McHood Park: An oasis on the prairie

Todd Roth/NHO

Todd Roth/NHO

WINSLOW, Ariz. - Five miles southeast of Winslow on Route 99 is Clear Creek Reservoir and McHood Park. This popular watering hole is surrounded by stunning rock walls to the west and green marshes to the east. The reservoir holds abundant water year-round and invites boaters to explore the magnificent canyon winding west.

The west canyon rapidly narrows and is contained by towering sheer rock walls, an ideal place for canoeing and exploring. The east section of the park is more like a lake, spreading out and providing expansive wading, swimming, bird-watching and fishing areas. This section is wide and green with reeds and small islands.

Summer is the ideal time to visit for fishing, skiing, boating, canoeing, swimming and wading. The park has nine covered picnic areas with two tables and a barbeque grill in each. Additionally there is a covered ramada for up to 150 people with a three-foot square barbecue grill. The picnic area has two sets of restrooms; one at each end of the picnic area.

On the north side of the creek are more covered picnic areas, parking spots, small boat launch areas and a no-fee campground.

Fortunately travelers on Interstate 40 blaze right by and leave McHood Park for use mainly by local residents. On weekday evenings there are plenty of unused picnic tables providing idyllic cool picnic sunsets.

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