The 10 Best Campsites in Arizona

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Hey there campers and welcome to my post where we will take a look at my 10 best campsites in Arizona. Now, we all know the joys that camping can bring, from experiencing the great outdoors, to time with family and of course, just doing nothing around the campfire. But where should you go?

There are of course so many different options out there so if you looking for a good campsite in Arizona, or have one in mind but are not sure what it has to offer, here are 10 good options below.

Let’s check them out…

10 Best Campsites in Arizona

Arizona, known for its diverse landscapes and picturesque beauty, offers a variety of camping experiences. From the vast desert to the towering mountains, there are endless opportunities to explore the Grand Canyon State. So to help you out here, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best campsites in Arizona for you to consider on your next adventure.

1. Mather Campground: The Ultimate Grand Canyon Camping Experience

best campsites in Arizona - Mather campsite

Mather Campground, located in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, offers an unforgettable camping experience with breathtaking views of the canyon. The campground is named after Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service who played a significant role in the development of the National Park System.

Mather Campground offers over 300 individual campsites, accommodating tents, RVs and trailers divided into several loops, including A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H loops with each loop featuring its unique characteristics. Loop A is open year-round, while the other loops are open seasonally, typically from March through mid-November.

Each campsite includes a fire ring with a grate, a picnic table and a parking space for your vehicle with access to potable water, flush toilets and an RV dump station also available. While there are no RV hook-ups however, the campground has a coin-operated shower and laundry facilities at the nearby Camper Services building. There is also a general store nearby, where you can purchase groceries, camping supplies and souvenirs.

The campground also serves as an excellent base for exploring the Grand Canyon and its various attractions. The South Rim offers numerous scenic viewpoints including Mather Point Yavapai Point, and Hopi Point, which are all easily accessible via the park’s free shuttle system. The shuttle also connects visitors to the nearby Visitor Center and the historic Grand Canyon Village.

Hiking enthusiasts will find numerous trails, such as the Rim Trail which offers stunning canyon views and the more challenging Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail, which descend into the canyon. For those seeking a less strenuous activity, the Greenway Trail System offers paved, accessible trails perfect for walking, biking or using a wheelchair as well.

Tips for Mather Campground:

  • Make reservations well in advance, as the campground fills up quickly during peak season.
  • Remember that weather can change rapidly, so pack clothing suitable for various conditions and temperatures.
  • Keep food and scented items stored securely as wildlife such as squirrels, ravens and elk frequent the area.
  • Observe quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am to respect fellow campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon for future generations.

Campsites can be booked here.

2. White Spar Campground: A Tranquil Escape in the Bradshaw Mountains

best campsites in Arizona - White Spar Campground

White Spar Campground, located in the Prescott National Forest, offers a serene and picturesque getaway in the heart of the Bradshaw Mountains. Just a few miles south of the historic city of Prescott, this campground allows you to experience the natural beauty of central Arizona while still being close to urban amenities.

The campground has 52 individual campsites accommodating tents, RVs and trailers up to 40 feet in length. The campground is generally open from late April to late October however it is advisable to check the specific opening and closing dates each year. Reservations can be made in advance, with some sites being available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Each campsite features a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill and a parking space for your vehicle with access to vault toilets and potable water as well. There are however no shower facilities or RV hook-ups available. Campers can find groceries, supplies and dining options in nearby Prescott, just a short drive away.

White Spar Campground serves as an excellent base for exploring the surrounding Prescott National Forest. The area boasts an extensive network of hiking and mountain biking trails such as the Goldwater Lake Trail, which connects the campground to the nearby Goldwater Lake, a popular spot for fishing and picnicking.

Other nearby trails include the Apple Blossom Trail, Twist & Shout Trail and Feldmeier Trail which offer a range of difficulty levels for hikers and mountain bikers. Horseback riding is also permitted on some of the trails in the area, providing yet another way to explore the beautiful landscape.

