Chuckwalla

Maricopa County Parks and Recreation

Park Status Updates

PARK UPDATES

placeholder do not deleateLIST OF PARKS CHANGES/UPDATES

SYSTEMWIDE
(Changes in this area impact ALL regional parks, unless otherwise noted)

PHASE ONE: OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN

The guidelines state:

  • All individuals, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • LARGE VENUES can operate under strict physical distancing protocols.

CAPACITY

  • Parks will monitor day-use capacity and may put restrictions in place when appropriate physical distancing is being disregarded. Per the Governor's new Executive Order (Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger) all individuals, when in public areas, should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings where appropriate physical distancing is not practical should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are followed.

CAMPING

  • The online and phone reservation system will be used to book developed and semi-developed campsites. Reservations may be made during business hours by calling (602) 506-2930 ext. 1.
  • No reservations will be taken after hours.

FACILITIES

  • Nature Centers have reopened. 

PARK PROGRAMS

  • Future programs will be based on guidance and directives issued by the State of Arizona Governor and Maricopa County Leadership.

PAYMENTS

  • Parks will accept payments via credit/debit cards and annual passes at entry stations only.
  • Cash payments are strongly discouraged but may be made via envelope. Please include the exact change as our team will no longer have cash in the entry stations. Checks will not be accepted.
  • Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area Payments: The Conservation Area will accept payments via annual passes, Cave Creek resident cards, and cash at the entry station. If paying by cash, please place exact change in iron ranger envelope.

CAMPFIRES

Campfires are acceptable in the following areas:

  • It is acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas such as semi-developed and developed campsites.
  • It is NOT acceptable to have campfires along the shoreline at Lake Pleasant Regional Park due to the higher than usual water levels and dried brush along the shoreline.
  • Click here to view a copy of the fire ban press release.

Maricopa County’s regional parks, trails, 10-lane boat ramp, and designated campgrounds continue to remain open for public use.

CAVE CREEK REGIONAL PARK

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Saturday. [NEW]
Nature Center hours: 8 am to 4 pm daily. [NEW]

ESTRELLA MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Saturday. [NEW]
Nature Center hours: 8 am to 4 pm daily. [NEW]

TRAILHEADS AND TRAILS

  • The following areas have been CLOSED to help ensure safe social-distancing.
     -  Northern Loop of Turf Road
     - All Group Picnic and Playground Lots
     - Restrooms are available near open trailheads

TRES RIOS GOLF COURSE [NEW]

  • Effective August 17, 2020, Tres Rios Golf Course will be temporarily closed. To learn more, click here.
HASSAYAMPA RIVER PRESERVE

Park hours: 8 am to 5 pm - Wednesday through Sunday. You must be off the trails by 4:30 pm. [NEW]
Visitor Center hours: 8 am to 5 pm daily. [NEW]

LAKE PLEASANT REGIONAL PARK

 

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Sunday. [NEW]

MAIN ENTRANCE 

  • CONCRETE SPILLWAY. Open for day-use access only (when water levels are adequate).

  • BOAT-IN CAMPING ONLY:

  • DESIGNATED PRIMITIVE CAMPING: [NEW]

    • Designated primitive camping scheduled to be available in late January within the designated area of the Dirt Spillway. Camping will be available on a first-come-first-served basis and sites will be limited. Additional designated shoreline area opportunities will be available in future phased rollouts. Keep checking the website for updates.

  • Park Headquarters and Operations Cove remain closed.
  • The DISCOVERY CENTER is now open daily from 10 am to 4 pm, until further notice. Playground access is available while the Discovery Center is open, at the user's own risk. Park visitors should continue to maintain physical distancing (6 ft.) and are encouraged to wear masks while in the playground area, when appropriate. [NEW]. 

NORTH ENTRANCE (4-lane boat ramp)

  • Closed on Monday and Tuesday each week. 

  • Temporarily open Wed./Thurs./Fri./Sat./Sun. 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. - gate closes/locks at 4 p.m. ALL visitors must depart by 4 p.m. [NEW]

  • Shoreline camping and shoreline access will remain closed.

    • Designated shoreline camping access to Cottonwood Creek/Cove area is scheduled for late Fall 2021 [NEW
  • Access will only be permitted for hikers (Cottonwood Day-Use Area) or watercraft launchers (4-Lane Boat Ramp). No shoreline access at Fireman's or Cottonwood Cove until further notice.

  • CASTLE CREEK/4-LANE BOAT RAMP: Ramp is all that will be open.

CAMPING RESERVATIONS 

  • Campers are required to enter the park between 1 pm and 8 pm the day of their arrival.
  • No entry access available between 8 pm and 5 am.

SHORELINE CAMPING

  • Will remain closed.

