Arizona boasts itself as the gateway to the Grand Canyon. And, it’s true: There’s no better place to set off into the red- and orange-painted cliffs, winding canyons, and rippling rivers of this wild and grand desert landscape. But, camping in Arizona doesn’t stop at The Big Ditch. From Flagstaff to Sedona, and beyond, you’ll find some of the best desert camping in the U.S. right in this state.
The Colorado River carved through 277 miles of ancient sandstone and limestone to form the Grand Canyon. Stop along the edges of this natural wonder for some of the most famous and scenic camping in Arizona. Go straight to Grand Canyon Village and camp at the Mather campground on the South Rim to experience the best pit stops and catch jaw-dropping canyon views on the Bright Angel Trail. Or, opt for areas less saturated with people and head to Desert View Campground on the South Rim. Hike to Coconino Overlook to sample views of the massive canyon or put your boots on the Arizona Trail, one of the country’s National Scenic Trails.
For those interested in venturing into other parts of Arizona, head to Sedona for more red rock desert camping. There’s a variety of things to do in Sedona, and camping, of course, is one of the best. From red rock canyons to rock formations fabled as energy vortexes, you’ll find views and adventures in Sedona unlike any other. Camp at Pine Flat Campground, where tall ponderosas brush up against red rock walls. Get up to hike for sunrise or start out at sunset to see the best colors amidst the desert. Or, bring your bike along for the ride to experience world-class mountain biking trails right in Sedona.
Whether it’s hiking, biking, or just sleeping beneath the desert sky when camping in Arizona, the state is truly an outdoor-lover’s desert mecca. So grab your tent and head to the edges of the Grand Canyon or into the quiet nooks of Sedona and discover a land of red-rock beauty.
Was able to secure a reservation about two weeks in advance for a Saturday night stay in July. If you weren't able to get a reservation in advance, check back a week or two prior to your desired dates for cancellations.
The check in was easy, only took a few seconds to find our reservation and give us directions to the site.
The site was mostly level, clean, and fairly large considering the size of the campground. There was a good mix of shade to put the tent and chairs, and open sky to view the stars. Looking around, we probably had one of the least shaded sites, but it wasn't too bad. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill.
The site was fairly close to a restroom and there was some noise from the air dryers and the door opening and closing throughout the night. They were clean though, and there's a sink around back for dishwashing. I would not pick a site right next to a bathroom: there was a site maybe 15 feet away and that's too close.
All of our neighbors were nice and quiet, but we could hear a couple loud groups coming from the far parts of the campground. The hosts are very strict about the generator curfew (love it!) and not stringing stuff from trees. Hammocks are fine, but you need to take it down when you're not actually in it. This is to protect the animals who will wander through your site.
Watch for lots of pedestrians walking down the road to and from the showers. We didn't use those facilities.
There are lots of elk and deer that are waaay too comfortable around humans, so make sure you keep all food put away, watch your pets, and take your trash to the dumpsters. It was interesting seeing the elk, but sad at the same time. One of our neighbors left a trash bag out overnight and the elk (and later the crows) destroyed it.
The campground is about a 20 minute walk from Mather Point and the visitors center via a paved walking path that starts just past the Juniper Loop. There's a whole network of paths, mostly paved, some dirt, around the Village that connects most everything, plus the shuttle bus. The general store is about 1/4 mile from the campground entrance.
Near zero cell service with Sprint. Just enough to get an occasional push notification.
My grandchildren and I arrived in July of 2018 and spent two nights here in my 17ft Winnebago Micro Minni Winni Camper. The campground host “Bill” was awesome! I was new to parking my camper and Bill helped to get her in position.
We enjoyed this campground so much, I decided if there was ever an opening for a campground host, I would be the first to apply!
I did and yes, I got the job!!! Come on out and visit Miss Belle and Miss Roe at Desert View Campground!
Beautiful views, quaint little town, tons of history and scenic beauty to enjoy. Goldfield town is a must, there is so much to do and see there. Just know that the attractions do close once the heat averages about 105 and reopen once the heat has gone down.