Prescott, known as “Arizona’s Mile-High City,” also offers additional recreational opportunities and attractions including the historic downtown area, the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Watson and Willow Lakes, which are perfect for kayaking and birdwatching.

Tips for White Spar Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and holidays as the campground can fill up quickly.
  • Be prepared for cooler temperatures at night due to the campground’s elevation (5,600 feet).
  • Store food and scented items securely to avoid attracting wildlife, such as bears and raccoons.
  • Respect quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am to ensure a peaceful experience for all campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help maintain the pristine beauty of the area for future visitors.

Campsites can be booked here.

3. Bonita Canyon Campground: Discover the Wonderland of Rocks at Chiricahua National Monument

best campsites in Arizona - Bonita Canyon

Bonita Canyon Campground, nestled within the Chiricahua National Monument, offers an idyllic retreat surrounded by striking rock formations and diverse landscapes. Known as the “Wonderland of Rocks,” the Chiricahua National Monument is home to a unique ecosystem making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.

The campground features 25 individual campsites suitable for tents, small RVs and trailers up to 29 feet in length. The campground is open year-round, with reservations recommended during the peak season (March through May and September through November) with some campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Each campsite includes a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill, a bear-proof storage box and a parking space for your vehicle. And there is also access to flush toilets and potable water, but there are no shower facilities, electric hook-ups or dump stations available. The nearest amenities, such as groceries, gas and restaurants can be found in the nearby town of Willcox, approximately 35 miles away.

Bonita Canyon Campground is an excellent base for exploring the Chiricahua National Monument’s numerous natural attractions. The park features 17 miles of hiking trails that showcase the area’s unique rock formations such as the Heart of Rocks Loop, which takes you through the heart of the “Wonderland of Rocks.” Other popular trails include the Natural Bridge Trail which leads to a stunning rock arch and the Echo Canyon Trail, offering impressive views of the surrounding landscape.

The Chiricahua Mountains are also home to over 170 species of birds, including several hummingbird species, Mexican jays, and the elegant trogon making it ideal for birdwatchers as well. There are also ranger-led programs such as guided walks and evening campfire talks providing an opportunity to learn more about the area’s rich history, geology and ecology.

Tips for Bonita Canyon Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, particularly during the peak season as the campground has limited capacity.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions, including cooler temperatures at night and the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms during the monsoon season (July through September).
  • Store food and scented items securely in the provided bear-proof storage boxes to protect both wildlife and your belongings.
  • Respect quiet hours from 8 pm to 8 am to ensure a peaceful experience for all campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the natural beauty of the Chiricahua National Monument for future generations.

Campsites can be booked here.

4. Cave Springs Campground: Embrace the Beauty of Sedona in Coconino National Forest

best campsites in Arizona - Cave Springs Campground

Cave Springs Campground, situated in the lush Oak Creek Canyon within Coconino National Forest, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Surrounded by towering red rock cliffs and verdant forests, this campground provides an ideal base to explore the enchanting Sedona area and the diverse landscapes of northern Arizona.

The campground offers 82 individual campsites suitable for tents, RVs and trailers up to 36 feet in length and is typically open from early May to late October however it is advisable to check the specific opening and closing dates each year. Reservations can be made in advance, with some sites being available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Each campsite features a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill and a parking space for your vehicle. The campground provides vault toilets and potable water, but there are no shower facilities, electric hook-ups or dump stations available. Campers can find groceries, supplies, and dining options in nearby Sedona, just a short drive away.

Cave Springs Campground offers easy access to Oak Creek, a crystal-clear stream that runs alongside the campground. The creek is perfect for swimming, fishing and picnicking during the warm summer months and Slide Rock State Park, located just a few miles north of the campground, is another popular spot for swimming and sunbathing on the natural rock slides.

The area boasts numerous hiking trails that showcase the region’s stunning red rock formations and dense forests. Some popular trails include the West Fork Trail, which follows Oak Creek through a scenic canyon and the Cookstove Trail, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Sedona, known for its vibrant arts scene and spiritual energy, offers additional attractions and activities such as art galleries, jeep tours and vortex sites. The Coconino National Forest also provides opportunities for mountain biking, rock climbing and wildlife watching as well.

