Top 14 Camping Spots in Arizona
Our Top 14 Camping Spots in Arizona
Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, is a treasure trove of natural wonders and outdoor adventures, and what better way to experience its beauty than by camping amidst its breathtaking landscapes? This guide will unveil Arizona’s top 15 camping spots, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and a chance to connect with the great outdoors. From tranquil lakeside retreats to rugged mountain hideaways, these camping spots promise unforgettable experiences for seasoned adventurers and those seeking ATV tours or a peaceful escape. Whether you’re an angler, hiker, birdwatcher, or simply a nature enthusiast, Arizona’s diverse camping destinations have something to offer everyone. So, pack your gear, prepare to be amazed, and embark on a journey through Arizona’s top 15 camping spots.
Dairy Springs Campground
Nestled within the Coconino National Forest, Dairy Springs Campground and its neighbor, Double Springs Campground, offer a serene escape at 7,100 feet amidst ancient Ponderosa pine and oak trees. Seasonal attractions include Mormon Lake for fishing, windsurfing, and wildlife watching.
With 30 single-unit campsites, two group sites for up to 80 campers, and abundant wildlife like hawks, bald eagles, and elk, Dairy Springs Campground offers a tranquil haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Conveniently located 20 miles south of Flagstaff via Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road) and Forest Road 90, it’s open from May to October, providing an idyllic setting for outdoor adventures and relaxation.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Nestled along Arizona’s Apache Trail, Lost Dutchman State Park invites adventurers to explore the captivating Superstition Mountains, renowned for the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Travelers worldwide are drawn to this park’s tales, whether in pursuit of treasure or bask in the rugged beauty of the Superstition Wilderness accessible via park trails.
Initially established in 1972 as a day-use area by the Bureau of Land Management, Lost Dutchman State Park became part of Arizona’s state park system in 1977, securing 292 acres through the Federal Recreation and Public Purposes Act. Its dedication ceremony marked the start of an era, attracting notable figures like Secretary of State Rose Mofford. Over time, the park has expanded, consistently captivating the hearts and imaginations of its visitors. Offering breathtaking views, hiking opportunities, and the allure of hidden treasures, Lost Dutchman State Park is where legends become reality—a must-visit destination for both treasure hunters and outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure amid the Superstition Mountains’ history and natural beauty.
Riggs Flat Campground
Nestled in Arizona’s wilderness, Riggs Flat Campground is a hidden gem centered around the serene Riggs Flat Lake. This 11-acre lake is a haven for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Crafted in 1957, it’s teeming with trout for anglers to enjoy with the necessary fishing license.
Remember, this is black bear territory, so store food securely. With 26 campsites, it’s first-come, first-served, offering tent and trailer camping. The fee is $20 per site, $10 with certain passes. It’s open from April 15 to November 14, providing a tranquil escape amid nature’s beauty.
Cave Springs Campground
Nestled in the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon within Coconino National Forest, Cave Springs Campground is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. It offers campsites along the crystal-clear Oak Creek, perfect for relaxation and water fun. Nearby hiking trails provide stunning vistas, while the creek is a haven for birdwatchers and anglers. With 84 well-equipped campsites, including showers and restrooms, Cave Springs welcomes RVs and trailers up to 36 feet in length. Nearby Sedona and Slide Rock State Park offer additional attractions for a memorable outdoor adventure in Coconino National Forest.
Canyon Point Campground
Canyon Point Campground, tucked away in a serene ponderosa pine forest, provides 113 camping units, including 32 electrical hook-ups, catering to a diverse range of outdoor enthusiasts, from tent campers to those with motorhomes up to 75 feet long. Families can enjoy three universally accessible family units, while five double sites accommodate up to 16 people each, ideal for group getaways. A spacious group campsite awaits for larger gatherings, accommodating up to 55 people beneath the forest canopy.
Beyond its tranquil setting and varied camping options, Canyon Point Campground offers access to nature programs and hiking trails, including the intriguing Sinkhole and Back Alley Trails in Loop B, revealing a hidden Sinkhole and offering breathtaking scenic vistas on the majestic Mogollon Rim’s edge. Just 5 miles away, Willow Springs Lake beckons aquatic adventurers with opportunities for boating and fishing. While visiting, be prepared for occasional, sometimes heavy, summer rain showers and cool to cold nighttime temperatures. Canyon Point Campground seamlessly combines the allure of the wilderness with the comforts of modern camping, inviting you to create cherished memories surrounded by majestic pines.
