Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Carefree, AZ (northwest of Phoenix)

We spent a wonderful four days along the shore of beautiful Lake Pleasant, mostly just sitting and enjoying the great view of the water and surrounding mountains.  But one day we did get out to do a nice six mile trek on two trails along the lake north of our site.  We drove the Jeep three miles north on the park road to reach the trailhead for Pipeline Canyon Trailhead.

Heading toward the floating bridge

After a mile and a half we turned off the Pipeline on to the Yavapai Point Trail.

The Yavapai Trail is the most difficult trail in the park due to the elevation change as it winds for a mile up to Yavapai Point.  But the trail is good and the elevation change is only 122 feet so it is not too difficult.

Going up the Yavapai Trail – The Pipeline Trail can be seen off to our right

Some Saguaro are pretty tall in this area

This one is wearing hand-me-downs from his big brother!

At the top of Yavapai Point there is a great 360 view of the area.

Looking north at Cottonwood Creek and Fireman’s Cove

Heading back down the Yavapai Trail

We knew there were wild burros in the area and could hear them braying as we hiked.  As we re-crossed the floating bridge we finally spotted one napping on the hillside in the shade in front of us.

The desert is just starting to bloom near the campground.  We spotted a Staghorn Cactus flowering on a short trail near our site.

Dave and Sue have been staying in a series of regional parks in the area for the past month.  Since they had never been to the campground at Lake Pleasant they drove over one afternoon to join us for a late lunch.  Lewis and Sasha asked if they could ride along and share the visit.  Lewis is very enthusiastic and loves to visit with Gramma Pamma, especially when she shares those little dog treats with him!

Lewis tells her about some recent adventures

He can’t resist a big hug

John, Lewis, Dave, and Sue face the camera. Sasha doesn’t seem to care

Lunch with a view

Thursday was our last full day along the lake.  We thought about doing a hike but decided to just spend the day reading and relaxing while enjoying the beautiful view.

A small sailboat skims across the lake

A boat towing someone on a wake board entertained us for most of the afternoon.  The surfer would be pulled up by the boat with a rope, then throw the rope back up to the boat and ride the boat wake like a wave along the shore.  Very entertaining!

On Friday we made a short drive (only 25 miles) to nearby Cave Creek Regional Park where we have a site for the week-end.  The park is very nice with widely spaced sites and electric and water.  But it sure doesn’t have a view like our site at Lake Pleasant!

We’ll stay here until Monday morning when we head west about sixty miles to North Ranch, an Escapees park just north of Wickenburg.

More on that later . . .

Desert sunset

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20 Responses to Lake Pleasant Regional Park

  1. Nice blooms on the cactus. They aren’t quite there yet in Tucson.

  2. montanaclarks says:

    We love the Lake Pleasant area but have never stayed in the park.

  3. Debbie L says:

    Wow, what a treat in Lake Pleasant. You had it all!

  4. Laurel says:

    What a gorgeous site at Lake Pleasant. That hike looks really fun, too, with great views and a burro sighting! Another place for our list. 🙂 I like your hat, Pam — that Arizona sun is so intense, it’s good to have some protection.

  5. pmbweaver says:

    I don’t like floating bridges at all, but I had to cross that one, so be it.
    So clever with your Saguaro descriptions….hehe
    Gorgeous vista!

    I really like your site at Cave Creek. Maybe not as good but still very lovely!

  6. explorvistas says:

    Love that Lake Pleasant site! Very nice.

  7. Jim and Barb says:

    What? A day of not hiking? You guys are slacking! Barb and I spent an afternoon just reading the other day and really enjoyed it. I don’t know why we feel like we need to do something everyday, a day off is pretty relaxing!

  8. Kim Nowell says:

    Enjoy reading your posts and seeing your lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing

  9. We enjoyed both trails and I was hoping to see yellow colors carpeting the hillside. I have not seen a Staghorn cholla flower bloom before, it is so pretty.
    My goodness, the love affair of Lewis and Grandmma Pam.

  10. Zsuzsa Klush says:

    Guess what… we’re in Congress. This time we shall meet again. What a fabulous camp site , I marked that down for the future.

  11. Carin says:

    Wow. What campground? What site number? We want to go there!

    • placestheygo says:

      Carin, we stayed in the Roadrunner campground (the only one with W/E) and we were in site 18. A lot of the sites have no water view at all. The sites that run along the edge where we were are the best. Some on the other side of the road have views as well.

  12. Debra says:

    Very nice that you were able to stay in that great lake view site. You also have given me more hiking trail options that I have not done. Thanks

  13. We’ve yet to stay at Lake Pleasant. It sure looks pretty but it seems like the trails are minimal? I did like the view at the top and the burros!

  14. Gay says:

    What an incredible 4 days! Your site was gorgeous! The hike was beautiful with all its views…love the pic of John on the trail with the lake in the background and then again with the very tall saquaro…and you taking in the lake view. So happy to see the stag horn flowers!

  15. Jodee Gravel says:

    Really? One day of hiking out of four – that’s the biggest testament to how great the view was!! Glad you had wonderful weather to enjoy it. Love the baggy-clothed little brother 🙂 Pam and Lewis are a hoot. Maybe you’ll get a peek at Mike and Janna’s new digs while you’re at North Ranch – and I know there are a few cresteds nearby :-))))))

  16. geogypsy2u says:

    Wow, those are some tall saguaros. Love that lake view. You’re headed near my old neighborhood in Yarnell.

  17. Jeff says:

    Glad you saw the burros, they are fun! This was our go-to spot for the PADRES games for a few years. So nice to see it thru your eyes,

  18. LuAnn says:

    The Lake Pleasant area has certainly changed since I lived in Phoenix. Enjoy Cave Creek Regional Park. There are some interesting hikes in the area, but I’m guessing you already know that! 😉

  19. Nancy says:

    Love Lake Pleasant! I need to get there this spring! Only 20 minutes away!!
    We are just starting to see blooms on the cacti.
    Lovely photos of a lovely place!

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