EARLY morning hike on Usery Mountain

Early morning hike on Pass Mountain in Usery

A lovely & spacious county park campground just East of Phoenix in Mesa, AZ.

Link to campground here: Usery Mountain Regional Park, AZ
Link to map location here: Usery Mountain Regional Park, AZ

  1. Site Quality = 3.5/5
    Very nice sites here with just a few dings. Sites are large simple packed dirt, either pull-through or back-in with spacious “sitting areas” containing fire-pit, large concrete picnic table and grill. Sites are very well separated and very sunny, surrounded by dense & pretty cactus landscape. Each site has 50Amp and water (no sewer). Sites on East side (42 through 61) have full views of lovely PassMountain while a few on South end (29 through 37 or so) have small slices of valley views too. Only real ding is that some sites, especially pull-throughs or inner loop are rather uneven requiring leveling blocks to get close to flat. Nicest and most private sites are outer-facing back-ins.
  2. Facilities = 3.5/5
    Simple, but nice facilities here. Large, clean flush toilets and individual (very spacious) shower stalls with separate bench area. Only slight ding is regular showers have somewhat low water pressure and somewhat annoying spray head (Note/ the disabled shower has a detachable head & better control). On-site dump station.
  3. Location = 4.5/5
    This is a great location. You are right next to Mesa/E.Phoenix and all it’s associated shopping, plus you are only ~15 miles from the fabulous Supersition Mountains further east. There are ~30 miles of hiking/biking trails only a short drive from camp, plus playground, archery range and picnic areas around the park. Only slight ding is the nearby firing range which does create some background noise during the day. Lots (and lots) of birds in this park, so a great stop for birding enthousiasts plus park offers tons of programs.
  4. Pet Friendliness = 4.5/5
    Another great pooch park. Lots of space to hang out in camp plus fully dog-friendly trails all around. The only dings are that there are *alot* of large cholla cactus around (hard on the paws -> be sure to hike with pliers) plus the main portion of hiking trails are not accessible directly from camp but require ~1 mile of driving or walking on the main road to access (not a huge deal, but a small inconvenice if you like to hike 2x/day). There is a short 1/2 mile nature trail in camp off site #37 and many folks take their dogs to romp in the group campground space by #58

Overall Rating = 4
BONUS ALERT = Camp deep in desert nature just a few miles east of Mesa, AZ

Summary: All the Maricopa County parks around Phoenix are quite lovely and Usery is no exception. It’s a spacious park situated in a handy location on the East side of Pheonix in Mesa, AZ. The campground itself is in a small valley surrounded by desert and pretty Pass Mountain that dominates the view. Sites are large and spacious dirt although several (especially pull-throughs and some of the inner-loop sites) are rather uneven. Each site has lovely “sitting area” with picnic table, fire pit/grill, very good separation and dense cactus surroundings. The most spacious and flat sites are the outer-facing back-ins. You are in a great location close to shopping in Mesa and only a short drive (~15 miles) from the lovely & wild Superstition Wilderness to the East. Lots of hiking/biking trails on-site although they require ~1 mile walk or drive from camp and often get busy by mid-morning. This campground seems to be a bird-magnet with tons of on-site birds and even a dedicated “bird-watching site” (very nice). Only dings are the nearby firing range which does provide some background noise during the day plus there is alot of large cholla cactus (be careful for the paws). Campground is very popular in winter so definitely book ahead to get in. Overall a lovely park and, together with McDowell up north, one I would certainly return to if passing through the area.

Extra Info: Full Verizon signal (both 3G & 4G). 73 sites with water/50Amp electric (no sewer) all reservable on-line. Sites cost $25/night. The park does get full in winter, but has a small overflow parking lot (no hookups) by the visitor center if main campground is booked. On-site dump station.

Typical back-in site. This is #59 on east side with a view of Pass Mountain.

Typical back-in site. This is #59 on east side with a view of Pass Mountain.

Typical pull-through. We're in #55 on left. Huge site but rather uneven.

Typical pull-through. We’re in #55 on left. Huge site but rather uneven.