Tips for Cave Springs Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and holidays, as the campground can fill up quickly.
  • Be aware that poison ivy is present along the creek banks, so take precautions while exploring the area.
  • Store food and scented items securely to avoid attracting wildlife, such as raccoons, bears and skunks.
  • Respect quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am to ensure a peaceful experience for all campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help maintain the pristine beauty of the area for future visitors.

Campsites can be booked here.

5. Alamo Lake State Park Campground: A Desert Oasis for Water and Stargazing Enthusiasts

best campsites in Arizona - Alamo Lake State Park

Alamo Lake State Park, nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, is a hidden gem offering a peaceful retreat for campers seeking a unique Arizona experience. The park surrounds the beautiful Alamo Lake, a reservoir created by the Alamo Dam on the Bill Williams River. With its serene surroundings, diverse wildlife and exceptional stargazing, Alamo Lake State Park is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Alamo Lake State Park Campground features over 250 campsites providing both developed and primitive camping options with developed campsites situated in different camp areas, including the Main Campground, Cholla Campground and Camp Area 5. These sites offer amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings and shade ramadas and some sites also have water and electric hook-ups for RVs.

The primitive camping options are dispersed throughout the park, offering a more remote and secluded experience however campers should be prepared for minimal amenities, such as pit toilets, and should bring their own water supply. In more established areas, the park offers restroom facilities, shower buildings and a dump station for RVs. There is also a park store where you can purchase snacks, ice, and basic camping supplies.

Alamo Lake State Park is a paradise for water enthusiasts, with the 2,700-acre lake providing ample opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming and kayaking. The lake is known for its excellent Bass and Catfish fishing and hosts several annual fishing tournaments as well.

The park is also home to diverse wildlife, including mule deer, foxes and numerous bird species, making it a great spot for wildlife watching and photography. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the park’s modest trail system, which offers beautiful views of the surrounding desert landscape.

Tips for Alamo Lake State Park Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and holidays, as the campground can fill up quickly.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions, including high temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night.
  • Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellent to ensure a comfortable stay in the desert environment.
  • Observe quiet hours from 10 pm to 7 am to respect fellow campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help maintain the pristine beauty of the area for future visitors.

Campsites can be booked here.

6. Dead Horse Ranch State Park Campground: Experience the Verde Valley’s Natural Charm

best campsites in Arizona - Dead Horse Ranch

Dead Horse Ranch State Park, located in the vibrant town of Cottonwood, offers a delightful escape in the heart of the Verde Valley. The park, named after a historic ranch, spans over 420 acres, featuring the lush riparian corridor of the Verde River and picturesque lagoons. With its diverse landscapes and wide range of recreational activities, Dead Horse Ranch State Park is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families.

The campground features 100 individual campsites accommodating tents, RVs and trailers up to 65 feet in length. The campground is divided into the Red-Tail Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk and Quail loops, with each loop offering a unique setting. The campsites are available year-round with reservations recommended, especially during the peak season.

Each campsite includes a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill and a parking space for your vehicle with modern restroom facilities (flush toilets and hot showers) as well as a dump station for RVs also available. Some campsites offer water and electric hook-ups (30/50-amp service) and there are also picnic areas, playgrounds, and a disc golf course..

Dead Horse Ranch State Park offers a wealth of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. The park’s three lagoons and the Verde River provide excellent opportunities for fishing, canoeing and kayaking where anglers can catch a variety of fish species, including Largemouth Bass, Catfish, and Bluegill.

Outdoor enthusiasts can access over 20 miles of multi-use trails suitable for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding on popular trails including the Lime Kiln Trail, which connects the park to the historic town of Jerome and the Raptor Hill Trail, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valley.

