be used by persons of all skill levels. The technical loop is 5 miles and is recommended for experts only.

All of the competitive tracks are primarily used by Mountain Bicyclists, but are also used from time-to-time by cross country runners and "endurance" horse riders. The tracks are designed for high speeds, racing events and fun. They feature steep climbs, and drops, fast corners, twists and turns and rugged rocky terrain.

Development of the Estrella Track was made possible through a partnership with Phoenix International Raceway. Construction crews from PIR built access and service roads, parking lots, and a nearby Group Campground.

Trails - Unless indicated, distances shown are one-way.

Gadsden Trail - 3.3 miles (5.3 km)

Coldwater Trail - 1.8 miles (2.9 km)

Dysart Trail - .6 miles (.9 km)

Gila Trail - 2.3 miles - (3.7 km) Mileage reflects round trip, trail is circular

Pederson Trail - 8.7 miles (14.0 km)

Rainbow Valley Trail - 6.0 miles (9.7 km)

Toothaker Trail - 3.6 miles (5.9 km)

Hiking and riding trails are easily accessible via trailheads located at the arena and amphitheater. A mountain bike trail brochure that categorizes trail difficulty is available at the park office.

Always remember to carry plenty of water and always let someone know where you are going.