Tweet White Tanks is located on the far west side of Phoenix. It’s a big park with many areas for camping and picnicking. The park has some excellent hiking trails for the walking-type folks. It also features two trails for wheelers. Waterfall TrailThe name is only true if you come after a rain. And then […]" />

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White Tanks Regional Park


White Tanks is located on the far west side of Phoenix. It’s a big park with many areas for camping and picnicking. The park has some excellent hiking trails for the walking-type folks. It also features two trails for wheelers.

Waterfall Trail
The name is only true if you come after a rain. And then you get a treat we don’t see much in the desert, a 75’ waterfall. But even without the waterfall, the trail takes you through some scenic desert.

This is defiantly not a leisure trip if you are going to traverse the mountainside trail in a manual chair. The incline isn’t overly steep but the trail which is made of “stabilized granite” isn’t too stabilized in many places. The first 50 yards is pretty bad. My 4” casters were useless. They just plow into the unpacked rock and dirt. It’s not fun.

Once you get up the path a ways, you hit some very well packed earth. It’s much easier to push through and you can actually take your eyes off the path long enough to enjoy the view. As well, it’s pretty easy to spot the petroglyphs made by ancient Hohokam Indians. I imagine a bunch of teenage Indians running around pounding art into the rocks much like kids do with spray paint these days.

About a ½ mile up, you reach a little ramada, which marks the end of the accessible trail. I went another 100 yards up with Karla and the trail begins to narrow and become steep. I suspect a power chair could motor up the last incline to the falls but we were out of gas.

Coming down the hill is enjoyable. That is until you hit the sections of unpacked gravel. Then everything is a monumental struggle.

Black Rock Short Loop

We were pretty tired from traversing the Waterfall Trail so we didn’t try this trail. Based on the map and where we saw the trailhead, it looks as if it doesn’t have the inclines of the Waterfall Trail , so it could be a less rigorous trek. The park map says it too is a ½ mile long. Perhaps we’ll try it next time.

Overall, there are other trails around Phoenix that offer a better wheelchair experience. If someone has an off-road power chair, they’ll love it. Or if a para really wants a grueling hill, they’ll be huffing and puffing, but Papago or South Mountain is a better overall trail.

White Tanks Photo Set at Flickr


Photo: Karla & Annie, the best exploring partners you could ask for.


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Accessing Arizona is primarily designed for people who are looking for wheelchair accessible events, locations and activities. If you have paralysis (paraplegic or quadriplegic), Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, or if you are an amputee, Accessing Arizona has information about an active lifestyle.
If you are traveling to Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Sedona or the Grand Canyon, the site offers insight about the accessibility. We cover trails, lakes, state parks, national parks and just about anything claiming to be handicapped accessible. The site also covers sports and recreation in Arizona.
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