Tips for Dead Horse Ranch State Park Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and holidays as the campground can fill up quickly.
  • Bring insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be prevalent near the lagoons and river during certain times of the year.
  • Observe quiet hours from 10 pm to 7 am to respect fellow campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help maintain the pristine beauty of the park for future visitors.

Campsites can be booked here.

7. Catalina State Park Campground: Explore the Stunning Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson

best campsites in Arizona - Santa Catalina Mountains State Park

Catalina State Park, located at the base of the breathtaking Santa Catalina Mountains, offers a spectacular desert retreat just a short drive from the vibrant city of Tucson. The park encompasses over 5,500 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape featuring majestic saguaro cacti, unique rock formations and a diverse range of flora and fauna. With its scenic beauty and wide array of recreational activities, Catalina State Park is an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Catalina State Park Campground features 120 individual campsites accommodating tents, RVs and trailers up to 45 feet in length. The campground is open year-round with reservations highly recommended, especially during the peak season (October through April).

Each campsite includes a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill and a parking space for your vehicle and the campground also provides modern restroom facilities with flush toilets and hot showers, as well as a dump station for RVs. A majority of the campsites offer water and electric hook-ups (30/50-amp service) too.

With over 25 miles of multi-use trails, the park is perfect for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The trail system offers a variety of difficulty levels ranging from the easy Nature Trail, which meanders through the park’s lower elevations to the challenging Romero Canyon Trail, which takes you deep into the Santa Catalina Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

The park is home to over 150 species of birds, making it a popular spot for birdwatching and visitors can also enjoy wildlife viewing as the park is inhabited by javelinas, mule deer, bobcats and other desert-dwelling animals. Catalina State Park also hosts ranger-led programs and events, such as guided nature walks, star parties and campfire talks providing an opportunity to learn more about the area’s ecology, geology and history as well.

Tips for Catalina State Park Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and holidays as the campground can fill up quickly.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions, including high temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night.
  • Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat to ensure a comfortable stay in the desert environment.
  • Observe quiet hours from 10 pm to 7 am to respect fellow campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help maintain the pristine beauty of the park for future visitors.

Campsites can be booked here.

8. Blue Ridge Campground: A Tranquil Retreat in the Cool Pines of Coconino National Forest

best campsites in Arizona - Blue Ridge Reservoir

Blue Ridge Campground, situated in the picturesque Coconino National Forest, offers a serene and refreshing escape from the heat of the lower elevations. Surrounded by towering Ponderosa pines and mixed conifers, this high-elevation campground provides a cool and tranquil retrea, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers seeking a peaceful getaway in the forest.

The campground features 10 individual campsites, suitable for tents and small RVs or trailers up to 32 feet in length on a first-come, first-served basis and is typically open from mid-May to mid-October, depending on weather conditions. Due to its small size and popularity, it’s advisable to arrive early to secure a campsite, especially during weekends and holidays.

Each campsite includes a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill and a parking space for your vehicle. The are also vault toilets so campers should bring their own water supply and there are no shower facilities, electric hook-ups or dump stations available either. The nearest amenities, such as groceries and gas, can be found in the nearby towns of Happy Jack and Clints Well.

Blue Ridge Campground offers a range of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The nearby Blue Ridge Reservoir, also known as C.C. Cragin Reservoir, is a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking and fishing and is home to Rainbow and Brown Trout, providing excellent opportunities for anglers.

The campground is surrounded by Coconino National Forest, which boasts an extensive trail system for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Some popular trails in the area include the General Crook Trail, which follows a historic military route and the Arizona Trail, which traverses the entire state from north to south.

Tips for Blue Ridge Campground:

  • Arrive early to secure a campsite, as the campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis and can fill up quickly.
  • Bring your own water supply, as potable water is not available at the campground.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions including cooler temperatures at night and the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms during the monsoon season (July through September).
  • Store food and scented items securely to avoid attracting wildlife, such as bears and raccoons.
  • Respect quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am to ensure a peaceful experience for all campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the natural beauty of the Coconino National Forest for future generations.

