Crabtree Wash This site offers shoreline parking and boat access. Access is by the Apache Trail National Forest Scenic Byway, a scenic mountain road. Nearby are views of mountains with abundant wildlife.
Crabtree Wash is a small campground next to the Apache Lake Marina and Resort. There are two ways down to the wash: one fun dirt road to take your 4x4 vehicle or service road 79. Service road 79 is the same road you take to the resort and is paved all the way down. Crabtree is run by the Tonto National Forest so you must have a Tonto Pass to enjoy the day or night. Passes can be purchased at any Tonto Ranger station, Canyon Lake or most gas stations on the way down Apache Trail.
The campground itself is fairly small and first come/first serve. This campground is unique because it is next to the “resort”. The campground has toilets and trash pickup. The resort offers many things for sale (firewood, ice, lunch…) so it’s like camping out in the desert next to a convenience store.
When planning a trip to Apache lake plan accordingly as this is a desert campground. In September I sweat bullets until about midnight when the temperature dropped. The lake the next day made it all better.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt (what I refer lovingly to as a Dyrt Ranger), I get the privilege to test products. At Crabtree Wash, I tested Primus’ Essential Pot Set 1.3L. I have been in need of specific camping pots as the kitchen pots I was using were not getting the job done. These pots were impressive.
The set comes with two 1.3L pots, one frying pan, a pot gripper and a carrying bag. First impressions: love the carrying bag, pans look well made and perfect size to cook for my one or two person camping trips.
I was able to throw my plate and silverware into the carrying bag with the pots so everything is self contained. The flying is nonstick and doubles as a lid to the pots. The pot gripper is okay, the design is akin to scissors. I’m planning on upgrading to the Primus Crimp Pot Gripper as I fully expect to drop a pan of boiling water because I loosen my grip on the gripper. Overall I am completely stoked to add the Primus pots to my camping gear.
This campground was a great spot for our first kayak trip. Very little water traffic, great views, and lakeside camping. The area is first come, first served, but you only have to have a Tonto pass to stay there. No campground fees. The road to the lake is pretty rough, but manageable without a trailer. We will definitely be back.