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Lake Pleasant

After a weekend of my husband being stuck in a conference, we knew we needed to get out of the house with the kids! The weather was perfect and it was time for some outdoor family time.

I love to go hiking, but my littlest one, Dimples, often gets a little grumpy on hikes and asks “Why do we just go on long walks with nothing to do?”

So, I decided I would put together a quick scavenger hunt. Here is a nicer version of what I did!

These are all things that can be found at Lake Pleasant (taken from their Discovery Center) but can also be found at many of the hikes around the valley as well! I made it with images so your non readers or emerging readers can use this list as well! If you would like to email me, I can send you a PDF version!

There are many different parts of Lake Pleasant to discover. We have previously reviewed the Lake Pleasant Cruise, which is in a different part of the lake. To get to the section we visited, take 74 (Morristown New River Highway to Lake Pleasant Regional Park) There is a small entry fee. Follow signs to the Discovery Center. Day use versus camping has different fees.

The visitor center was completed in 2016 and has a beautiful play area as well. There are many different campsites around it and great views overlooking the lake. Above, you will see an amphitheater. I see a lot of the ampitheaters in many of the parks, but I wonder how often they are used.

Discovery/Visitor Center

Inside the Visitor center had many displays of what wildlife you might see on your visit. This was just SOME of the wildlife! I had no idea that there were skunks and squirrels and raccoons around. I was a bit giddy as that is something from the northeast. Not that I really wanted to see a skunk, but my kids have not seen one!

There were also some wildlife on display, but they were hiding! A tortoise was also outside, but it was hibernating for the winter. In the the discovery center, there was also store with water, ice and a few books and stuffed animals for sale.

Bathrooms are located outside of the center and were relatively nice. There were signs inside and outside of the building.

At the end of the center was a wonderful, but narrow, view deck with binoculars! The kids loved playing with them. Looking across the lake and seeing what was going on was a huge favorite thing for them to do and, of course, following the boats!

I love this sign, it was kind of funny! It shows all parts of the dam, and the pieces and different parts of it. It is a little hard to read in the picture, but it was interesting to see all the little islands that are actually named!

This is part of the Waddell Dam-You can Check out this YouTube video to see what the generating station does. (From 2017)

The playground was absolutely amazing! My kids did not want to leave, so, I’ll warn you-if you want to do a hike, you might want to do it before seeing the playground!

eagle lake pleasant

The side of the eagle even looked massive. Munchie loved climbing all around it, and going down the slide. The shades made this playground even nicer.

A Gila Monster had stairs and roller slide, and was completely non poisonous!

spider web

A spider web that you wouldn’t get caught in was there for a couple tricks.

Feeling spinny? Check out this cool, spinning contraption that will have you going in circles!

The Hike

weather station lake pleasant

Right next to the playground was weather equipment. It all looked very official, but when I looked it up online to see if it was official, I came up with nothing.

We then decided to go on our hike. Trying to find a trail was pretty confusing. Unfortunately, we did not have this map that I am giving you know, we had an overall map that we were trying to decipher. So, you are one step ahead with this map!

The trail goes right by the water. When we were at the playground the weather was nice and there were no bugs. When we went on the trail, there were tons and tons of gnats. It made the hike extremely unenjoyable.

Also, there were quite a few metal pipes just sticking out in the middle of the ground. Huge tripping hazards. Be very careful.

The hike was partially paved and then all of a sudden, it looked like it got washed away. Once again, the roadrunner trail became a bit precarious. We ended up not finishing the trail because of the gnat situation and I could tell my kids were getting tired. All three children tripped and fell.

ancient site

We did get to see some ancient areas on this hill! There was a sign mentioning to be careful and to keep it clean! It was a gorgeous view overlooking the lake.

lake pleasant

The view was amazing! I imagine that perhaps this was a special ground for ceremonies or for some ritual? I am not sure!

Other Hikes

There are many different hikes available at Lake Pleasant, and of course you can camp as well. This hike was not the best representation of what was available, but it got us out of the house. The kids loved the playground, so we will call that a win!

The Basics

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

41835 N Castle Hot Springs Rd

Morristown, AZ

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