View of "sitting area" with fire-pit, grill and picnic table. This was from site #55

View of typical “sitting area” with fire-pit, grill and picnic table. This was from site #55

View down east side of campground. RV in site #48 on right with #50 behind it.

View down east side of campground. RV in site #48 on right with #50 behind it.

View of "inner sites" on east side. #52 on left with #53, 54 behind it.

View of “inner sites” on east side. #52 on left with #53, 54 behind it.

View towards southern end of loop. Site #43 on left with pull-through #42 behind it.

View towards southern end of loop. Site #43 on left with pull-through #42 behind it.

View of one of more uneven sites. #36 shown.

View of one of more uneven sites. #36 shown.

View down west side of campground. Site #17 in front with pull-through #16 behind it.

View down west side of campground. Site #17 in front with pull-through #16 behind it.

View down middle of loop. Site #64 on left with truck in #65 on right.

View down middle of loop. Site #64 on left with truck in #65 on right.

View of facilities.

View of facilities.

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19 Responses to CP Campground Review – Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, AZ

  1. candace says:

    Another great review. …your blog is 1 of my very favorites as you share all the VIP info inquiring minds need to know :) And your pics aren’t too shabby either. .. Aboslutely LOVE the doggie poses. She always looks like she is IN heaven. Enjoy our home state of Arizona.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Glad you like the posts. I originally started these campground reviews just to keep track of where we’ve stayed, but they’ve taken on a life of their own haha. I’ll often refer back to them myself.
      Nina

  2. Bettina says:

    I love your blog:) Thanks for sharing all of this valuable info. My husband and are a huge birding geeks and are about to go full time. This is very valuable info. One of the things we want to do is volunteer at parks and wildlife refuges. Have you any experience with that? Thanks for including the bird tips:)

  3. Thanks for the review! We have reservations there starting on the 8th at site 59. So awesome that you included a picture of our site :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh cool! That’s actually one of the nicer sites in the campground. I think you’ll love it! It’s very close to the group site too, which is a great place to take pooch for a romp.
      Nina

  4. Linda Sand says:

    If you park in the overflow area do they still charge you $25? If not, can you park in overflow if the other sites are not full?

    • libertatemamo says:

      The overflow is cheaper. I’m going to say $10, but I’m not 100% sure. On heavy week-ends they will expand and open the group campground for overflow where they charge $17 (the higher price is because the group campground has showers/facilities). The $17 price I know for sure since we stayed one night in the group overflow before we left. It was actually quite nice.
      Nina

  5. heyduke50 says:

    i really liked the Mesa area…

  6. Boyink says:

    We’re camp-hosts at Usery (for 3 more shifts!) so here’s the overflow info:

    If overflow is in the smaller paved lot next to the entry station it’s $10/night. If it’s in the larger group camping area with it’s own shower then it’s $17/night.

    There is both a (gun) firing range and an archery range – the firing range is across the road from the park and isn’t technically part of Usery. And yes, the sound does get old..;)

    The Archery range is part of the park, is quite nice, and is quite quiet..;)

  7. jil mohr says:

    Looks like a great place…will have to check it out the next time we are near there …love the birding part :)

  8. Harbour says:

    If you’re still there now, you may get a dusting of snow….or more likely, hail before the days is over.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’ve moved onto Tucson, but have the same winter warning here. So far (as of this AM) we haven’t seen much, but we may get some rain/snow later.
      Nina

  9. Bill Joyce says:

    We love the place and put up a bird feeder while there. Our last two stays are documented http://www.sacnoth.com/2012/Mesa/Mesa.htm and http://www.sacnoth.com/2010/Usery/Usery.htm .

  10. Terry Esslinger says:

    Great review but I can’t believe you were in Mesa and didn’t go to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. We are currently hosts there and it is rated as one of the top draws in the Phoenix area. Simply outstanding. I loved your descriptions of the light houses in Oregon. So much so that we are going to try and host there the end of this year.

    • libertatemamo says:

      This is why I love my blog readers…always giving me great new ideas for spots to see! I’ll have to add it to our list when we go back.
      Good luck with the lighthouse hosting. End of year in Oregon tends to be wet and rainy, but the coast is still beautiful!
      Nina

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