Oak Creek Canyon Sedona
Possibly the best northern Arizona camping destination for campers of all ilks, Oak Creek Canyon is a red-rock river gorge thats almost a miniature version of the Grand Canyon but without the crowds.
Here, youll find places for picnicking, hiking, fishing, and theres even a swimming hole with a natural waterslide for those who want to cool off after a long day in the sun.
There are three delightful campgrounds in Oak Creek Canyon. Cave Springs and Manzanita Campground are the most convenient if you want to visit nearby Sedona. There are just 18 sites at Manzanita, and finding a pitch can be tricky.
The campground at Cave Springs is about 20 minutes to the north of Sedona and gives you easy access to the stunning beauty of Oak Creek Canyon without the hassle of Sedonas heavy traffic.
There are 89 sites on the campground, and its located well away from Highway 89A, set within a peaceful, shaded valley filled with towering deciduous trees that provide visitors with plenty of welcome shade on hot days. This is one of the most popular campgrounds in northern Arizona, so be sure to book well in advance.
The sites are well-spaced and grassy, with some of the western plots providing glorious views of the canyons vertical walls. The sites on the eastern side of the campground give onto the lively, rushing waters of Oak Creek. Close by is Slide Rock State Park, and there are also some of the very best hikes in Sedona and Coconino National Forest within easy reach.
There Are So Many More Great Places To Camp In Arizona
So many, in fact, that it took a 75-page book to list them all. Like all our 7 Day RV Adventure Guides, our Arizona ebook is a curated tour that takes you to seven destinations, each selected by Jennifer and me because of its great camping and uniqueness.
With so much to see and do in Arizona, it can be hard deciding what to experience. Weve put together plenty to see and do on your voyage, but so much of the adventure and fun can be found in the serendipity of it all.
This guide is written as a seven-day exploration of Arizona! You can hit everything in seven days, do a whirlwind weekend tour, or you can take your time and explore the area over a few weeks.
We give you a map of the suggested route and links and maps to all the campgrounds around each place.
Great Campsites Near Boston Massachusetts
If Arizona is known for anything more than its warm, arid deserts, its the water bodies that offer respite from their summer heat. Each weekend, Arizonans pack their gear and pitch their tents on the shores of lakes and streams with boats in tow. Some of the state’s best camping lies just off the beaten path where you can dangle your toes in the water just steps away from the water’s edge.
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Top 31 Best Places To Go Camping In Arizona
Arizona is home to various scenic forests, gushing waterfalls, rugged terrains, and breathtaking red rock formations. This state is truly a campers dream. We all know that the best way to be in the company of mother nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city is to go camping. Just the mere idea of camping in Arizona also beside a lake, in a forest or a desert sounds peaceful, and thats precisely what youre going to find in Arizona. Thats because there is rich diversity here for your camping experiences.
To make your decision easier, we have elucidated 31 best Arizona campgrounds where you can go camping with an RV, tent or trailer.
Mogollon Campground On The Mogollon Rim
If your goal is a campground set against spectacular views, you’ll want to set up camp on the Mogollon Rim. The area is known for its jaw-dropping vistas of a wide valley that is home to the largest Ponderosa pines forest in the world. This campground has easy access to these views, and is only a few miles away from Woods Canyon Lake, where you can go kayaking or fishing. There are 26 campsites with a campfire ring, grill and picnic table, and the campground is open from May to October.
Fees: $18 per night
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Tucson / Lazydays Koa Best Rated On Google Maps
TUCSON / LAZYDAYS KOA is the best rated camping in Arizona on google maps! No wonder why, its heaven for campers.
Its an ideal place in a deserted oasis for family or a group of friends.
You can enjoy amazing amenities such as:
- 2 swimming pools
- Free lemons right off the tree all around the campsite Frank
- KOA staff was very friendly and organized Jane
- We stayed during COVID-19, few amenities were closed, but overall still a great experience John
- We loved the big distance between site, we had a lot of privacy Victor
Patagonia Lake State Park Nogales
A boat heads towards the marina at Patagonia Lake as it passes some reeds along the bank on Thursday, June 19, 2008, in Patagonia, Ariz.Photo by A. E. Araiza/Arizona Daily Star
Drive time from Tucson: About an hour and a half
Average summer temperature: High of 93 degrees and low of 65 degrees
Amenities: Park store, marina, swimming area, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, drinking water, grill, fire pit and electricity in most of the campsites.
