In the heart of the White Tank Mountains (just west of the Phoenix metro area) lies a 30,000 acre park. The White Tank Regional Park is Maricopa County’s largest park. The White Tanks got their name due to erosion created from thousands of years of infrequent torrential rains. The fast moving water scoured out basins in the white granite. Many of these depressions hold water long after the rains have subsided providing early residents of the area with a source for water.
The highest mountains in the park rise to around 4,000 feet, their bases forming many canyons that today are hosts to miles of beautiful desert hiking trails. Area residents enjoy hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding on the trails. Park maps document all trails with their difficulty level ranging from easy to strenuous.
Early inhabitants lived in the area during 500-1100 A.D. The Hohokam Indians developed several small villages in the area. The park contains eleven archeological sites focusing on seven villages, a rock shelter and several areas of petroglyphs. Some of the villages had significant populations that created check dams and terraces for farming.
Hikers trekking along the Black Rock Trail will discover a Hohokam village site, but only if they look sharply with an archeologist’s eye. Waterfall Canyon Trail features a couple of large groups of petroglyphs. The rock drawings have survived for hundreds, even thousands of years.
There is speculation that the petroglyphs are not the work of ancient Native Americans, but are instead the work of alien visitors from another planet. To those who might believe in the alien visitor theory, I simply remind the reader that alien beings with the technology to travel through long space journeys would probably have excellent communication technologies and would not likely have to resort to writing on rocks.
Camping and day use ramadas are available to guests of the park. You can find out more information and download trail maps by visiting the White Tank Mountain Regional Park website.
I submit for your approval a small gallery of images taken in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Click on any image below to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.
Information about the park for this article was drawn from the White Tank Mountain Regional Park website, the link sourced earlier in the article.