Have you heard of Wenden Arizona? I hadn’t either until I was lucky enough to start working with the Arizona Parks Service to feature little known parks. This wonderful park is about an hour northwest of Wickenburg, Arizona. It is about 3 hours from the Phoenix area, so it is a day trip that is doable. There are also lovely cabins to rent for a night or week, as well as campsites and RV hook up sites too.
Cell Phone Service in this area is rough, so I suggest printing out a map or grabbing your GPS that is not reliant on Cell Phone coverage. While there weren’t many turns from Surprise, if you pass Alamo Rd, you will be driving for some time.
The town of Wenden is more village like and has some facilities-a general store, laundry, post office, but I didn’t see a gas station that was open. Make sure you gas up in Wickenburg and have plenty of water.
Alamo Rd is windy and has dips, so if a storm is coming, you may want to either proceed with caution or wait out the storm on Route 60. Alamo RD is approximately 29 miles long from RT 60 to the Lake, so keep an eye on the clouds! There is farmland and a few roads that go off into the distance to houses-but not much else. There seemed to be a little food stop closer to the lake but we didn’t check it out.
The day we went to Alamo Lake we were the only ones in the park other than the rangers! And the Donkeys.
Of course, my kids were obsessed with finding the donkeys/burros. The burros actually were the first welcoming committee to the park and were on the main road as we entered.
The Lake was low when we were there, but it was still pretty clear enough to go swimming. There were tons of trails to go hiking as well. Alamo Lake also serves as a reservoir. You can find out more on the history of Alamo Lake on our sister site, Surprise AZ Mom .
The Camp Store and Ranger Station had fishing items, basic necessities, some drinks and of course, souvenirs ! The Ranger was very friendly and gave our kids a booklet of things to do and look for while at the park.
Most of our trip was at the waters edge.
This one was of the boat launches and was pretty steep. This was the “High Tide” Launch.
We spent most of our time at the low water boat launch. As I mentioned, we had the park to ourselves so we spent most of our time here just playing in the water. The water was pretty clear but as I was the only adult I only let my children wade in. But I let them wade in, fully clothed. At the top of the boat launch was a port-o-potty, or chemical toilet as it is also referred. The weather was typical June Phoenix weather, so by 10am the temperature had soared to about 100 degrees. The kids found little fish swimming near them, we saw bigger fish jumping in the water further out and heard the donkeys/burros making their noises from across the lake.
Speaking of fish, there was a fish washing station available near the boat launches (top of the hill) and bathrooms. Most of the bathrooms at Alamo Lake were either latrine types or chemical toilets.
Here were the restrooms near the cabins at Alamo Lake State Park.
Cabins that were available had cute little names like the burro bungalow. A small porch with a picnic table out front, plus a grill made this fun to rent. No bathroos inside, but you could walk to the main restroom area.
The top of the dam lookout was a windy road, so be careful and it may not be wise to take an RV all the way up. A car is much better as the road is windy, narrow and burros like to walk on it as well. There was a small bathroom station at the top of the hill with latrines. The bathroom did get very close to the edge-so be careful with small ones!
The dam was truly amazing to see, but there was a steep cliff! Visitors cannot drive up onto the dam, but are allowed to check out this view. The visiual of how high the water can be compared to how low it was on the day we went was easily visible on the rocks.
Other than fishing and swimming, there is hiking, biking and boating available. The ranger we spoke with said that they had the highest amount of visitors they had ever had during the winter season-so book it now!
Alamo Lake State Park
Find out more on our sister site, Surprise AZ Mom