10 The Best Campsites in Arizona

If you have never been to Arizona, mentioning the Grand Canyon may give you some perspective of the State. It comes with rugged terrain and a variety of landscapes attractive to any camping enthusiast.

Take a trip to the State and enjoy everything that comes with it, including watching wild animals, desert-like conditions, and amazing camping spots with various fun activities for the whole family. Whether you pitch a tent or have an RV, Arizona will accommodate you and give you a thrilling experience.

Here are some of the best campsites to visit while in Arizona.

1. Organ Pipe Cactus Monument

© Larry Geddis / Alamy

Arizona owes a lot of its popularity to the Grand Canyon, and everyone visiting the area will be more interested in the mammoth physical feature than other places. However, apart from the Grand Canyon, there are a couple of other overlooked gems in Arizona. 

One of these hidden gems is the Organ Pipe Cactus Monument, located near the Mexico border in the far South. It is a perfect place to go camping given that it is away from most people, meaning it will be less crowded.

Some of the flora and fauna specific to this area is the organ pipe cactus, which can only be found on this side of the State.  There are amazing views of the mountains, and experience the lush desert as you camp under the night sky.

© Sandra Sanchez / KXAN Austin

Apart from the vegetation, the campsite is home to some of the best hiking trails in the whole of Arizona.

There are at least 200 camping spots in the park, giving you enough preferential choice for where to pitch a tent. Campers will also get access to electricity, showers, and flush toilets while at the park.

2. The Grand Canyon

 

© Grand Canyon Visitor Center

There is nothing quite like the Grand Canyon; if you haven’t seen it, you are missing something. The feature is huge, and if you ever get the chance to view the sunrise and sunset, you will understand the feeling of awe and wonder.

It will be worth it for avid campers to know that you can go camping at the Grand Canyon and get the chance to explore the expansive feature. The campgrounds are located in two distinct areas of the Grand Canyon, the south and north rim. The south rim is the larger of the two and is open all year round, while the north side is open during certain times of the year between May and October.

© AZ Camp Guide!

The Grand Canyon South rim side of the campgrounds comes with some of the best trails for exploring the Grand Canyon. At least 300 camping spots spread throughout the campsite, each coming with enough space for at least three tents, flush toilets, water, and picnic tables.

There is also a shuttle bus available to take you to some of the more popular Grand Canyon spots.

For RV enthusiasts, there are at least 80 RV sites with enough amenities to keep you comfortable for the whole stay.

3. Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

© Local Adventurer

Lake Powell is another great place to go camping for you and the whole family. The campsite is located along the shores of the lake, north of Page.  The area is huge, with at least 1.26 million hectares of land, providing many opportunities, including water-based sports and a huge backcountry to explore.

The area stretches from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs located in Southern Utah. It comes with a variety of scenic features, vast history, and geologic wonders.

Pitch your tent at the shores of Lake Powell and enjoy the views by the lake and the Sandstone towers nearby as you sleep under star-studded skies, and if you are lucky enough, may wish on a shooting star.

© Local Adventurer

You can partake several activities in a while at the campsite, including water sports, fishing, hiking, and biking. You can also go boating and park it right next to your campsite.

The whole campsite is huge, with enough space to hold both campers and RV enthusiasts.

4. Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson

© Love Your RV!

If you are looking to go camping somewhere close to the road and still enjoy the wilderness away from the Town noise, Gilbert Ray is the perfect campsite for you. Located around fifteen minutes away from Tucson’s main attractions, the place is well secluded from civilization and will be sure to provide you with the quiet you need.

The park comes with at least 30 campsites well fitted with electricity, water, and well-functioning bathrooms. The campgrounds will accommodate both campers and RVs with ease. 

The environment is quiet and scenic, with access to views on the Westside of the plains and ranges towards the east. There are hiking and biking trails to help you explore the whole area, with several fun activities available for the campsites.

© Where We Be

Old Tucson Movies Studios

Apart from some of the scenery you can enjoy, the park is also close to the Saguaro National Park, the Old Tucson Movies Studios, and the Arizona Sonora Desert. Also, if you have the chance to, take a hike at the heart of the stunning Valley View and enjoy the Landscape.

The campsite offers both options, either advanced booking or pay at the campsite.

5. Lake Havasu State Park

© Beyond The Tent

One of the things you can never picture is a beach anywhere in Arizona. Most people hear Arizona and think of cactus, scorpions, and armadillos traversing the State in harsh weather conditions with the common desert-like conditions. 

However, there is a beach in Arizona, and more so, you can pitch a tent there and enjoy everything that comes with it.

The camp is set up among a few trees near the beach overlooking the blue waters of the ocean and the hills in the distance providing the perfect backdrop to the water mass.

© Arizona State Parks

Being one of the beachfront campsites in Arizona, it is common to find several boats, with people looking to have some water sports and fun activities, including sailing, fishing, swimming, and much more.

The campsite comes with over 50 camping spots, enough water, electricity, and enough toilets to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. There is also enough space for both campers and RV’s at the campsite.

There are several fun family activities, making it a great place for the whole family.