FISHING

  • Option for fishing when the park entrance is closed:  Pleasant Harbor Marina
  • Options for night fishing after 8:00 p.m.: 
  • If using Boat-in/Angler camping or Pleasant Marina, the following applies:
    • Anglers may night fish on the lake as long as watercraft remains in open water.  Once the watercraft is beached on the shoreline, that becomes shoreline camping, which is not permitted in the park. This could result in a citation.
    • The main entrance to Lake Pleasant Regional Park closes at 8 pm. All park visitors, excluding those with camping reservations, must exit the park by this time.
    • Boat-in campers may leave the park between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am, but will not be able to return/arrive during that time.

TRAILHEADS

  • The following trailheads are accessible at this time: Agua Fria, Beardsley, Brown, Cottonwood Day-Use Area, Frog Tanks, Pipeline Canyon Day-Use Area, Roadrunner, Wild Burro Day-Use Area, and Wild Burro Trailheads.

AGUA FRIA CONSERVATION AREA

  • Upper parking lot access available year-round.
  • Middle parking lot access is expected to be available from January to March. 
  • Agua Fria boat launch parking area is not currently available due to low water levels, limited staffing, and repairs needed to the riverbed crossing. Access anticipated to be available on a limited basis to the launch area in early February for the season. Check the Agua Fria Fishing Schedule page for updates.
  • Water levels are low and require about a two (2) mile hike down from the parking lot along the riverbed to reach the lake. Must stay on designated trails, roadway, or below the disturbed/high water level marks of the riverbed/shoreline.

OTHER

  • Swimming and fishing (with a valid license) are allowed at the lake.

SCORPION BAY MARINA

  • Individuals visiting Scorpion Bay Marina should contact the marina for further information on how the changes will impact their visit.
McDOWELL MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Saturday. [NEW]
Nature Center hours: 8 am to 4 pm daily. [NEW]

SAN TAN MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Saturday. [NEW]
Nature Center hours: 8 am to 4 pm daily. [NEW]

SPUR CROSS RANCH CONSERVATION AREA

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Saturday. [NEW]

PAYMENTS

  • The Conservation Area will accept payments via annual passes, Cave Creek resident cards, and cash at the entry station.
  • Checks will not be accepted.
USERY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Saturday. [NEW]
Nature Center hours: 8 am to 4 pm daily. [NEW]

TRAILHEADS

  • Parking restrictions have ben put in place at the Wind Cave Trailhead to limit capacity.
WHITE TANK MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

Park hours: 6 am to 8 pm - Sunday through Saturday. [NEW]
Nature Center hours: 8 am to 4 pm daily. [NEW]

TRAILHEADS

  • The Mesquite Trailhead is open. Parking in lot only.

PHYSICAL-DISTANCING AND HYGIENE

However, Maricopa County is adopting the President’s and Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) 15 Days to Slow The Spread Coronavirus Guidelines for America, which will impact how we conduct business. The new guidelines recommend:

  • Physical-distancing.
    • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than ten (10) people.
      • Do not use trails if you have symptoms of COVID-19, which can include fever, cough and breathing trouble.
      • Ensure that there is six (6) to eight (8) feet between you and the next person on the trail, following physical-distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
      • If your favorite trailhead or recreational spot in the park is experiencing overcrowding and congestion, find another area in the park to visit so you are practicing safe physical-distancing.
      • Maricopa County's regional park system contains 596-miles of trails, this includes the 315-mile Maricopa Trail. Maps for the Maricopa Trail can be found at https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/things-to-do/activity/maps/. 
      • Bring water, snacks, and sunscreen. The nature centers are closed, so you will not be able to purchase items at the park.
      • If you’re hiking with pets, please clean-up after them. It’s even more important than usual to pack out your own trash to protect any park employees and the natural resources.
    • The Arizona Department of Health Services strongly recommends that dining establishments discourage dine-in traffic in areas of known community spread (i.e., Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties).
    • If dine-in options are provided, social distancing measures should be implemented, providing space for customers to be placed at least six (6) feet apart.
  • Practice good hygiene.
    • Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
    • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

The department will continue to monitor county, state, and federal health department recommendations for guidance and provide updates as they impact park and trail operations, and/or public safety. 


RESOURCES:

NOTE: Our team's area of expertise is outdoor recreation, not infectious diseases, we are asking that you visit the following websites for information on COVID-19. Information is very fluid right now and, at times, only being released on social media accounts so please don't discount these resources.

If you have questions or concerns, please email us at maricopacountyparks@maricopa.gov. Future updates and changes will be posted on this page.


Recommendations for trail users on observing physical-distancing minimums

There are a number of specific recommendations for advising the public to keep safe physical-distancing when in parks or on trails

  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
  • Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended physical-distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
  • Warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
  • Note that trail and park users may find public restrooms closed — be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
  • Bring water or drinks — public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers

Information provided by the National Parks and Recreation Association

covid19-public-trails-hi-res-web

 
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