Sometimes you just have to leave the manicured landscape behind and experience some natural beauty.   And PebbleCreek is ideally located to do just that.

The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department has 12 parks facilities throughout the region that offer challenge, adventure and a wide range of outdoor opportunity.   Estrella Mountain Regional Park and White Tank Mountain Regional Park are both within a 15 or 20 minute drive of PebbleCreek.  I have hiked in both parks; the White Tanks trails tend to make all of the surrounding development just disappear while the Estrella trails offer views of the valley.    There is actually a Maricopa County library right outside the entrance to the White Tanks so there are plenty of educational opportunities on that property…  and the Estrella rangers are also helpful and offer many planned programs – like hikes to watch the sun rise or enjoy a full moon.

The trails can be easy…  but they can also be CHALLENGING.   Like – get lost and feel a little frightened challenging.  I have had both easy and tough experiences and am now very careful to take plenty of water and a phone – and to heed the advice of park rangers.  In addition to hiking, depending on the facility, visitors can camp, horseback ride, fish, bike, shoot and try their hand at archery.

Another treasure is Lake Pleasant Regional Park.   Located a bit further off the beaten path from PebbleCreek, it is a 45 minute drive.  But once you get there, the 10,000 acre lake is a haven for water sport lovers.  Folks jet ski, motor boat, swim, paddle board, kayak….  float in inflatable floaties and life preservers…  a little of everything.  There is a marina where people store their boats and even a restaurant right on the water.

As I type, most Maricopa County parks charge an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle and many outdoor enthusiasts will find it worth their while to get the annual pass for $85.