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Located in a gorgeous desert environment, Thunderbird Park is close to Glendale, AZ, and a 30-minute drive away from Phoenix, AZ. This park has around 15 miles of multi-use trails that are suitable for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Visitors may also enjoy incredible vistas towards the nearby cities in the valley, as well as unique flora and fauna all around them.
The 1,185-acre Thunderbird Park is nestled in the Hedgpeth Hills, named after Robert Hedgpeth, an early settler who lived in this part of Arizona. The park itself got the name from the nearby pilot training base that was active during World War II. Today, this area is popular among both locals and tourists who come here to engage in a variety of outdoor activities. Are you interested in spending a couple of days exploring the otherworldly landscape of Thunderbird Park? Then book an RV in Maricopa County and embark on an adventure!
Hiking is the number one activity at Thunderbird Park. The extensive network of trails covers the entire area, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to explore this place to the fullest. The trails range in terms of difficulty, and you need to pick the one that will suit you the best. Beginners often stick to the Flatlander Trail that loops around the park and is 1.25 miles long. More experienced hikers choose to conquer the Arrowhead Point Trail because it offers panoramic vistas of the area. This trail is 1.5 miles long and passes by fields of volcanic rocks. However, be careful when the temperatures are high since the shade is sparse on this trail.
There are several picturesque picnic areas within Thunderbird Park. With covered picnic tables and plenty of space to run around, it is a favorite destination for nature lovers who live nearby as well as the Thunderbird Park campers. They can see the fascinating desert vegetation and wildlife such as chipmunks, ground squirrels, and jackrabbits. Birdwatchers are not a rare sight here since the park is home to many bird species. It is good to mention that rattlesnakes sometimes find their way to trails and picnic areas, so always be aware of your surroundings and watch where you step.
Campers who go RV camping at Thunderbird Park have several campgrounds to choose from. However, Roadrunner Campground stands out with its location and stunning views of the nearby Lake Pleasant. It is a short drive away from the park too. The campground has 70 sites that can accommodate long vehicles. The majority of the sites are spacious, and each camper will have their privacy. Amenities include a bathhouse, picnic area, and showers.
Roadrunner Campground offers water and electric hookups. This place is pet-friendly, but animals need to be kept on a leash within the camp. The majority of visitors choose this campground when the weather is warm because of the easy access to the lake. Spring, summer, and the beginning of fall are super busy at the Roadrunner Campground, so reservations are highly recommended.
Located in the heart of Arizona, Glendale was built around the Beet Sugar Factory at the turn of the century. The city grew over the decades and now has a population of over 200,000. It is also known as Arizona's Antique Capital. This lovely community is a must-see for all new visitors who happen to be camping at Thunderbird Park. There are numerous old and historical buildings mixed with modern architecture that make Glendale attractive to tourists of all ages. Those of you who are into unusual locations could visit Arizona Doll & Toy Museum. The museum has hundreds of dolls on display, some of them dating back to the 17th century. The impressive collection of toys will take you back to your childhood regardless of how old you are. The most popular installation within the museum is the School Room. This space is designed to resemble a schoolroom, with dolls posing as students.
Visitors interested in desert flora might enjoy the Xeriscape Botanical Gardens. The well-maintained garden has hundreds of different species of desert plants, all growing in the same place. You could spend a fun afternoon walking around the botanical gardens and learning how to identify various plants. The audio tour is also available here, and it could help you find out more facts about each plant you see.
Should you want to do some antiquing, stop by the Glendale Historic District. This part of the city still has an old-timey feeling, with gaslights lining the streets. Here you may find shops selling various things, as well as restaurants with retro interiors.
Before you leave Glendale, make a stop at a convenience store and purchase the supplies for your trip. You can find them in the downtown area. Also, check if your rental RV is running low on gas. Gas stations are close to the busiest roads within the city.
The magnificent landscapes of Arizona will make you fall in love with this state right away. Are you not ready to go home just yet? Head southeast on I-10 to Tucson, a city in the Sonoran desert surrounded by mountain ranges.