El Mirage is a city on the banks of the Agua Fria River located within an hour's drive of Phoenix and a short drive from Luke Air Force Base, the largest training base for fighter pilots serving in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In the early 1930s, Mexican migrants came to El Mirage to harvest crops and help build canals, linking El Mirage’s modern history to its ancient beginnings as the settlement of the Hohokam, Native American irrigation farmers who left Mexico and settled a large swathe of the area in south-central Arizona.
Without introduction, the Grand Canyon National Park comes to mind at the mention of Arizona. Book an RV in El Mirage and you’ll be half a day’s drive from the state’s crown jewel of tourist spots. But don’t overlook nearby natural wonders that offer an easy escape from El Mirage’s city buzz. The 10,000-acre Lake Pleasant Regional Park and White Tank Mountain Regional Park are only a half an hour's drive away while some of the state’s other notable national parks and monuments are only a two-hour drive away.
A Taste of the Grand Canyon State
Drive your travel trailer rental from El Mirage to Lake Pleasant and toss a line out for several species of bass, sunfish, and crappie. Or follow the trails around the lake to give your legs a good workout on horseback, mountain bike, or foot. If hiking in desert surroundings is your type of adventure, White Tank Mountain Regional Park has 30 miles of shared-use trails with varying levels of difficulty, with commanding mountain views and scenic valleys to match.
An hour away by RV rental from El Mirage, the Sonoran Desert National Monument is famous for its extensive forest of saguaro cactus. The wilderness areas here serve as corridors for the mountain lion, the gray fox, and the desert bighorn sheep so keep an eye out when you come to visit. The nesting bald eagle, the pygmy owl, and the southwestern willow flycatcher are also regulars although their status is more vulnerable than other avian residents.
Arizona has dozens of natural marvels, but nothing comes close to the sheer scale, geologic history, and visual appeal of the Grand Canyon National Park. Some of the oldest rocks on the planet lie exposed here, which can easily be seen on the canyon's variegated layers. See the vivid colors up close on a boating or rafting tour down the Colorado River, or on the back of a mule on an expedition through the immense canyon.
Escape traffic congestion and take your El Mirage motorhome rental to the remote and sparsely visited North Rim (closed to vehicles in winter until early spring) to better appreciate its alpine atmosphere. Or enter the park from the more convenient and developed South Rim, which is open year-round. Both entrances have campgrounds for the El Mirage camper rental so you can explore the park at your leisure.
Where to Park Your RV
Being close to Phoenix, El Mirage is surrounded by numerous RV parks and motorhome campgrounds, with the majority catering to the 55+ crowd and several attracting long-term snowbirds. The sole campground in town is Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort, a large 55+ park with plenty of full hookup sites, restrooms, and showers/hot tubs. A few more options are close by, in Peoria and Surprise, with a handful of regional/state parks found within 30 miles. Most sites have full hookups, showers, and restrooms; several have pools and a wide range of recreational facilities.
If you don't need to hook up to water or electricity, you may want to consider staying at the parking lot of the local Walmart. Get the manager's approval and you just might have a place to park your El Mirage camper rental for a night or two. You'll also find a handful of gas stations located in town, some with extended hours.
From Cowboy Towns to the Cactus League
Several Major League Baseball (MLB) teams head to Arizona in February and March for the Cactus League. The Cactus League precedes MLB’s regular season and offers a fantastic opportunity to get closer to action and score autographs from your favorite players. Find the best El Mirage RV rental and you’ll be closer to some of the stadiums used for spring training like the Surprise Stadium, the Camelback Ranch Stadium, and the Peoria Sports Complex. If football is more your kind of ballgame, catch the Arizona Cardinals play in the regular season at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
Any other time of the year, drop by at the Challenger Space Center in Phoenix to browse artifacts, memorabilia, and other exhibits related to space travel and the universe in general. Learn about first-hand accounts of those who have taken an active part in the exploration of space. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Challenger Space Center was founded in 1986 to commemorate the crew of shuttle flight STS-51L that broke up in-flight.
Step into an 1800's town at the Pioneer Living History Museum, also in Phoenix. Interpreters in lawmen, cowboy, and Victorian lady costumes will walk you through a ranch complex, a Victorian house, and a one-room log cabin school. Set on 90 acres, the museum houses a handful more historically accurate reproductions of other structures that evoke an Old West village.
At the end of the day, tuck into a hearty meal of American comfort food, Southwestern staples, and Mexican fare to refuel. Diners and national fast food chains have a strong presence here and nearby, while a few places farther from the city offer Asian and Italian cuisine. Barbecue is served in several grills and pubs while vegetarian/vegan options can be ordered in a few places.
The Grand Canyon National Park is, without doubt, Arizona’s main tourist draw. But don’t forget to seek out the smaller gems tucked along less traveled paths. Act now before the secret is out. Search for an RV rental in El Mirage, AZ today and set out on a hunt for Arizona’s under-the-radar natural treasures.