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Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Located in the southwest corner of the Phoenix metropolitan area, Estrella Mountain Regional Park both borders the Gila River and contains the northernmost part of the Sierra Estrella range for which it is named. Originally home to the Hohokam, followed by the Pima and Maricopa tribes, it was established as a park in 1954. It comprises 19,840 acres, and is administered by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation.

The 10 Essentials

ACTIVITIES:

  • baseball
  • camping
  • equestrian
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • picnicking
  • trail running

HIGHLIGHTS:

33+ miles of multi-use trails ranging from easy to moderate

65-acre grass picnic area

The 315-mile Maricopa Trail passes through the park

HABITAT:

Sonoran desert; saguaro / paloverde communities.
Elevation ranges from ~900 to over 4,000 feet.

AVAILABILITY:

Open year-round; day-use only in developed areas.
Ideal seasons are late fall – early spring.

AMENITIES:

Extensive picnic options, including large group ramadas
2 baseball fields
Guided walks and interpretive programming
Nature center
Ampitheater
Stargazing program
7 RV camp sites (check to make sure there is vacancy)
Equestrian staging area
Rodeo arena
Guided horseback adventures
9.75-mile competitive track

PERMITS / FEES:

Park entry is $7/vehicle or annual passes are available for $85.
Hike / Bike / Equestrian entry is $2 or annual passes are available for $30.
Annual passes include access to all Maricopa County Parks.
Camping fee for developed sites is $32 / night, with a $8 non-refundable reservation fee.
A free permit is required for backcountry camping.
Additional fee information can be found here.

SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS:

The Gila River area of the park is part of the Audubon Society Lower Salt and Gila Riparian Ecosystem Important Bird Area
Part of the Gadsden Trail has been recognized by the State Historic Preservation Office as a historic trail (Site #1197)

ACCESSIBILITY:

Kid-friendly
Dog-friendly (must be leashed and licensed)
ADA: Facilities are accessible. The half-mile Gila Trail is hard-surfaced.

NEAREST SERVICES:

Goodyear is the closest full-service city.

HEADS-UP!

Risks include: extreme heat, dehydration (bring LOTS of water!), exposure, flash flooding, rattlesnakes, numerous species of spiny cacti.. do NOT hug the teddy bear cholla!
Fire bans are in effect seasonally; gas stoves and grills are not allowed when there is an ‘extreme fire ban.’
Fires are not allowed anywhere outside of designated places.

Flora & Fauna

Estrella Mountain contains a broad diversity of plant and animal species, from whiptail lizard to beaver, roadrunner to red-tailed hawk. Additionally, the park contains these species with special status:

  • Southern willow flycatcher (ENDANGERED)
  • Yuma clapper rail (ENDANGERED)
  • Gila monster
  • Desert bighorn sheep
  • Abert’s towhee
  • Bald eagle
  • Desert spikemoss
  • Sonoran desert tortoise
  • Lobed fleabane
  • Gila woodpecker
  • Western burrowing owl
Tolleson
82°
Sunny
5:20am7:42pm MST
Feels like: 82°F
Wind: 5mph SW
Humidity: 42%
Pressure: 29.8"Hg
UV index: 0
SatSunMon
108/81°F
111/88°F
108/84°F

Explore the park from the maricopa trail

Maricopa Trail sign

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