Such an incredible place to visit. Very serine & tranquil with beauty beyond what the eyes can see. The rock formations are amazing, they truly take your breathe away. Not only is the town of Prescott a must see but there’s so much surrounding it as well
My daughter and I camped over the weekend and had so much fun. We were on site 41 which was a little too small for our large 8 person tent, but a smaller tent would have fit just fine. We weren’t able to have a fire because of this, but we had a blast anyways. But it looked like site 40 had a little bigger spot. It rained the whole weekend and while our site got wet the ground was so well maintained that it drained quickly and never got muddy. Even though we had a few rude people being extremely loud at 1am bear is, I would highly recommend this campground to anyone looking for somewhere to go.
I’ve been to this area a lot of times as a kid and decided to take my kid up here. It still a great area. Its quiet and very clean. The bathrooms are cleaned daily and are very nice. The host were very friendly also. Will come back again
This a very beautiful spot off the highway, but far enough you can’t see or hear the traffic. Not too far out of Payson, about 15 minutes. Half of the campground is right next to the creek… only a hundred feet away! Water, bathrooms, and trash cans are provided… but no showers. So prepare to be dirty. Friendly and helpful staff. The campsites are pretty close together unfortunately, but they are one of the bigger campsites I’ve seen compared to other campgrounds. Staff and helpful and friendly and provide firewood for $7 a bundle. They do not sell ice though like some other campgrounds. Overall it’s not our favorite campground but it is nice and would recommend!
While working on the Woodbury Wildland Fire here in Arizona my Ambulance was staged at Oak Flat Campground. It was nothing but desert, a few picnic tables, with some trees with nice shade and two bathrooms. It’s probably the least nicest campground I’ve been to. Luckily we weren’t staying there for the night just parked there during the day. It appeared to be free, it was a decent distance off the main highway. If you’re just looking for a place to stop and rest for the night then it’s not a bad spot but I wouldn’t take my family there for a vacation.
This place was really pretty and a lot of critters running around to watch. Also a great spot for birdwatchers. The campground itself was well kept. I did not care for how close together most of the sites were and lack of parking. Be sure to get here early because sites fill up quick!
This campsite was fabulous. It was probably one of the cleanest campsites I have ever been in. They keep the grounds well-maintained and the showers and bathrooms were spotless. We were there the last week in June and it was full. You definitely have to make reservations far in advance. We were lucky that we were able to reserve (two nights) a spot right on the lake. Our car battery died, the camp host was very helpful and gave us a jump. We are definitely coming back!
We tent camped here in July and really appreciated the cool temperatures at night. The drive to the campground (either direction) is breathtaking and dramatic, and we loved the stream near our site. We thought the site was a good size- we didn’t feel anyone was too close. You can see so many stars above the ponderosas, and it smells amazing! No bug bites either, so that was a plus! The first night we were there, the bathrooms were completely full and dirty, but they were clean the second night. Showers are $4 for 8 minutes, and no electricity at the sites. $22 per night.
This is amazing! Beautiful! Lots of wildlife. Trails that are easy for everyone to walk (semi paved)or rural more difficult. Fishing, kayaking, just no swimming. The store is so cute not always open (took a photo of the sign)if you go on Sunday get there early they run out of a few things, we didn't eat but might next time. Bottom of the hill (less than a quarter mile) is a mini mart, trader Joe's and down the road is a Walmart (so close, and that's where you can buy a fishing license). Seriously will be back!!
The best thing about canyon point is the fact that it’s one of the other campgrounds that have showers available, that’s a huge plus after a couple days of being outdoors. The sites are similar to other campground around the area. The sites are kind of close together but that’s to be expected. Nice paved roads, close to forest lake estates, and Payson is a short drive away for anything you might have forgot or need.
It is BLM and it’s FREE! You do have to register with the host when you pull in. It’s the first camper on the left. It’s rocky ground but that never bothered us. You just pick wherever you want that’s large enough for your needs. It’s not actual sites, it just a large area and you pick where you want and can fit your rig. Fires are aloud and that’s great. There are fire pits made of the rocks there from previous campers or you can make another. It’s primitive. It’s also pretty quiet..day and night. One of the pictures is of Dome Rock that is close to go visit but not at this camping area.
