Local’s Guide to Usery Mountain Regional Park

Usery Mountain Regional Park

Planning a visit to Usery Mountain Regional Park?  Here’s our local’s guide to pretty much everything you need to know about Usery Mountain Regional Park.

When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, Usery Mountain Regional Park will not disappoint. Not only does this Maricopa County regional park offer its visitors a wide array of outdoor activities, but it also serves as a home to several plants and animals that can only be found in the lower Sonoran Desert. Simply put, one could spend an entire weekend within Usery Mountain’s park limits without running out of things to do or see!


Keep reading this article to find out what Usery Mountain Regional Park is known for. You’ll learn about the park’s must-see spots, trail information, open hours, entrance fees, picnic spots, campgrounds, and nearby accommodations.

1. What Usery Mountain Regional Park is Known For

It is located almost directly east of Phoenix. Usery Mountain Regional Park spans just under 4,000 acres through the west Goldfield Mountains and into the neighboring Tonto National Forest. More than 170,000 people visit the park annually. If you were to ask any of them about their experience, chances are they’d tell you that Usery Mountain is best known for its surrounding mountain ranges and an impressive lineup of unique outdoor activities. What are they? An archery range, model airplanes fly site, several multi-use trails, and a state-of-the-art outdoor fitness center.

Surrounding Mountain Ranges

If you’re on the hunt for awe-inspiring mountain views, Usery Mountain Regional Park is a great place to check out. The park sits on the border of an Arizona mountain region with the Superstition Mountains to the east. The Goldfield Mountains to the north and northeast. The Usery Mountains to the northwest. Lastly, the McDowell Mountains across the Salt River. What a lineup! A natural water basin also spreads out to the west and south of the park.

Usery Park towards Superstition Mountain
Usery Park with a view of Superstition Mountain

Archery Range

Usery Mountain Regional Park prides itself on being home to the only “Five Star” rated archery range in all of Arizona. This shaded archery range boasts nearly 100 targets. It has 6 separate courses. There are practice targets, hunter targets, field targets, burlap animal targets, and even 3D animal targets.

Information about Usery Mountain Regional Park archery range fees can be found on the park website or by calling +1 (480) 984-0032.​ 

Usery Mountain Archery Range

Model Airplanes

Fun fact! The Arizona Model Aviators flying site is located inside of Usery Mountain Regional Park. This model airplane flying zone has a long and wide paved runway. There’s a covered ramada picnic area and plenty of space for spectator viewing. On days where model aviators are competing, the park offers a gas generator as well as concession stands and other fun vendors. 

The gate to this flying site is open any time a club member is present. Visitors are welcome daily. To learn more, check out the Arizona Model Aviators club website.​ 

Multi-Use Trails

Usery Mountain Park includes just under 30 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. All of the available trails are multi-use unless otherwise declared at the trailhead. Even a journey down one of the park’s shorter and easier trails may grant you an up-close look at Gila monsters, desert tortoises, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, cactus wrens, coyotes, and a host of cacti.

Usery Park Lizard

Outdoor Fitness Center

In 2015, Usery Mountain Regional Park unveiled an impressive set of brand new outdoor fitness equipment near the park’s Merkle Trailhead. Since then, park visitors have been able to exercise while enjoying the fresh air. All the while taking in that unbeatable scenic backdrop. Whether you want to stop by for a warm-up or cool-down after enjoying a brisk jog along your favorite trail or come just to use the available equipment, you’ll have the chance to utilize a number of fitness stations:

Outdoor Fitness Equipment Signs
  • Ab toner 
  • Leg press
  • Squat machine 
  • Triceps and chest press
  • Arm curl machine
  • Hip twist machine
  • Leg extension and curl machine

We know the Arizona sun is hot! But don’t worry, the park’s outdoor fitness center area is shaded. This keeps the equipment cool and offer those breaking a sweat the chance to do so out of direct sunlight.

Usery Park Outdoor Fitness Center

2. What Are the Top Spots to See in Usery Mountain Regional Park?

Whether you’re stopping by Usery Mountain Regional Park for a few hours or staying through a three-day weekend. We recommend getting to both the Rock Daisy Wind Cave and the Nature Center before you head out.

The Wind Cave

Wind Cave

Often touted as Usery Mountain Regional Park’s most popular feature, the Wind Cave Trail leads you up to a unique wind cave overlooking the surrounding land. Here, the water seeps from the roof of the alcove to support hanging gardens with rock daisy and four o’clock flowers. This alcove was formed between volcanic rock and granite on Pass Mountain. It offers a cool, shady area to catch your breath while taking in the breathtaking views from the spot’s 2,840-foot elevation. If you time it right, you’ll even see the Fountain Hills Fountain shoot into the sky on the hour, every hour!

