RV Camping at Usery Mountain Regional Park
This park is a gem the local residents prefer to keep secret. Located on the east side of Phoenix on the western edge of the Goldfield Mountains, the park entered Maricopa County's system in 1961.
The mountain itself was named for King Usery (sometimes spelled Ussery). "King" was his first name rather than a title. He was a cattleman who was running stock in the area in the late 1870s and early 1880s.
Buckhorn campground has tent, back-in, and pull-through RV sites. Each one includes water and electric (20, 30, 50 amp) with a gravel driveway, fire pit, and picnic table.
73 sites are situated in one large loop with a row of sites going through the center. There is a dump station and very nice restrooms with showers available for registered campers.
Two things that grabbed our attention while relaxing at the campsite were the spectacular view of the mountains – up close and personal. And the wondrously huge "Phoenix" mountain sign sprawled in whitewash across the hillside.
Enjoy over 20 trails for walking, hiking, biking, and horseback. Usery sets itself apart with a popular archery range, an outdoor fitness gym, and playgrounds. The environmentally-friendly Nature Center is a must-see. Enjoy stargazing and park interpretive programs like the Full Moon Hike.
You may fly drones at the Superstition Airpark located off of Meridian Road (the southeast corner of Usery Mountain Regional Park). You can also access Tonto National Forest from the park.
Wildlife and Foliage
During a 5 1/2 mile trek on the trails with our dogs, we saw a small herd of deer, a coyote, an array of birds and plants, and lots of bicyclists. Remember to be courteous and step aside as bicycles come through.
We suggest taking a ranger-guided desert plant tour. You'll learn why you shouldn't drink water from a cactus, the many purposes of the spines on cacti and other flora, and how these amazing plants survive in a harsh climate.
Notice how sparse the desert looks as compared to a forest or grasslands. It's because the Sonoran desert does not need or want wildfire to stimulate new growth. The spaciousness between plants acts as a protective firebreak.
Consider walking the Wind Cave Trail up the face of the mountain for a breathtaking view (and maybe a picnic lunch). It's about 3 miles round trip rated easy to moderate. A popular trail for day-hikers, note that it can get busy during the winter months.
Add a visit to beautiful Usery Mountain Regional Park to your travel itinerary or local bucket list for a fun day trip or an overnight adventure.