Can I bring the RV? You betcha! Most camping spots have enough space to fit a RV.
Cost: Fees start at $25
With an average high temperature of 93 degrees in the summer, Patagonia Lake State Park can get a little warm during those dog days but when Tucson is well in the triple digits, anything below 100 degrees feels like an arctic chill. With hiking trails, birdwatching spots and a lake that’s good for swimming, boating and fishing, this state park is a perfect place for a fun weekend. And if you’re more of a glamper than a camper you’ll fit right in. There are about 105 camping spaces on site and most having access to electricity. There are even cabins if you want to skip the whole tent thing all together.
Find more information here.
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The Best Campsites At Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu offers a variety of camping options for outdoor enthusiasts, from developed lakeside spots to upscale RV resorts and dispersed camping in the desert hills nearby. Some campgrounds even offer cabins if you dont have an RV, trailer, or tent. Heres our guide to the best campgrounds inthe area.
Roper Lake Campground Roper Lake State Park
Roper Lake State Park has a real Wild West feel to it. Here you get a good mix of hiking trails in desert landscapes with fishing and boating on the water. For the weary-footed, theres the chance to soak those tired feet in a natural stone hot tub.
Just a stones throw from Roper Lake, this relaxing campground is easily accessible from Highway 191, and its very popular among fishing enthusiasts. You can also opt to stay in a cabin if you feel like a little bit of a plush experience or if you forgot your tent.
Amenities: Campfires allowed, Toilet available, Pets allowed, Potable water available, Showers available, Picnic table available
Campsite fee: From $20 per campsite per night.
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When It Comes To Weather The Scenery And Things For Rvers To Do Arizona Cant Be Beaten Heres Our List Of The Best Places To Camp In Arizona
We absolutely love Arizona. We keep going back again and again. For RVers, it has everything mountains, National Parks, the desert and even beaches, and the London Bridge at Lake Havasu.
From Tucson and the Sonoran desert in the south to Flagstaff in the north, there are few states that offer more places for the RVer to explore.
Camping Tips For Arizona
Weve covered a ton of information so far about camping in Arizona, but there are a few more things you might need to know. Get to grips with these rules and camping tips so that you stay safe and have the best time possible.
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Best Places For Free Dispersed Camping In Arizona
Today, Im going to share my favorite free campsites in Arizona.
Around 42% of Arizona is made up of public lands like national forests and BLM land, so its not surprising there are literally hundreds of dispersed camping and boondocking opportunities throughout the state.
Rather than list them all, Ive narrowed down your options to just 11 of the very best.
Fool Hollow Lake Recreational Area
Why you should camp here: High-country camping in Arizonas gorgeous White Mountains.
- Reservations accepted: Yes
- Campsite type: Tents, RVs
- RV hookups: Yes
Dont be fooled by this state parks proximity to Show Low it may be close to town, but its one of Arizonas best camping getaways. At 6,300 feet, its also one of the few high-elevation campgrounds thats open and enjoyable throughout the year.
The park includes just over 120 campsites, 92 of which have RV hookups. The remaining 31 primitive campsites are reserved for tents only. Sites are divided into three areas and seven loops, and a quick glance at the campground map shows which loops claim the best lake views.
Great campground and lake, says camper Brandon Esplin. They had great camp hosts that really take care of the place and also had a good, clean dump station for taking care of that on the way out.
Fool Hollow Lake also hits the recreational trifecta, allowing fishing, boating and swimming. The 150-acre lake has bass, walleye and stocked rainbow trout, and fishing platforms around the lake to help find your lucky spot. In the summer, you can rent a kayak from J& Ts Wild-Life Outdoors.
A 1.8-mile trail follows the western part of Fool Hollow Lake, but for more challenging hikes in the area, check out the White Mountain Trail System and its 200-plus miles of trail in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.
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Chiricahua National Monument Bonita Canyon Campground
In southern Arizona, not far from the border with Mexico, Chiricahua National Monument protects a sky island, a small mountain range set apart from other mountains.
