|Fool Hollow Lake|
What a nice break from the 105 degree, muggy weather in Phoenix. The area is approximately 170 miles north of Phoenix on the Mogollon rim at 6,300 feet elevation. The Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area is an Arizona State Park, located beside a quiet lake and home to majestic great blue herons.
There are plenty of opportunities to fish from the shoreline, a small 10 HP max gasoline engine boat or any non-motorized watercraft. There is a 1.5 mile walking trail that runs along the south and west sides of the lake. The nearby White Mountain Trail System consists of 11 loop trails offering over 103 miles of hiking on the adjacent Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.
The campground allows you to make reservations for the sites, although you don't need to. Any site not reserved can be used on a night by night basis; I would recommend reservations for the weekends. We were there during the week, before the Labor Day weekend, and there were plenty of available sites. When you go online to make reservations all sites are listed with site length and amp/sewer specifications. There are also pictures of the sites so you can get a sense about low branches and side obstacles before choosing your site. Overall this was probably one of the cleanest, well-maintained state parks; I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5. All sites are cleaned when you leave and the grounds equally well kept. If you need them, the shower and bathroom facilities were always clean. We had no problem with noise and everyone there during our stay were quiet and those with pets were very considerate. I didn't give it a 5 because many of the sites are not level and they don't all have sewer at the site but I would definitely stay here again. With the coach it was my style of camping, a chance to enjoy nature without having to sleep in a tent or a sleeping bag.
The RV area has 4 loops and a total of 92 sites with 30amp(some 50amp available). All sites have electric and water hookups but only the Mallard and Redhead Loops have sewer but there is an easily accessible, well maintained dump station. We stayed in the Ruddy Duck Loop, site #6 with water, 50amps, but no sewer. It had a picnic bench and a fire pit. You can buy wood from the ranger and use it in the fire pits. I didn't think the nights were all that cold to try our campfire technique. Our site overlooked the lake, was well shaded and long enough for our 45 foot coach and the toad.
Dogs were set up nicely and we enjoyed doing a little grilling on our new electric grill.
We didn't have a sewer hookup so half way into our stay we had to dump our gray and black tanks. More practice bringing slides in, jacks up and drive to the dump station, then back to our site, back in (we need to practice that a lot more), jacks down, slides out. After all that I was very ready for Happy Hour, it was a lot of work. We chose this site for the view and it had 50amp but no sewer, I think having a site with sewer would have been much easier.
Weather was in the low 80's during the day and got to the 60's at night. We had some early evening rain one night and lots of moody clouds making for some great sunsets. We took the dogs out for lots of walks, and Mike and I checked out the hike around the lake. We saw lots of Blue Herons and hawk like birds flying in the air, I heard there were osprey and bald eagles in the area but couldn't get a close enough view to identify. We saw lots of squirrels which kept our dogs entertained. One night we were outside with a glass of wine enjoying the sunset when Mike saw something white moving in the campsite next to us, we got our flashlight and saw it was a skunk. I had never seen one, it was impressive, we kept our distance and watched him for awhile.
|Trail on the hike|
|Squirrels all over the place|
|Blue Heron in flight|
The drive home went smooth. Mike worked on the jacks, which ended up needing a lot of lubing and got them all to function properly on the more level parking area where we store the coach. In his research, he found if there is a lot of slope in your site it is not uncommon to have the last jack not lower. I think this was handy to understand now then later, Mike has now put jack maintenance on his to do list. These early trips have been helpful for us to work through the education process of RV ownership. Everyday we learn a little bit more and are definitely getting more comfortable with the whole process.
Our next trip is to the Verde Valley area in early October to an RV park next to Alcantara Winery. We plan on doing a little wine tasting and exploring the town of Jerome. In early November we have a trip planned to Sedona.
|Beautiful wildflowers across from our site.|