Dogtown Lake Campground And Group
Nestled in Kaibab National Forest, Dogtown Lake Campground is a hidden gem near Grand Canyon National Park, Williams, and Flagstaff, Arizona. This serene retreat offers outdoor wonders like hiking, fishing, and mountain biking against a backdrop of pine forest and Bill Williams Mountain. With 50 individual campsites, four double sites, and a group site for up to 80 guests, it caters to solo adventurers and groups. Modern amenities include restrooms, garbage bins, and water faucets, although there’s no dump station on-site. Dogtown Lake, surrounded by towering trees and named after prairie dog “towns” nearby, sits at 7,050 feet, inviting visitors to create cherished memories year-round.
Whether seeking a summer escape or a winter wonderland, Dogtown Lake Campground offers nature enthusiasts and adventurers an idyllic setting.
Knoll Lake Campground
Knoll Lake Campground, nestled in the majestic Mogollon Rim, is a serene forest retreat for tranquility seekers and adventurers. This hidden gem features Knoll Lake, perfect for trout fishing and small boat exploration, while the awe-inspiring Mogollon Rim offers breathtaking vistas for hikers and mountain bikers.
The campground provides amenities like a boat ramp, picnic tables, and drinking water, with fees of $20 per site for single-family units and $40 for double sites accommodating up to 16 people and four vehicles. Senior and Access Interagency passes offer a 50% discount on single-site camping fees. Quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. ensure a peaceful night, with no generators allowed.
Nearby towns of Happy Jack and Strawberry provide local culture and convenience. Discover the natural wonders of Knoll Lake Campground, where adventure and serenity unite beneath the towering embrace of the Mogollon Rim.
Burnt Corral Campground
Nestled amid Apache Lake’s majestic canyon walls, Burnt Corral Campground offers a unique waterfront adventure with 82 developed campsites open year-round. The serene Apache Lake beckons fishing and boating enthusiasts, surrounded by stunning mountain views and wildlife. With accessible, gently sloping grounds, this campground accommodates all visitors. Reservations are available for odd-numbered sites from November 1 to April 30, with even-numbered sites first-come, first-served.
Fees range from $20 for individual camp units to $40 for double camp units, with a 50% discount for America the Beautiful Interagency Senior or Access Pass holders. Enjoy the tranquility of Burnt Corral, dispose of trash properly, and respect quiet hours from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. Burnt Corral Campground invites you to create unforgettable Arizona memories, from waterfront adventures to breathtaking landscapes.
Childs Dispersed Camping Area
Nestled within the embrace of Mother Nature’s reclamation, Childs Dispersed Camping Area invites you to embark on a journey through history and natural beauty. This hidden gem, once home to the Childs Power Plant, now stands as a testament to the restoration efforts that have revitalized Fossil Creek, restoring its once-mighty flow. The remnants of the old power plant buildings stand in solemn testament to a bygone era while the tranquil Verde River flows gently by. History and nature converge in this dispersed camping area, offering a serene escape for all who seek it.
As you make your way to Childs, the rugged terrain and challenging roads remind you that this place is untouched by modern life’s bustle. Free-spirited campers and history buffs gather to immerse themselves in Fossil Creek’s transformation legacy.
The Verde Hot Springs, once a renowned resort, await those willing to hike upstream and wade through the rejuvenated waters. With a 14-day stay limit and no amenities, this camping area is a haven for those who yearn for the simplicity of the wild. As you explore the lush riparian area, hike scenic trails, and witness the unique rock formations that grace this landscape, you’ll find solace in the untamed beauty of Childs Dispersed Camping Area.
Aspen Campground, nestled in the pristine wilderness of north-central Arizona, offers a serene escape for outdoor enthusiasts, families, and photographers. Located by Woods Canyon Lake at an elevation of 7,000 feet, it features 148 spacious campsites across four loops, a marina, a boat ramp, and various amenities.
This beloved camping spot showcases diverse environments, from marshy meadows to rocky forests, teeming with wildlife like birds, squirrels, deer, elk, skunks, and bears. Whether you’re fishing for trout, hiking scenic trails, or capturing breathtaking scenery, Aspen Campground promises an unforgettable nature retreat.
With electric-only boat motors allowed on Woods Canyon Lake, the ambiance remains undisturbed, and ranger-led educational programs offer opportunities for families to connect with the outdoors. Aspen Campground is the perfect setting for cherished memories in Arizona’s natural wonderland, from fishing and boating to hiking and wildlife photography.
