We loved this site. The road was fine for our 17’ trailer and spots are spread out well. A few other campers and some shooting in the distance but overall an excellent and free option. Lots of beautiful cactus and excellent stargazing.
Okay BLM site. Campsites are scattered along the dirt road. I have no idea how far the little narrow dirt road goes, but as long as you can find a place to park, I think your good. Quite dense with cactus and many of the sites are kind of pull throughs. Biosphere II is about 28 miles to the east, so it was a good spot to camp at for free and then drive to my tour in the AM.
We stayed here in January 2021 during our visit to Saguaro National Park due to previous good reviews. Classic BLM-style camping, meaning no amenities, dispersed, and pack out all waste.
This campground’s name is quite apt; it is indeed a cactus forest, and a beautiful one at that. However, watch where you step AND where you drive!!!! Some places are hairier than others, but we were very careful for our own safety and for the livelihood of the Saguaros, as young ones are quite tiny and need to be protected. We were traveling with our cat, and we usually let him walk around campsites with us, but decided it was not worth the risk at this campground. I would avise against dogs roaming here as well.
This is a great campground if you are just looking to get away for the weekend or want a quaint, quiet campground amongst incredible Saguaros. However, I personally prefer the BLM Pipeline campground to this one, as it’s more spread out, has less opportunity for cactus stepping, and has a much better proximity to Saguaro NP (especially the East park/Tucson Mountain Park).
Really cool place tucked away felt like a cactus tunnel and you can't beat free. Cell service was spotty to non existent.
My only advice here is that it’s not fun for dogs. (And maybe not fun for kids either?) It’s incredibly prickly everywhere. Imagine that, prickly in the cactus forest? You’ll want to avoid wearing sandals too. (I found myself with a piece of a cactus stuck to my foot and then when trying to remove it I got my hand stuck to the cactus that was stuck to my foot. Tools were required. Pain, lots of pain.) Seriously, NO SANDALS. But! PROS: the saguaro cactus are huge and impressive. We really enjoyed driving through this area at sunset and seeing all the iconic cactus. But then our overnight of camping on this random BLM land was just hours of dodging prickles. It’s quite an interesting place, but fair warning, is prickly. Act accordingly.
We were surprised on the number of people who ventured out to this BLM spot off Park Link Road in the Cactus Forest over a rainy weekend in Tucson.
The first dozen dispersed spots were full with camper vans, small trailers and trucks. We continued to drive down the gravel dirt road to a more secluded spot. We didn’t see anyone in our one-night stay beside a mountain biker in the morning.
Even though It was raining in the area for about 24 hours before we travelled to the campsite, we didn’t have any issues navigating the 1.5 miles down to the site we chose. The truck has some mud in it and the 4x4 wasn’t needed (but made it easier). I would recommend a high clearance vehicle to reach the further back spots. Also, the road was narrow, our F250 brushed a few bushes on the way.
Most dispersed sites had a fire ring (check locally fire conditions first). I’d suggest bringing in fire wood unless you just want to burn the few fallen twig and limbs. It’s a cactus forest- so the terrain is mostly saguaros, chollas, Palo verde trees and shrubs.
Our site had a beautiful view of the sunset and a view of Picacho Peak in the distance. We visited in February and the weather was nice (on the chilly side) for our roof top tent. I wouldn’t come here in the summer unless we had a rig with air conditioning. Impressive view of the stars at night. Some traffic noise from I-10.
No water, toilets, or trash. So be prepared to take out what you bring in. We had 2 bars of LTE slcell service with T-Mobile.
It’s BLM land close to Tucson, so locals use the area for gun target practice. We heard gun shots until the sunset and starting again the morning. It was basically non-stop. If you want a place to shoot, this would be a good spot to camp.
🌵 Saguaro Facts: Saguaros can live to be 150-200 years old and grow as tall at 40 feet. A 10 year old saguaro Is about 1.5 inches tall (please watch where you drive, park and step). At 80 years old, it’s around 6 feet tall and starts to bloom. The best time to see saguaro blooms is mid-May through mid-June. At age 95-100, it’s around 15 feet tall and starts to grow it’s first arm. 🌵