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Wow, what an awesome AZ State Park! If you live in Arizona and haven’t camped here you are doing something wrong! It’s a quick weekend getaway from Tucson or even Phoenix. The camp hosts are friendly and stopped by to say hello, leave us maps, and give us the run down on a few rules. Kartchner is a designated Dark Sky park, so they do a great job of making sure everyone keeps the lights off after 8pm so you can enjoy the stars. It really is an awesome perk of the park! The campgrounds are immaculate. Like the cleanest and most well taken care of sites I have ever seen. Everything was perfectly raked and swept prior to our arrival. *We didn’t use the restrooms, showers, or dish washing stations due to covid, so we can’t report on those. We did notice family restrooms, which is always welcomed with little ones! We walked around the loops, like we always do when camping, to make note of the best ones for future trips. There were too many to count! All the sites looked spacious (for state park standards), clean, and had plenty of mesquite trees (perfect for learning how to climb trees for the first time!) The hiking trails are aplenty and dog friendly. The caverns are a quick 5 min walk from the campsites. We didn’t visit due to covid, but in the future plan to visit the caves, discovery center, and cafe. Although the campsite seemed to be most occupied by snowbirds, it really is the perfect destination for families too! We can’t wait to go back!
Stayed one night in a group site on the left large enough for six campers. There were three others when I stayed and one had a generator running non stop all day and night. This site,and the few other sites I saw, are right next to Harshaw Rd. which is pretty busy with fast moving traffic all day. Fire rings. No water. No hiking trails.
Patagonia has Old West character and Red Mountain Food is a good place to buy groceries. There’s a nice hiking trail out of Patagonia off Blue Haven Rd.
This is an open desert State Park campground with a fancy, cavernous registration center you have to park and walk a few hundred yards to enter. The gift shop was closed.
The campsites are close together affording little privacy. Each has water and electric hookup, a picnic table and fire ring. The back in sites are paved and level. The bathrooms with showers were clean and well appointed.
The Camp Host greeted me once I was settled. He Wanted me to be aware of the rules and regulations of the campground. Before he left, he asked me if I was traveling alone. The campground host circled the campground in his golf cart several times each day peering into each site on his way by. The only other campground I experienced his behavior was in Lost DutchmanState Park up near Apache Junction.
I hiked the Foothills Loop which was challenging in spots especially around the apex. Walking sticks are recommended. The views were awesome.
I’d give this four stars, but I don’t like feeling surveilled
Dispersed camping. No amenities. The spots at the cieneguita camp are full Everytime we have camped at the preserve but there is plenty of open area to pick a spot. We camped just past the cieneguita sites tucked back in the mesquite thicket. The dirt at the spot we camped at was so fine it was like talcum powder so everything was covered in dirt in no time BUT it’s camping. You can hear periodic gunfire as this is BLM but people appear to be shooting in areas that are away from campers and towards hillsides. Super quiet otherwise and great skies without light pollution for looking at stars. Pretty cool spot.
You could not ask for more beautiful or isolated place to camp in the Southeastern Arizona mountains. Amazing views, and wildlife that includes antelopes, bear, lions, and javelina. Campground itself is very clean and seems pretty pristine.
One of the reasons for that, doubtless, is the road up there, which is not for the faint of heart. It is unpaved dirt & rock, and one-lane with the occasional turnout. There are times when you are traveling within two or three feet of sheer drops off the mountain face for hundreds of feet. If your heart, your transmission, and your tires can stand it, it is an amazing and gorgeous drive. Those last four miles of road will take you approximately 45 minutes, as long as you don't meet too many cars coming down or up.
I had intended to stay there overnight, but knowing that I couldn't get down the hill quickly, with a friend telling me that the (human) coyotes can be problematic in that area, and finding that I had no cell service about the last mile of road, I decided that, as a woman traveling alone, discretion was the better part of valor. I'm going to see if I can get my friend to come up with me later this month, in which case I will amend this review. But I thoroughly enjoyed the drive up, a brief stay at the campground relaxing, and the drive down.
I've had a thoroughly great time car camping here. The hosts are wonderful, friendly folks who run a very clean and comfortable place. The cost is pretty minimal (about $13.50/night includes taxes and electricity) & the facilities are all immaculately clean, with nice hot showers and clean, functional laundry rooms. There are parts of the park dedicated to full-time permanent residents, as well as many part-time snowbirds there, and in general it feels very homey, stable, and safe. (As a woman traveling alone, I really appreciated that!) It's very dog- and family- friendly, and I have had numerous very enjoyable conversations with other dog fans here. (People are very good about keeping their pets on leash, too, which is nice.)
As a solo female traveler this place was just what I needed for the week. Great amenities, super kind camp hosts, spread out spaces. Awesome dog friendly trails, walk to 4 different trailheads right from camp. Stars were awesome because all guests actually respected the no bright exterior lights rule. This is a great full-service stop for a vanlifer looking for a simple, well-accommodated week. Charge up those batteries and have a nice shower after a post-remote workday hike. Say hi to Paula for me.
Can't give this one high enough stars.
We're van camping and working remotely, so our priorities are internet connectivity, electricity, and running water.
The sites are all nice and flat, very well maintained, and pretty well spaced out. For the desert, there's surprisingly good vegetation between sites for privacy (but it is the desert).
The bathrooms are plentiful, immaculate, and have hot water, showers, heated hand dryers, and a dish washing station… All open, even in the winter!
Decent cell coverage on both verizon and t mobile, plus good free WiFi. Our site, in particular, had some issues with the different providers, depending on the direction of the wind, but I was able to work all day.
Our only itty bitty gripe is that the fire rings did not have grills. But really, that's nothing.
Would gladly stay again!
Oh, and there's some pretty nice trails and caves, too. Make sure you reserve your tour well in advance
Fabulous views and the campground is very well maintained. Each site looked to be very spacious with plenty of room between neighbors. The hosts were friendly and helpful. While we were the fire restrictions had been lifted so we used the fire pit to enjoy at night. The only negative that we found was they didn’t have a dog park but I’m assuming that’s because there are so many hiking options the dogs get plenty of exercise. There are bathrooms and showers available and cute little casitas if you don’t have an RV. Electric and water hookups but no sewer although the do have a dump station so it made it easy. Overall I highly recommend this campground