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Arivaca, ARIZONA

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Most Recent Arivaca Camping Reviews
Too busy!

In theory this is a great location but it is just too crowded. You’d have to go mid week to enjoy it. Drove through on a Sunday evening and left right away as there was no parking left and no space left on the “beach”. . At least a hundred people easy by the water.

Beautiful secluded area

Sites available for groups, RVs, tents, etc. No restrooms, but well maintained roads. Lots of border patrol. Hiking, hunting, off roading allowed.

Very nice

Clean and beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful location, very sparse spots, very quite.

Yep

Love it.. Clean nice.. We will always go back

Great

This is a very nice self service campground. Clean, scenic, and with decent bathrooms and showers. There is no shade, but you’re in the desert so that is the expectation. The sky is beautiful at night and sunrise/sunset is otherworldly.

An amazing and beautiful place to camp.

This is a large campground that is great for Tents, Vans, and RVs. The roads getting in are amazing and the scenery is beautiful. I come from a area that is green nearly year round, lots of trees and thick forest. Water is plentiful as well as swamps. This place is in stark contrast to where I call home but is still amazingly beautiful. I had never seen the massive Saguaro Cactus and was sure to be a highlight of this trip. The area did not disappoint at all. 

We arrived in weather that was sunny and clear with a temperature of 102 degrees. While that sounds incredibly hot, it should not scare you off. The humid 90 degree weather back We arrived in weather that was sunny and clear with a temperature of 102 degrees. While that sounds incredibly hot, it should not scare you off. The humid 90 degree weather back home is much harsher than the very dry 102 we arrived in. The camp ground was wonderful and"closed" for the summer. This means that while you are able to camp there, the office is not maned. Simply deposit your payment into an envelop and drop it into the box at the office and you are good to go. 

The campsites are great. They have a sandy peat gravel which is surprisingly comfortable under a tent and sleeping bag. If you are using a mattress in your tent, then you really have nothing to worry about. The temperature at the time we hit the sack was still high, so we started on top of our sleeping bags. Temperatures however did drop to 64 degrees and I woke up in my bag. The campground also have Bathrooms, but they do not have showers. That bathrooms can be hot and humid but still serve their purpose. I believe all the sites have tables was great for us.

The morning was amazing and after a quick breakfast, a bike ride was in order. There are a number of trails in the area and many of them are great. Some have steps for Hikers and are not friendly for Mountain Bikers. The trails do not have good markings but are fairly easy to follow with a GPS map. I say have fun.

Great Escape

Joined a friend for a weekend in the RV park. It was dark when I arrived and can only see the outlines of mountains from the moonlight. Awoke to absolute beauty! Saguaros sprinkled throughout the grounds. The grounds are well kept as well as restrooms. It was my friends RV so I don’t know much about the reservation procedures but had electric hookup and maybe water. The campgrounds are tucked away in the mountain and a bit of a drive into Tucson but the site is so worth the remoteness. Great location to unwind and recharge. Short distance from Desert Museum.

A lovely drive to reach a lovely little campground

We were here mid-week the end of May and the campground was almost full. There were lots of families with young children having a great time fishing and playing in the water. The Visitor Center is also child friendly. We were in a Class B in an RV site but there were lots of tent campers too. We enjoy the easy hiking paths around the park but have also brought a small boat on occasion. There is a nice place to launch a boat there and the lake is divided between places to take speed boats and a quiet place for those of us who like to troll peacefully.

Whatever your needs

Lazydays offers just about anything you want, big small, covered, uncovered, just name it. The sites are well set up with a table and benches and they are clean. This was a shakedown for us in a smaller RV than we were used to. The campgrounds were well kept and there was a good restaurant in the main building, open to offer alternatives to your bar b-q.

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Watch out for rattle snakes! Saw one right next to my fire pit.

Not as nice as it used to be

Great getaway for a weekend

Gilbert Ray Campground , May, 2019

May, 2019 we visited Saguaro National Park near Tucson AZ. We had planned to hike into the park at one of their few campgrounds but the office informed us that there was a controlled burn and recommended we not stay in the park and suggested Gilbert Ray as a good option. Gilbert Ray Campground is a great location for visiting the National Park. We arrived to find the office closed for the summer, so self serve option was available, at 10.00 per night for tent camping you can’t beat the price. The bathrooms were clean and as an added plus they have a dishwashing station. We stayed in the A loop. There are no showers and the campsite it all gravel making it next to impossible to put a tent stake in. The sites are fairly close together, for example, I could hear our neighbor unzip his tent. All sites have picnic tables. Cell service is good.

