Around the turn of the century, the North Mountain area served as a campground for the Phoenix Indian School's pupils and their families. There are a number of closed mining shafts and pits, evidence of the history of copper mining in Arizona.
Geology, flora and fauna
The major plant species found in the park are typical of those found in the lower Sonoran Desert and include bursage, brittlebush, creosote bush, palo verde trees and saguaro cactus. Overall, more than 300 species of plant life are found in the area. The varieties of cacti include: saguaro, barrel, hedgehog, pincushion, jumping cholla, christmas cactus, staghorn, cholla and prickly pear. Palo verde, mesquite, elephant and ironwood trees, along with the ocotillo plant, are also numerous in the park.