There are a lot of good things about this campground with very few drawbacks. Staff was very friendly on check in. We loved that they named the “streets” and labeled them. It made finding our campsite very easy. It was a very clean facility and quiet as well. Access to flagstaff is great as well. Beautiful campsites. The kids loved the jumping pillow and playground. They also loved the banana bikes but we had a few crashes with a few skinned knees so if you want to ride them make sure you have a first aid kit with. The few things we didn’t like was no swimming pool as my kids love swimming but the flagstaff aquatic center is close but kind of pricey in my opinion. The next thing is there wasn’t a lot of open space to set up our games like cornhole and ladder golf. The next was the bathrooms/showers are centrally located and when your toddler needs to go potty it’s far away for those little legs. The last thing was that there isn’t a lot of room for visitor parking, we have friends who live in town who came out for dinner and s’mores and they had a hard time finding a space. Overall this is a great facility and I would recommend it to families.
Beautiful trees with cooler temps very clean.. Camp sites are a little too compact and close together for the price and for are liking.. The main road goes through the north end of camp so you get to hear the Street bikes, Harley’s and wannabe mountain racers throughout the night flying up and down the mountain!! The best camp sites are reserved but nobody ever showed at a first come first serve camp ground weird.. Made the best of it and had a great time in Jerome and at the Verde River
My first impression of Canyon Point was how clean and well organized the whole campground was. There is a kiosk at the front staffed with a couple workers who were very friendly. The provided a map and directions and offered lots of information.
It’s a little expensive but not terrible at $33 per night for hookups and $28 without. That being said, there are full hookups and a dump station, showers, and even an amphitheater with schedule activities. A and B loops, reservations required. I thought that the sites were a little close together for me.
This is one of the most well run and organized campgrounds that I’ve been to!
Horseshoe cienega lake and campground is located off the 260 about 45 minutes east of Pinetop-Lakeside. First impressions: wow! The lake in and of itself is beautiful and very similar to the other small mountain lakes in this area. It is visible right off the road. Fishing and kayaking is available here but you have to buy a special fishing permit for the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
The campground is open between May and October. No reservations, first come first serve. We stayed in a large group over Fourth of July week and of course this place was packed. That said, the sites were still far enough away to have some privacy.
The campground sits between the lake on the north and a spectacular cliff with a river running at the bottom on the south end. This was an awesome view! The river is accessible and you can hike down to it.
This is just a simple campground, no hookups, with amazing views! I would love to go back again not on a holiday weekend!
Nice cold water, WiFi, clean bathroom, Fishing, rental kayaks, picnic area, and very clean willow Beach.
I really loved these camping spots at the South gate of The Petrified Forest National Park.
There are two locations across the street from one another, one paid, one free. We stayed on the paid side, as it was evident to us they were well cared for.
Hosts were very nice. I hope to stay again in our way home. Gift shop has some lovely specimens of petrified wood.
In November of 2017, we decided to go camping. But since it was off-season, so our choices were limited. We traveled past Payson in search of a campground that was open year-round, and we finally landed upon this serene beauty. It was a small campground located off of some unpaved forest roads with large campsites equipped with fire pits and some even with BBQ grills. There were picnic tables at the sites as well. There were two small bathrooms available to use near our campsite. At first we were the only ones in the campground, but eventually one other group showed up. Overall, we were happy with this campsite and would be happy to return someday. I am sure there are more campers in the busy season, but I'm sure it is still just as serene and beautiful
We are fairly new to camping in Arizona. We decided to go camping last minute this past weekend, so we had no reservations. We found this area randomly, and we were very pleased. It was easy to access, and dispersed campgrounds lined the road. Tons of space between sites. There were plenty of other campers near us, but it still felt fairly private. The fire pits were well maintained. Our site had a beautiful set up of stones surrounding the pit. The campsite was very clean. The area was pretty, but not spectacular. There is road noise from the highway, but that’s the price you pay for easy access. It didn’t bother us for a quick getaway.