Gilbert Ray Campground , May, 2019

May, 2019 we visited Saguaro National Park near Tucson AZ. We had planned to hike into the park at one of their few campgrounds but the office informed us that there was a controlled burn and recommended we not stay in the park and suggested Gilbert Ray as a good option. Gilbert Ray Campground is a great location for visiting the National Park. We arrived to find the office closed for the summer, so self serve option was available, at 10.00 per night for tent camping you can’t beat the price. The bathrooms were clean and as an added plus they have a dishwashing station. We stayed in the A loop. There are no showers and the campsite it all gravel making it next to impossible to put a tent stake in. The sites are fairly close together, for example, I could hear our neighbor unzip his tent. All sites have picnic tables. Cell service is good.

Gated rv park downtown Tucson

I stayed for a week in a pull-thru with full hookups. The park is all concrete and gated, which I appreciated in an urban setting. There's a grocery store across the street and only a 5 min drive to downtown Tucson.

Good spot, good cell (Verizon), road noise, traffic lights

Good spot, easy access to Tucson area. The pinpoint and some reviews have it off snyner hill road, I'm not sure that area is legal to camp but I would not recommend it at all, a lot of trash dumped there and clearly used for target practice. The actual blm camping area is marked on Google maps as blm camp and in the triangle of San juaquin, old ajo hwy and ajo hwy. You will see cars/campers and signs with the camping rules noted, its clearly marked. Many low shrubs and trees so while sites are close they can feel separated. There is a gun range nearby that you can hear and pretty sure we also heard gun fire in that area off snyder hill road that I mentioned above.

Would stay here again, you may hear other campers (we had people playing music loudly but they stopped at 10pm) traffic noice isn't bad over night but there is a traffic light so you might was ear plugs and a sleep mask

Easy Access to Patagonia

Just a few miles up Harshaw Rd. (just outside of the adorable village of Patagonia), you will find a variety of free camping options with no services, just National Forest land available to both RVers and tent campers.  There are streams running throughout the area, but the water simply isn’t drinkable even with filtering and leaves a sticky white mineral residue on everything it touches; thank goodness there is a reverse osmosis filling machine in the village of Patagonia, right in front of the bakery.  The backroads in this area are great for hiking or mountain biking, you can choose from relatively flat to crazy steep with amazing views.

The village of Patagonia is colorful and fun, and has a nice market with a great produce selection for its size, a small bakery, a launderette, a gas station, and a few cleverly named restaurants. Also, be sure to check out the Paton Center for Hummingbirds (a birdwatcher’s paradise) -- it’s free! The locals are super friendly.

Note: You will see Border Patrol both hanging out in hidden spots and zooming down the roads through this area, appearing to be in hot pursuit.  But we never saw a single “situation” that warranted their presence.

Great spot with lots to do around the area

Just northwest of Tucson is this beautiful county campground, located a few miles from Saguaro National Park and the awesome Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum (a must see). Hiking and mountain biking trails are all over the area, with the Brown Mountain hike being our favorite as it’s accessible from the campground and has great views all around.  

Each site is equipped with electric hookups and there are water spigots throughout the campground, in addition to running water in the clean bathrooms (no showers though) and a nice dishwashing sink.  The picnic tables ranged from normal-sized to very small and awkward, depending on the site. There is decent privacy in between most sites, as it is beautifully landscaped with native desert cacti, shrubs, and trees.  

It’s important to note that this campground doesn’t take reservations, but if you show up by 8am and get in line, you will more than likely get a spot.  You can continue to add nights to your stay before 10am each morning, for up to 7 days total. They also don’t take credit cards, so come prepared with cash or a check.

Best little campground in Tucson

So close to town, yet feels like you’re way out in the desert. We usually go at the end of busy season and there are plenty of spaces. Bring your own shower as there are none available.

Fresh citrus at your site

This place is huge! It is a KOA, but still very nice. It is a “resort” so it’s a little pricey, but we were just there for one night to visit Saguaro National Park. The sites are a little close together, but we were on the end, so we were not crowded. And, there was a grapefruit tree, with ripe fruit, next to our site. Orange and lemon trees were scattered around the park. There is a large dog play area that was nice for traveling canine companions. There is also a very good restaurant, BBQLIFE, right in the campground, that delivers!

Quiet & Very Close to Saguaro NP (west)

This BLM property, right off the Ajo highway near Tucson, is extremely convenient for a short or extended stay. Anyone can stay up to 14 nights, free of charge.  Greeted people here from all walks of life -- from those living out of the back of truck to brand new 45 foot motorhomes.

Like many high-impact BLM areas, the entrance roads are not well-maintained so some are quite rough. We arrived in the dark, which we do not recommend as it was difficult to see where the entrances were and how rough the roads were ahead of us. The parking/camping spaces are not designated, but heavy use has carved out lots of opportunities. 

There are a few places to walk or ride throughout the property, which is actually quite small based on typical BLM property.  However, the nearby areas of Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park, offer plenty of opportunities for both. 

No facilities, no water or even a stream…so plan ahead!