Usery Mountain Wind Cave Trail

Nature Center

Usery Mountain’s Nature Center is another must-see spot inside of the park. This building was designed to provide a quality experience. All the while, remaining sustainable and causing minimal disturbance to the natural beauty of the park. Inside, you’ll find friendly park rangers, a souvenir shop, live critters, and educational exhibits about the park’s history and rich ecosystems. While you’re there, ask about Usery Mountain’s park events. Rangers provide engaging educational programming a few times each month. Such as moonlight hikes, storytimes, night safaris, animal meet-and-greets, and more.

Famous Phoenix Sign

3. Hiking/Trails Information

The multi-use trails are quite possibly the most popular attraction at Usery Mountain Regional Park. Visitors will be delighted to find 20 trails offering over 29 miles of pristine landscape for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. These Usery Mountain park trails range from a quarter-mile to over 7 miles. They each offer their own sweeping views across the plains south of the park and surrounding mountains to the west and north. We’ve listed some crowd favorites for you below:

View from Wind Cave Trail
The amazing view from Wind Cave Trail at Sunset
  • Merkle Trail – just under one mile, considered flat and easy. If you don’t have a lot of time to spare, this trail is a great option.
  • Wind Cave Trail (our favorite) – a 1.5-mile trail that guides hikers along the mountainside and into the neighboring Tonto National Forest. It’s a hard climb, but take your time and you can do it! This is actually one of our favorite trails now. The beauty of this trail is unique, lush, and interesting. We hit it in time for sunset and it was worth all the effort!
  • Levee Trail – a 1.6-mile mostly flat trail that’s perfect for joggers and those looking for a leisurely walk through breathtaking scenery.
  • Pass Mountain Trail – a moderate 7.1-mile trail with sweeping changes of scenery. A great all-day hike for all skill levels.
Wind Cave Trail and Pass Mountain Trail

All Usery Mountain Regional Park trails are available for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders unless otherwise declared. And while the views are breathtaking, so is the sun! Even if you’re taking a short hike, don’t forget to bring skin protection and lots of water.

4. Park and Camping Information for Usery Mountain Regional Park

Park Hours

Usery Mountain Regional Park is open 365 days a year from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm Sunday through Thursday. 6:00 am to 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. 

The park’s Nature Center and administrative office are both open daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Usery Mountain Regional Park Entrance Sign

Entrance Fees

Visit Usery Mountain’s website for more information regarding park entrance fees and annual membership passes.

Picnic Grounds

Visitors are welcome to utilize the day-use picnic area and large group picnic area available inside Usery Mountain Regional Park. The day-use picnic grounds provide a table, barbecue grill, drinking water, and restroom for each site. They are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Large group picnics and events are encouraged to rent one of Usery Mountain Regional Park’s ramadas. The park offers two large group areas. Each of them contains two large ramadas that include picnic tables, a patio, barbecue grills, drinking water, electrical outlets, fire pits, floodlights, and nearby playgrounds. The ramadas can be reserved for a fee in four-hour increments. However, if they are not marked as reserved, visitors are welcome to use them on a first-come, first-served basis.​ 

Saguaro Cactus


Usery Mountain Regional Park offers a campground with 73 individual sites. Each site include:

  • Large parking area
  • Accessible water
  • Picnic table
  • Barbecue grill
  • Fire ring
  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Dump station.

There are well-kept restroom facilities available near each site with flush toilets and hot water showers. Individual sites at Usery Mountain park can be reserved online at the Maricopa County Parks website

If you are hoping to camp with a large group, you can reserve a group campgrounds. Each group campground contains a large ramada containing six picnic tables, a large patio, and shared restrooms with hot water showers. Hookups for RV’s are not available at the large group sites. ​ 

5. Where To Stay Around Usery Mountain Regional Park

The park is located close enough for a day-trip from anywhere in the Phoenix metropolitan area. If you do need a place to stay, Hotel accommodations are as close as 6 miles from Usery Mountain Regional Park. Mesa and Apache Junction also boasts a number of unique Airbnb listings that can accommodate the whole family or simply provide a home base for a weekend away.

Chances are that once you step foot inside of Usery Mountain Regional Park, you won’t want to leave any time soon. With so many unique activities, it’s no wonder that this park draws in diverse crowds of newcomers and regulars throughout the year. But don’t just take our word for it, get out there and see for yourself!