Campsites can be booked here.

9. Lost Dutchman State Park Campground: Discover the Mystique of the Superstition Mountains

best campsites in Arizona - Goldfield Ghost Town

Lost Dutchman State Park, located in Apache Junction near the historic town of Goldfield, offers a striking desert retreat at the foot of the legendary Superstition Mountains. Named after the fabled Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, the park encompasses over 320 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape featuring towering saguaro cacti, wildflowers and unique rock formations. With its fascinating history, stunning scenery and wide array of recreational activities, Lost Dutchman State Park is an ideal destination for adventure seekers and history buffs alike.

The Lost Dutchman State Park Campground features 134 individual campsites accommodating tents, RVs and trailers up to 45 feet in length. It is open year-round, with reservations highly recommended, especially during the peak season (October through April).

Each campsite includes a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill and a parking space for your vehicle and the campground provides modern restroom facilities with flush toilets and hot showers as well as a dump station for RVs. A majority of the campsites offer water and electric hook-ups (30/50-amp service), whilst a few sites are designated for tents only and do not have hook-ups.

Lost Dutchman State Park boasts an extensive trail system perfect for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The park’s trails also offer a variety of difficulty levels, ranging from the easy Native Plant Trail, which meanders through the park’s lower elevations, to the challenging Siphon Draw Trail, which leads hikers to the top of the Flatiron, a prominent rock formation in the Superstition Mountains.

The nearby Goldfield Ghost Town, a reconstructed mining town, offers additional attractions and activities such as gold panning, mine tours and Old West gunfight reenactments as well

Tips for Lost Dutchman State Park Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and holidays, as the campground can fill up quickly.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions, including high temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night.
  • Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat to ensure a comfortable stay in the desert environment.
  • Observe quiet hours from 10 pm to 7 am to respect fellow campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help maintain the pristine beauty of the park for future visitors.

Campsites can be booked here.

10. Patagonia Lake State Park Campground: A Picturesque Lakeside Retreat in Southern Arizona

best campsites in Arizona - Patagonia Lake State Park

Patagonia Lake State Park, situated in the rolling hills of Southern Arizona, offers a delightful lakeside getaway amid a unique blend of desert and riparian landscapes. The park surrounds the 265-acre Patagonia Lake, created by the damming of Sonoita Creek, and boasts a diverse ecosystem that supports a wide variety of flora and fauna. With its serene surroundings, water-based recreational activities and excellent birdwatching opportunities, Patagonia Lake State Park is an ideal destination for nature lovers and families alike.

The campground features over 100 individual campsites, accommodating tents, RVs and trailers up to 35 feet in length. The campground is open year-round, with reservations highly recommended, especially during the peak season (October through April).

Each campsite includes a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill and a parking space for your vehicle and the campground provides modern restroom facilities with flush toilets and hot showers, as well as a dump station for RVs. A majority of the campsites also offer water and electric hook-ups (20/30/50-amp service) as well as a few primitive beachside campsites that can be accessed only by boat.

In addition to the traditional campsites, the park offers seven camping cabins equipped with bunk beds, a table, chairs and a covered porch however they do not have electricity, water or cooking facilities, so campers should come prepared with their own supplies.

Patagonia Lake State Park offers a wealth of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy with excellent opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming and kayaking where anglers can catch a variety of fish species including Bass, Catfish, Bluegill and Crappie.

The park also offers picnic areas, a beach and a playground as well as a marina with boat rentals and a store where you can purchase snacks, ice and basic camping supplies.

Tips for Patagonia Lake State Park Campground:

  • Make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and holidays, as the campground can fill up quickly.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions, including high temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night.
  • Bring insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be prevalent near the lake and riparian areas during certain times of the year.
  • Observe quiet hours from 10 pm to 7 am to respect fellow campers.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to help maintain the pristine beauty of the park for future visitors.

Campsites can be booked here.

Conclusion

There you have it, my best campsites in Arizona. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul