Located just at the base of Estrella is the entrance to the 19,840 acre Estrella Mountain Regional Park. As a matter of fact, Estrella shares a five mile eastern boundary with the park. Opened in 1954, it is the first regional park to be incorporated into the Maricopa County Park System.
Nestled in the Sierra Estrella Mountain Range, the park’s pristine desert landscape is complemented by a large wetland area where the Gila and Agua Fria Rivers meet. Many amenities are available including 33 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. For those looking for a nice spot to grab lunch, the park has the only grassy picnic area in the Maricopa park system.
Estrella Mountain Regional Park is proud to be home to the first nature center constructed by Maricopa County's Parks and Recreation Department. The center is designed to minimize the disturbance to the natural landscape and is a sustainable, energy efficient structure. Not just a place to welcome visitors, the nature center hosts many lectures and classes throughout the year such as: rock identification, desert survival, camping basics and lessons focused on learning more about the native critters that live in our desert playground.
The park hosts several organized hikes each month where visitors can explore the wonders of nature with a trained guide or park ranger. On the “Bird Walk” with an expert from Sonoran Audubon, walkers will get the chance to increase their knowledge of our feathered friends and should be on the lookout for the more than 150 different species of birds that live in the area. The “Sonoran Sunrise Hike” offers a fun and relaxing two and a half mile morning hike to start your day off right. Another community favorite is the “Bingo Hike” with Ranger Mark. Hikers are always encouraged to bring a friend, and of course plenty of water and sunscreen. To commemorate Arizona’s 100th birthday, the Three Rivers Historical Society and the West Valley Arts Council in conjunction with Estrella Mountain Regional Park recently broke ground on the Centennial Trail. The trail will stroll along the base of the Estrella Mountain Range and will act as an outdoor museum – complete with 11 time period nodes and historical markers. The half-mile track will showcase community art, beautiful scenery and interactive education modules. The first phase of construction is due to be completed by the end of the year.
Estrella Mountain Regional Park is open 365 days a year: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday through Saturday. For more information and a full schedule of events visit: Estrella Mountain Regional Park
With Estrella’s vast amenities, including the communities own paths and trail system, and the Regional Park right next door, the outdoor enthusiast will always have something to do right in their own back yard.
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