6. Sedona Oak Creek Canyon

© Al_HikesAZ / Flickr

What makes Sedona Oak Creek Canyon unique is that the Canyon comes with three beautiful campgrounds, each just a short run away from the other. All the campgrounds can be booked up to six months in advance with a chance of also paying on site.

One of the campgrounds close to the Creek Canyon is the Manzanita Campground. The campsite comes with at least 18 camping spots, meaning getting a place here may be a bit challenging.

The other campground in the area is the Cave Springs Campground. The campground can be found at least 20 minutes north of Sedona, which will allow you to fully enjoy the Oak Creek Canyon without having to deal with the Traffic issues mostly experienced in Sedona. The campsite comes with around 80 camping spots.

© W. Bulach / Hausa Wikipedia

You will also get a view of the large deciduous trees overhead, with grassy spaces separating the camping spots. On the west side of the campsite is a view of the canyon walls.

The third camping site is the Pine flat Campground, a few minutes away north of 89A.

All the camping sites will provide you with all the necessary amenities including, electricity, water, and bathrooms. You will also get hiking trails and a couple of activities meant to make your stay over a bit more entertaining.

7. Chiricahua National Monument, Bonita Canyon Campground

© Visit Arizona

The Chiricahua National Monument is a small mountain range away from other mountains. The campground is located in Southern Arizona, close to the Mexican Border. It was turned into a national monument to help preserve the small mountain range.

One of the distinct features of the Chiricahua National Monument is the famous landscape for its huge rocks and dramatic landscape. There are many pine trees, which make the views more spectacular while also providing interesting places to explore.

The best time to come camping at the Chiricahua National Monument is during the hotter months. Due to the campsites’ elevation, the temperatures are much cooler, making it an amazing place to escape the heat.

© Beth G. / The Dyrt

The campground is well-spaced, meaning you will get some peace and quiet within your tent as you camp out under the stars. The campgrounds allow interested campers to book their space as early as six months before camping.

8. Spillway Campground near Payson

© The Dyrt

The Spillway Campground is located on the shores of Wood’s Lake. It’s a small and cozy type of campground and can hold a small number of campers and RV without it being overcrowded. The campground sits at least 7,500 feet above the ground, in the Apache Sit Greaves National Forest’s heart, an area famous for its outdoor recreational activities.

If you are into camping and fishing, then Spillway Campground is the perfect place for you.  The lake comes with unlimited numbers of trout, and people flock around summer to try their luck netting some fish. Apart from fishing, campers can also go swimming, canoeing, and much more.

There are several lakefront campsites, while others will require going a bit to the interior to access them.

© The Dyrt

There are plenty of Pine trees that provide much-needed shade and privacy between different campsites. The campground comes with a limited number of campsites and will require early booking to ensure you secure your space. However, if you fail to secure a camping spot, there are options at the Aspen and Rim Campgrounds located just nearby.

The area is perfect for summer camping as it is in an elevated area, making it cooler and a better place to camp when it’s too hot.

9. Catalina State Park, Campground A or B

© Know Your Campground

The Spillway Campground is located on the shores of Wood’s Lake. It’s a small and cozy type of campground and can hold a small number of campers and RV without it being overcrowded. The campground sits at least 7,500 feet above the ground, in the Apache Sit Greaves National Forest’s heart, an area famous for its outdoor recreational activities.

If you are into camping and fishing, then Spillway Campground is the perfect place for you.  The lake comes with unlimited numbers of trout, and people flock around summer to try their luck netting some fish. Apart from fishing, campers can also go swimming, canoeing, and much more.

There are several lakefront campsites, while others will require going a bit to the interior to access them.

© Kristin S. / The Dyrt

There are plenty of Pine trees that provide much-needed shade and privacy between different campsites. The campground comes with a limited number of campsites and will require early booking to ensure you secure your space. However, if you fail to secure a camping spot, there are options at the Aspen and Rim Campgrounds located just nearby.

The area is perfect for summer camping as it is in an elevated area, making it cooler and a better place to camp when it’s too hot.

10. Prescott Lynx Campground

© _welby_ / Reddit

The Prescott Lynx Campground is located a couple of minutes from Prescott on Lynx Lake.  The park allows you to camp under the tall pines located in the area, which help provide some much-needed shade in the Arizona sun. Also, being a few minutes away from town provides the opportunity to pop out and pop in back to the camp quickly.

The Lynx Lake is famous for the good kind of fish and is a major tourist attraction area. On the other hand, the surrounding park area is also alive with wildlife, where you can interact with some of the animals as you explore through the amazing trails in the area.

© Campsite Photos

There are a couple of camping spots within the whole area, with sites set apart by a fair amount of distance. Also, being 5600 feet off the ground, the area is perfect for summer camping, as it will have way cooler temperatures.

Conclusion

What are you waiting for? Get ready and experience the best scenic features in Arizona, and have a feel of the desert-like conditions, as you test your survival skills. Take as much time as possible as the State has so much to offer, and the more you stay, the more you can explore.  Remember to familiarise yourself with any rules and policies set out by campsites for your safety, and have an enjoyable time. 

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