The Town of Queen Creek's rural surroundings, washes and future park sites are often popular places for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). New laws have been adopted across the Phoenix metro area in response to air quality concerns. Maricopa County and cities and towns in the Valley now restrict the operation of motorized vehicles on unpaved roads and vacant lots.
Erosion and dust are the two biggest problems with riding in the washes. The washes have a particular riparian habitat that is a nice attraction to the people that walk, ride or ride their horses along the trails. Town staff keep the washes clean of debris. When that vegetation is disturbed by ATVs, it creates erosion problems and kicks up dust. Popular ATV sites where riding is not permittd are patrolled to advise drivers know where riding is encouraged. Drivers in places off-limits are usually given a warning, although repeat offenders could be charged with trespassing. For more information on dust control visit Pinal County's Dust Control Fact Sheet.
However, there ARE still places to safely and legally ride Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs). Drivers may take ATVs to the Desert Wells Multiuse Area in Pinal County, as well as other places for riding and sightseeing opportunities. Maps and rules for those areas are located on http://www.azgfd.gov/outdoor_recreation/arizona_ohv_trails.shtml or www.azstateparks.com/ohv. Roads in the Tonto National Forest are also open to off-road vehicles who stay on marked roads, barring rain that could close certain areas prone to flash-flooding.
ATV riders need to assure that their decals are up to date. The state began requiring most ATV drivers to purchase a special $25 decal in January 2009. For more information regarding decals, please contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Have fun and ride safe!