Coon Bluff Recreation Area
Coon Bluff Recreation Area, nestled along the Salt River, provides a lush sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and city-dwellers seeking a quick escape just 17 miles northeast of Mesa. It’s a haven for birdwatchers, offering shade from mesquite trees and a chorus of avian songs. The proximity to urban centers makes it ideal for a day trip, immersing you in nature without venturing far from the city.
As a popular river access point for tubing on the Lower Salt River, Coon Bluff is a gateway to aquatic fun. While trailers and motor boats are prohibited, you can leisurely float on the tranquil waters. Keep your pets on a leash, wear proper footwear when wading, and be cautious of fallen trees and debris. It’s important to stay safe, as alcohol, sun, and water can be a risky combination. Coon Bluff Recreation Area is designed for daytime excursions, with no overnight camping or drinking water available, offering a slice of natural serenity within reach of the city’s vibrant energy.
Woods Canyon Lake
Nestled in the heart of picturesque north-central Arizona, the Woods Canyon Lake Group Area beckons with the promise of nature’s embrace and the allure of a tranquil escape. Surrounded by the lush embrace of dense pine forests, this group camping haven is a sanctuary for large gatherings of up to 100 people. The show’s star, Woods Canyon Lake, lies nearby, inviting anglers, boaters, hikers, families, and photographers to immerse themselves in its natural beauty.
You’ll find endless outdoor adventure and relaxation opportunities as you enter this wooded wonderland. The serene waters of Woods Canyon Lake are a haven for anglers eager to cast their lines and boaters seeking a peaceful voyage. With its towering pines, the surrounding forest beckons hikers to explore its winding trails while photographers find inspiration in every corner. Whether you’re reeling in a big catch, gliding across the calm lake, hiking through the verdant woods, or simply savoring the serene beauty, the Woods Canyon Lake Group Area promises an idyllic setting for your group’s outdoor getaway.
Rose Canyon Campground
Rose Canyon Campground is a serene outdoor retreat with 73 spacious campsites, half of which can be reserved. Surrounded by ponderosa pines and Gambel oak, it offers a cool forest setting with amenities like picnic tables, grills, fire pits, and bear boxes for each site. Local wildlife adds to the campground’s charm.
The soothing sound of Rose Creek winding through the woods leads to the picturesque six-acre Rose Canyon Lake, nestled among towering trees. Rose Canyon Lake has everything, whether you prefer a leisurely walk, lakeside relaxation, or trout fishing. The handicapped-accessible Rose Canyon Lake Trail #37 circles the lake, allowing exploration and angling.
The Campground Store is open in warmer months, providing fishing supplies, camping essentials, delicious ice cream, and groceries. During the off-season, the area remains open for woodland walks, wildlife observation, and fishing, allowing you to enjoy nature year-round. Remember to pack out everything you bring in. Rose Canyon Campground offers a peaceful nature retreat where every moment is an opportunity to connect with the great outdoors.
Spencer Canyon Campground
Spencer Canyon Campground is a rugged mountain retreat near Tucson, offering serenity and panoramic views of Tucson and the Santa Cruz Valley. The campground features 66 picturesque campsites with concrete tables, firepits, BBQs, and bear boxes. Some sites offer stunning nighttime views of Tucson, perfect for stargazing.
Located near the charming Summerhaven, it combines convenience with tranquility, offering clean vault toilets and on-site campground hosts who sell firewood. Accessible via the Catalina Highway; snow can cover the road in winter, possibly requiring chains or 4-wheel drive. Spencer Canyon Campground is a rustic escape for those seeking solace and natural beauty at Tucson’s highest elevations.
Top 15 Camping Spots in Arizona
Arizona’s top 15 camping spots provide diverse experiences in the state’s stunning landscapes. From the cool forests of Dairy Springs Campground in Coconino National Forest to the mysterious Superstition Mountains at Lost Dutchman State Park and the serene waters of Riggs Flat Lake to the historic charm of Childs Dispersed Camping Area, there’s something for everyone.
For those who prefer modern amenities and lakeside views, Burnt Corral and Aspen Campground offer comfortable RV sites and cabins. Adventure seekers can explore pristine natural wonders at Canyon Point Campground and Knoll Lake Campground. If you’re looking for a quick escape, Coon Bluff Recreation Area along the Salt River near Mesa provides a verdant oasis.
Arizona’s camping spots invite you to connect with nature, whether fishing, hiking, or stargazing. Pack your gear, gather your loved ones, and embark on unforgettable journeys to experience the wonders of Arizona’s camping treasures, each offering a unique adventure in the heart of the Southwest’s natural wonderland.