The recent rains convinced Graham that the waterfall at White Tank Mountain Regional Park must be flowing. I have heard that it’s usually dry, so I’ve only ever made the trip to the West Valley park to mountain bike. We hopped in the car and ventured west, all the way to the Cotton Lane exit on the Interstate 10. From there we made some wrong turns but ended up driving north on Citrus Road and turning west on Olive Avenue, which takes you all the way to the park entrance.
On this Sunday we had to pay the park fee of $6 per car in the visitor center and library building. In there we picked up some desert-plant and salsa-vegetable seeds ($5.50) to plant at home. Then we headed to the Waterfall trailhead to start the 1-mile hike.
|A sign indicates the types of flora you’ll see on the hike.|
The park is home to petroglyphs left behind by the Hohokam people, who apparently abandoned the area in A.D. 1100. The largest concentration of rock art in the park is located along the waterfall trail, according to the park website.
Graham was right, the water was flowing. Hikers making the return trip from the waterfall warned us that we were going to get our shoes wet. It would have been smart to wear water shoes, but we made do with our hiking shoes.
Farther along the trail there are more petroglyphs to admire. A sign explains what the designs are believed to mean.
Water was flowing over the steps near the waterfall. The dark water made it difficult to navigate through because of uneven rocks hidden underneath.
At last, we made it to the waterfall. The small water pool came up to my thighs. It was easier to hold onto the rock wall as I walked over to the mini waterfall for a photo.
On the hike back we stopped to soak in the view of the Valley.
As the end of our hike, we noticed a lizard basking in the sun. Our little friend noticed us immediately, only allowing a few photos before disappearing amid the rocks.
|The view west from the trailhead parking lot.|
Our spontaneous adventure paid off, with plenty of desert discoveries.