The Chiricahuas are known for their dramatic landscape of huge rock pinnacles. Pine trees dot the landscape, and the views are spectacular. Most people come here for the hiking trails, which wind their way up and down the mountainside, through stone towers.
Camping here is a real treat, particularly during the hotter months from spring until fall. The elevation at the Bonita Canyon Campground, which is at a lower elevation than much of the monument, is still well over 5,000 feet, meaning the temperatures are cooler, particularly at night, than the surrounding desert below.
The campground itself is well forested, and campgrounds are spaced a good distance from each other, offering nature and privacy. Through the trees, you can see some of the surrounding peaks. All sites are reservable up to six months in advance on a rolling basis.
Set on the shores of Wood’s Lake, Spillway Campground is small, cozy, and quaint, by camping standards. The campground is up high on the Mogollon Rim, at 7,500 feet in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, an area that is known for outdoor recreational activities.
Camping In Arizona: Box Wash Campground
Box Wash Campground is a popular place for campers in Arizona the grounds are situated in a stunning location that is easily accessible, clean, and free from excessive noise pollution. The campground is free to use and there is a nice trail to hike through and explore flora and fauna while there youll also get some stunning photographs of the surrounding desert. There are lots of great spots to choose from or even have a picnic on with your friends and family. Tent and RV camping are allowed on Box Wash Campground, though campers can only stay for a maximum of fourteen days.
N Vulture Peak Rd., Wickenburg, AZ 85390, Phone: 623-580-5500
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Snyder Hill Camping Area
Found just outside of the city of Tucson and south of Saguaro National Park, Snyder Hill is a great area for campers whether you have an RV, motorhome, or tent. It is down in the heart of the desert, so it may be a little warm in the summer, but it is a great destination throughout the rest of the year.
Pine Grove Campground Coconino National Forest
Pine Grove Campground is within the lush Coconino National Forest of northern Arizona. To reach here, go southeast on Lake Mary Road from Flagstaff and continue for 19 miles. You can get to the campground via a short spur off from Lake Mary Road.
It has over 46 spacious single-unit campsites with grills, flush toilets, showers, picnic tables, and fire rings. One RV or two tents are permitted per site, but there are no hookups. There is a dump station provided for RVs. Motorhomes up to 45 are also allowed here.
Pets must be leashed in the campground.
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Cave Spring Campground Coconino National Forest
The 1.8 million-acre Coconino National Forest is a great place to base yourself to explore the surrounding scenery of North Arizona. From here, you can check the spectacular red rock formations, which is just one of many great things to do in Sedona.
The area is surprisingly diverse and boasts ten different wilderness areas, including the summit of the San Francisco Peaks.
One of the best campsites in Arizona, and definitely the most popular in Coconino, Cave Spring is the place to be. Cut through by Oak Creek, which lazily makes its way through the site, its dotted with giant Ponderosas and has views of Sedonas charming rugged cliffs.
Youll be perfectly situated for hikes around West Fork Canyon and Slide Rock, to name just a couple of great spots.
Pro tip: Come in autumn for a blaze of fall foliage.
Amenities: Campfires allowed, Toilet available, Showers available, Picnic table available
Campsite fee: From $22 per campsite per night.
Incredible Stargazing Dome House Williams
This is like something out of Star Wars. Its a neat little pod with a clear roof for perfect stargazing opportunities.. On clear nights, youll be able to see shooting stars and the Milky Way.
Inside the dome itself, its super comfy and pretty chic. Theres a clean basic bathroom to use, plus a deck and a couple of seats. And all just 35 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
If youre doing a road trip in Arizona, its a fun place to stay and offers some of the best glamping in the state.
Too cold? Try out the heated mattress pad!
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Southern Arizona Lake Camping
Interstate 10 in Arizona is a good marker to line out the Southern portions of the state. And from nearly anywhere in Arizona, it’s easy to reach Interstate 10. Access it directly from Interstate 17, I-8, I-19 or from Interstate 40 via I-17.
Here an assortment of the best lake camping in Southern Arizona:
- Patagonia Lake State Park – We’ve camped here numerous times. Most sites are quite nice. Some have ramadas. But those sites are packed in a bit more, in a more open area.
- – On the Colorado River, this lake just North of Yuma has RV sites for those with military connections.