El Pais the Vintage Vacation Destination

No where like it

A Blast from the Past

Like Stepping Back in Time

Mid Century Modern Madness

Shade structures are magnificent and nicest RV place in Tucson

We stayed here in early summer and were so comfortable in both an RV site and cabin. Wonderful. Staff great and the solar structures above most RV sites were great at keeping us cooler and happier! Best cabins we’ve seen in KOA Places. Nicest pool in a Koa. Super hot tubs and picklevall court. Wow. We’ll be back!

Close and comfortable

A large campground close to Saguaro National Park, Great views of the cacti and clean facilities.

Peaceful & Beautiful Desert Camping

Give yourself time to explore and enjoy the surroundings.

To get to the campground you must first go through the Saguaro National Park and the drive is just as fun as it is beautiful.

I suggest viewing the aerial map of campsites before hand. I had selected about 9 different sites before arriving and that was good because I ended up at my #6 choice. Which was still a great site.

Very quite and peaceful. However, it's the desert so you should bring an air mattress or cot. Most sites have tables and are close to water and restrooms. The restrooms were very clean and upkeep. Heads up there are no showers at this campground.

I felt very safe there and actually left my campsite unattended for about 10-12 hours and not a thing was out of place.

Tents are $10 a night and RVs are $20. Tents can camp in any RV space but you can't the use power at the campsites (30 amp). You can charge small devices using the power outlets in the restrooms. Also Verizon cell/data service was great out here.

I can't wait to go back next year.

Perfect Little Oasis in the Southwest

Even when it's busy, it's not overwhelmingly so. Visit the beach, walk the bridge, rent a boat, or fish the lake during your camping trip. I love this place. Different ambiance than most AZ lakes. Plenty of RV parking or for tent campers preferring privacy, make sure to book a boat-in site. If you book early enough, you can snag site 38! It's technically a boat-in site but you can park in the parking lot and walk a short distance down the stairs to your own private little area. Of course, you'll have passersby looking for a great fishing spot or just walking the lake but otherwise this is your best bet for privacy without actually having a boat. Bathrooms and showers have always been clean during my trips. Convenient store always had necessities and ice cream cones to top it off. There is cell phone service but check your roaming! At times service providers will detect your in Mexico! I love this place.

Small campground near beautiful Patagonia lake

This campsite is well maintained but very, very busy! There’s access to the lake where you can swim, kayak, etc.

stayed 3 days didn’t want to leave.

when you find the place you may worry but don’t. It’s gated very clean lots of stuff for kids to do with a rec area onsight workout room laundry, huge dog run area. close to a movie theater, wall mart places to eat but they do have an on site bbq place. we stayed under the large canopy. trash pick up from 8 Am to 6 pm everyday just put your trash by the curb and it’s picked up almost instantly. very clean restrooms and showers. I can’t say enough about this place

Convenient Desert & City Location

Gilbert Ray is an extremely affordable campground located in Saguaro National Park. It doesn't have showers but it does have rv hookups and a bathroom with hot water dish wash stations.

It is located right next to Tucson AZ but features lots of hiking options in the national park. The best of both worlds. It has very helpful campground hosts and a tourist draw.. old west Hollywoodmovie sets.

I really like this safe quiet and convenient option as a single female traveler

Best Campsites for Snowbirds In Arizona

When spending time on the road many times you will find campsite after campsite that is welcoming but not quite like home away from home. But when you drive through Tucson, there is a mecca filled with winter bird campers and long term campers which create a home away from home.

With only tent sites available on the facility, we were fortunate to find a site, however when we arrived we were so excited by the facilities we extended our stay by a day.

Office staff immediately greeted us and let us know about the facilities, which happened to feature a mini golf course, an indoor events facility, 2 swimming pools and hot tubs, an indoor recreation area and multiple on camp fire chinineas. In addition there was a fishing pond and dog park area.

Each of the 4 campsites were considered to be regular campsites instead of upgrade sites but when we arrived it was the most delux sites we had encountered along the way.

Pad sites were large and the first to actually accommodate our large tent and the ground was u like any we had seen before at a site. The soft mulch was similar to that of a modern day playground and made for a much more comfortable sleep over the two days we were there.

In addition to the standard picnic table of most facilities, this campground offered a kitchen facility at each campsite including a large copper sink and food storage as well as electricity and overhead lighting in the pergola designed to allow shade from the harsh Arizona sun.

It was the closest thing to glamping we had encountered by far!

Then as an added bonus, fresh fruit trees abounded ready for the picking. The front desk informed us of the allowance to pick what you want as everything was in season! An amazing treat on the road!

We spent many hours at the pool facility, enjoyed amazing neighbors, used the wifi and even did a load of laundry while in Tucson. The facility really was like a home away from home on the road.

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If the scale went higher we would rank it more Bunnies. There were no real areas we could see for improvement. Staff was very accommodating, long term and short term residents of the facility were amazing and this was a desert oasis like no other!