Final Days in Tucson – Heading to Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant Regional Park (northwest of Phoenix)

Our long stay in Tucson just flew by.  One of the last activities we completed was a hike with Joe and Gay in nearby Tucson Mountain Park.  We drove to the Sarasota Trailhead off of Kinney Road to hike the Starr Pass Trail.

Gay and Joe head into the Tucson Mountains

Heading up through the pass

During the hike we were almost attacked by Baron von Richthofen (aka The Red Baron) but he didn’t spot us.

Three wise hikers on the trail

A Prickly Pear takes root in a Saguaro

The loop hike we planned turned out to be a bit shorter when the lead hiker (he shall remain nameless) turned on to an incorrect trail, so we added a mile on another trail at the end of the loop.  Along the way we did spot a bit of wild life.

A Bull Snake crossed the trail between John and Joe

Some sort of lizard watched us go by

Oh, and what is a hike in the Sonora without a Crested Saguaro?

Over the past couple of years a hiking fan named Rebecca has commented on our blog.  It turns out that she lives right here in Tucson.  We took the opportunity to meet with her and her friend, Les, at Reforma Cocina & Cantina, a nice restaurant off of North Campbell Avenue.  We enjoyed some great food and lively conversation about our different travels.  Thanks again for the dinner, Les and Rebecca.  Next visit, we’ll hit the trails!

Les and Rebecca at Reforma Cocina & Cantina

On our last day in Tucson Joe and Gay invited us to their site for a tasty dinner.  They have three small dogs so, of course, someone had to bring treats for them.  She became instantly popular.  Eat your heart out Lewis, Sasha, and Cody!  Thanks, Joe and Gay, for a great dinner!

Sally, Dover, Jack and The Dog Whisperer

The next day we fired up the motorhome and headed north on I-10 for a 160 mile trip to Lake Pleasant.

Picacho Peak sits north of Tucson – can’t believe we climbed to the top!

Overpasses in southern Arizona are often decorated with desert scenes

We did not know about Lake Pleasant Regional Park until we read a blog post on Lowes RV Adventures when  Steve and Mona Liza stayed here a few months ago.  Steve did a review on the park and recommended site 18 as having the best views.  Since we knew we would be coming this way when we left Tucson, we checked for availability and found site 18 open for four days.  Steve was definitely correct, this site has the best views in the park!

The view to the east

The view to the west

The view from our chairs

We took a short hike up a trail to the visitor center but found it to be closed for renovations.  As we came back down the trail we had a nice view of the lake and the campground with our motorhome in the distance.

We’ll be here for the next four days enjoying the views and hiking some of the trails in the park.  Then it’s a short move east to Cave Creek Regional Park for the weekend.

More on that later . . .

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19 Responses to Final Days in Tucson – Heading to Lake Pleasant

  1. Sue says:

    Nice last hike with Gay and Joe, even with the slight detour! The little lizard needs a mani-pedi pretty soon. Your site at Lake Pleasant is enviable, I do love to sit by the water. See you soon.

  2. Laurel says:

    What a beautiful site at Lake Pleasant! Looks like you had another great hike with friends just before waving goodbye to Tucson and more fun times socializing. Wow, Picacho Peak looks kind of scary in that photo — I’m rethinking my desire to hike it….

  3. Jeff says:

    Nice hike for me consider. Often camp at the lake to catch a few cactus league games. You have a really nice site! Try a hike with wild burros? So much fun seeing places thru your posts. BTW PADRES Mariners played today. Enjoy a game.

  4. Nancy says:

    Enjoy… love Lake Pleasant! Such beautiful weather we are having now!

  5. Sherry says:

    Love the little prickly pear staking out his real estate. Seems the nimble hiker has many talents-crested spotter, dog whisperer, what next? I’m interested in the “regional parks”. Are they like “county parks” in the east which are often walk in only? Great looking site!

  6. Gay says:

    Awesome visits we shared…looking forward to lots more in Moab.
    That is one beautiful spot to call home for a few days…enjoy!

  7. Mary says:

    We have dry camped at Lake Pleasant a time or two. Everytime we go there I remember how small that lake was in the 80’s when I lived in Phoenix. So much has changed.

  8. pmbweaver says:

    Beautiful header photo.
    Our leader has never taken a wrong turn…I also have a bridge to sale you.
    Do not like snakes and the looks like a huge lizard.

    What a gorgeous site you have. I am marking this one down for sure. I could just sit there and stare…forget the hikes. Enjoy the beauty!

  9. Looks like you did get the best site. Great views! Enjoy.
    Cave Creek is nice but they allow horses on the trails and we didn’t care for sharing.

  10. Jodee Gravel says:

    Good thing you were wearing those desert-colored hats so the Baron didn’t see you! Great pic of him though 🙂 Wonderful snake sighting – worth the extra mile for sure. And the Treat Lady adds more adoring fans to her growing list…….(the tan clan is so cute). After your site and ours this week, I may just ask for #18 at each park to see if it’s always the best. Your water views are wonderful.

  11. Debbie L says:

    Looks fabulous! Maybe next winter…and the views from that site 18 are amazing!
    I just mentioned in my latest post we’ve heard the mountains are fine to visit in the southwest. We’ll be combing through your blog as well as the Lowe’s when the time comes!

  12. geogypsy2u says:

    Great shot of the “Red Baron”. Glad you didn’t see any other kind of snake. You’re lake views are fantastic,

  13. harleyhawk43 says:

    Good post. Have fun at Lake Pleasant. We stayed st Whispering Palms in Tucson Nov. and Dec. Then South Mesa BLM at Imperial Dam near Yuma for Jan. through now (staying until mid March. Then on to Death Valley.

    Our 2 books on our first 3 years full timing are available at

    Happy Trails
    Hawk and Red Fox

  14. Rebecca Salazar says:

    Our “blind date” was a blast !! Les and I will continue to live vicariously through your blog … 🙂

  15. Hey, now we have a reason to come back and get # 18, It does have great views.
    Hmm, sometimes a lost hike leader could lead you to something unexpected.

  16. Jim and Barb says:

    Lake Pleasant looks awesome, we are going to head down that way next year!

  17. We stopped at the Tucson KOA because of your blog. Wow! Fancy place. Glad we drove here. On our way to Salome AZ to ride out the wind with our friends. Love your blog and hikes.

  18. Larry says:

    That definitely does look like a site with a view – I’ll check it out.

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