If you’re buying a home in DC Ranch, or if you’ve been living here a while, now’s a great time to explore the outdoors. Check out the seven best outdoor activities near DC Ranch that are a bit off the beaten path.
The 7 Best Outdoor Activities Near DC Ranch
Some of the more popular hiking trails are crowded, which means those might be off the table for you right now – but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the outdoors when you have a few free hours. Explore these seven great outdoor activities near DC Ranch:
- Stroll along the Salt River
- Explore the McDowell-Sonoran Preserve
- Visit Momentum
- Check out the Phoenix Bat Cave
- See the Tom Mix Monument
- Visit the Battle of Picacho Pass Monument
- See the Corona Satellite Calibration Targets
Here’s a closer look at each.
Stroll Along the Salt River
The Salt River is a spectacular place to explore – and when the Stewart Mountain Dam opens up the river flow (usually in May), you can kayak along the Lower Salt River. You can kayak and canoe on the Upper Salt River during the rest of the year, too. There are private, secluded beach areas you can enjoy while you stroll along the banks, and you can hike and search for wild horses, too.
Explore the McDowell-Sonoran Preserve
At the time being, the McDowell-Sonoran Preserve is open, but that may change (you can check for updates here). You can still walk the nature trails and explore all the preserve has to offer outdoors – but there are limited steward activities for the time being.
Check out Momentum in Chandler – it’s an impressionist piece of art created by Joan Waters. The sculpture is designed to look like a tumbleweed, and it cost $100,000. It’s located at 2100 Hamilton Street in Chandler.
Check out the Phoenix Bat Cave
Thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats hang out around an abandoned storm drain, and every night, they emerge and hunt for insects. You can see them just before dusk and in the dark – and you could see thousands of them pouring from the drain at once. It’s near Chelsea’s Kitchen in Phoenix – you can walk northwest from 40th Street to Camelback on the northernmost end of the Arizona Canal Trail. You can also find a location on Google Maps labeled “Batcave Parking.”
See the Tom Mix Monument
Halfway between Oracle Junction and Florence, a celebration of cowboy, actor and Western star Tom Mix sits in the lonely desert. The monument is located at the site where Mix died in a fatal crash on October 12, 1940, The monument itself is located in a roadside park on the west side of Arizona State Highway 79 between mile markers 115 and 116.
Visit the Battle of Picacho Pass Monument
The Battle of Picacho Pass was the westernmost battle during the American Civil War, and it occurred on April 16, 1862. The 90-minute battle is memorialized within Picacho Peak State Park, and each year on the fight’s anniversary, actors reenact the battle (though this year is still up in the air). The monument to the battle is off Memorial Loop, right near the visitor center.
See the Corona Satellite Calibration Targets
A series of concrete crosses are scattered across the scrub and brush – and their true purpose was hidden until recently. Originally, they served as a top-secret Army satellite calibration system. Arranged into approximately a 16 x 16 grid, these concrete pads were designed to allow satellite cameras to focus before spying on China, the USSR and other countries during the beginning of the Cold War. While many of the concrete pads were demolished at the end of the “Corona Project” in 1972, some still remain scattered throughout the desert. Find them in Casa Grande here.
Are You Buying a Home in DC Ranch?
If you’re thinking about buying a DC Ranch home for sale, you’ll be glad to know that there’s always something to do or see in this beautiful city. We can help you find a home that’s just perfect for your needs. Check out our:
- Country Club Village homes for sale
- Desert Camp Village homes for sale
- Desert Parks Village homes for sale
- Silverleaf Village homes for sale