Quick Visit: White Tank Regional Park, Arizona
Odometer (ILX): 84,278
Odometer (Legend): 529,778
Sometimes a driving adventure presents itself when you least expect it. I had just finished up a walk-through at a rental home in Waddell, Arizona on Thursday afternoon for a cousin who’s moving to the area from Pennsylvania. Pulling out of the subdivision on Olive Avenue, I looked to the west and saw the 4,000-foot White Tank Mountains in the distance. I had two hours to kill until meeting a couple of friends for dinner, so I decided to see where that road would take me. (See red pin at left on the below map)
The four-laner went down to two lanes a mile or two before I approached the entry gate at White Tank Regional Park. Entry was $6 and I saw a sign stating “Ice Cold Water $1,” so I grabbed one of those as well from the nice senior couple that was working the booth. “I’m a first timer,” I said, “What is there to do in here?” The man told me that the park has 28 miles of hiking trails. I glanced down at the ILX external temp readout and noticed that it indicated 108 degrees, then responded, “Hiking? Not on a day like today!” He just shook his head and rolled his eyes, “You’d be surprised. We have a ton of locals out there right now.”
I headed on into the 30,000-acre park and proceeded along the winding, two-lane paved road that had dips and curves giving my suspension a workout. The landscape was dotted with hundreds of towering Saguaro cacti and a few jackrabbits scampered across my path as I worked my way through the park at 25 to 35 miles per hour. The road went 3 miles along the base of the mountains until it hit a roundabout, where I looped back. I took a side loop on the return trip via Ford Canyon Rd which became Waterfall Road. Despite the temperatures, I did take the opportunity to hike around long enough to get a few stray cactus needles attached to my socks. Ouch.
White Tank is definitely a place I’ll be visiting again for some hikes when the weather cools off. It’ll make a nice backdrop for some automotive photography, too. Glad I was able to find it!
These massive Saguaro cacti are probably centuries old. According to the National Park Service, the Saguaro must mature to 100 years in age before it even begins to grow an “arm”!
You all know I’m big on dates & anniversaries. Yesterday, June 12, was the 2-year anniversary of the day I took ownership of the ILX from John Watts of Acura’s Digital Marketing team.
The car had just 16 miles on it. It’s been a fun ride so far!
Have a great weekend!