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Bylas, ARIZONA

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Most Recent Bylas Camping Reviews
I loved it but.....

Quiet off the beaten path place.   Switchbacks most of the way up to the area.  Wouldn’t advise a “big” rig. But once there and settled in loved it!

River view

Open well kept campground. 5 bucks a night. Just a walk from the river and a nice riparian area. Campsites have a ramada with picnic table and a fire ring.

Noon Creek

Nice little sites just a walk from where you park. We van camped twenty feet from our fire had a great view of the valley and full moon coming up over the mountains. Alittle hike from some nice riparian areas. Bathrooms are “ight” and theres quite a bit of trash around which is ridiculous and upsets me (a whole other thing I could go off on) but we cleaned our site and any trash we came across while collecting fire wood. Reason for three stars is it’s just not worthy but this area is a pretty good place to be for a base camp to explore Mt. graham. Oh and we had a risqué skunk trampin around in the early hours of the night. No biggie.

Quiet and cleab

Thus park is nice if you like fishing or floating in the lake. The. Camping spaces are really close together and most hold could hold a 10x10 tent.. Some look like they couldn't hold a tent at all..but its still nice.. Close to town in case you forgot anything.. We had space 44. Big plus is WiFi and out phones get data and phone service no problem

Gorgeous AZ park!

Loved it.Great family friendly camping! Very clean and well kept park, beach swimming area is very large and never felt crowded by people!  Plenty of shaded picnic areas, campsites big, and on site bathrooms very clean and showers have hot water and great water pressure! Only downfall was the hot springs was closed, but not necessary when campinge in Arizona!

If you like fishing you mihght be a bit disappointed. you could see a ton of fish around the dock, but sadly none of them were biting or we just didn't have the right kind of bait.We don't come here too often because you have to pay each time you come unless you get a pass. But it's a fun place to swim and fish and be by some water when it's ridiculously hot.

Loved the pool and cabins even though we have a camper

Real Mountain Top View

This campground is Free. There are 17-21 sites dispersed & in groups that include cement picnic tables, metal ring fire pits, and some sites also have Bear Boxes. There are 3-4 outhouses, no running water or amenities. To get there from Globe it’s 7 miles of dirt one lane switchbacks on the side of the mountain. I have seen campers before but it is not very easy to get up there with them. There are bears and other wildlife. Even have seen a tarantula (pictured). Like many state land out here they have cattle loose and they do travel the road up the mountain so keep that in mind.

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Great Area

We decided to go to Riggs Lake and camp there we stayed a little outside of the fee are! And had blast! 2 nights and lot’s of fun! Really pretty area with great scenic views!

Different but nice!!!

This place is a little easier to get to than upper pinal, which is just on the other side of Pinal Mountains. This campground was set up kinda weird, but worked out good. I would definitely recommend trying this one out, and I will definitely go back. Bathrooms were clean and sites were pretty roomy for our teardrop.. Only 1 bar of cell service for At&t. But overall a great time here.

Tiny, far, don't waste your time

There's only about 3 camp spots with ranch on the other side of the campground. Constant noise from the trucks and no amenities. Very long drive down rough road with no cell service

Very Small and Tight

The road in is very narrow, with alot of scrub trees hanging over the road. I have a Teardrop and it was about as big as I would take in there. No cell service, bathrooms were ok though.

Peaceful and Clean

There is a self pay machine, but did not work. The campsites are nice and roomy. Says there is a host, but there is not. Overall nice place and has cell phone service.

Small but secluded

Not very much room for a trailer, mostly tent camping. 

Did get cell phone service there though.

Very secluded and awesome

The trip to the top of pinal Mountains is a journey,  very cool and beautiful scenic views,  the road is not the best, especially if you don't have a higher clearance vehicle. 

Overall it is Awesome,  took an hour from Globe to the campground because speed is minimal.

Amazing views

So I had lunch here and forgot to take a photo of the unbelieveable views. The two little sites are clean and each have an old wooden picnic table setup there are for sure toilets. Would be a prefect little spot to watch the stars.

A great little spot

This is small campground around a small fishing lake. There are about 20 camp spots, but only half were taken up. The lake is 30 some miles up well maintained dirt road. The campsite its self is clean and well maintained. The bathrooms were the cleanest vault toilets I've ever seen. The camp host, Troy, was a nice guy happy to chat or give hiking suggestions.

Stunning

Great sites. Great atmosphere. Only down was bathroom had no hot water and springs were down. But still had a great time.

Amazing place for family get togther

This is great camping area with multiple unmarked sites available, first come basis. You do need a San Carlos Apache use permit which cost $20 per day per person over 12. Pack it all in and pack it all out. The river is close but no drinkable water on site with out filtration. Our family had 14 people camping out of 5 vehicle at our site alone. Good fishing and lots of wildlife to see. We saw a bear 50 feet across the river on out first day. Its not high in the pines, but is a good mix of Juniper, pine, ash, and Scrub Oak.

A Nice Getaway

This is a VERY easy campground to get to. It's all paved and the sites are easily accessible. We got a site on the end of a loop so we had a little privacy but overall the spaces are kind of close together so plan to hear your neighbors.  You can get campsites within 100 feet of the water's edge (and they have cabins for rent too). The pits were well kept and had the built in BBQ grate.

The bathrooms were clean and had hot showers. There was a nice loop around the lake you could walk/hike or in our case ride with the bikes. We didn't try fishing but there were a lot of people fishing from the pier. I don't think you can do much shoreline fishing just because of the grass/weeds. 

They have a visitor center/gift shop that you should check out. it sounds like they do special activities occasionally also.

The are had very active raccoon presence so be sure to lock up your goodies when you aren't in camp.

Superbloom in the BLM: Camping in a Natural Desert Garden

Wildflowers at their peak. a full on superbloom of California poppies amidst cacti greeted us at this BLM spot just southeast of Mt. Graham. Lots of places to pull over for a night or for a week or two along Tanque Road, and almost no road noise since the highway is far enough away. Tanque Road is dirt but was doable for our vintage trailer for the first mile or so, but we've heard it gets sandy and harder to navigate the further in you get.

Well-positioned in between the Coronado National Forest and the Hot Well Dunes area. No services, no water, no toilets, just beautiful open desert. Come prepared with drinking water and please Leave No Trace.

Closest town is Safford, AZ about 30 minutes away, and has all that you need.

Tiny Spot, Beautiful Views

This tiny little campground is perched on the side of the road in another of AZ's Sky Islands. Just 3 campsites, not big enough for large RV’s, though Hamlet-sized trailers and camper vans are fine.  

Passable pit toilets available for use, but no drinking water. Each tiny site had a picnic table, fire ring, and bear box. A beautiful creek down the hill from the campground had crystal clear water for filtering and washing up.  Completely FREE and first-come, first-served!

Great hiking around the whole area, complete with snowy peaks in early April and waterfalls. Saw many road cyclists riding up the very steep, winding road, as it is lightly traveled. This sky island s a great place to head in the summer when the desert is too hot to enjoy it.

Closest town with supplies and services is Safford, AZ, about 20 minutes north.

First to Review
Long, Slow, Beautiful Curvy Scenic Route to an Under Whelming Lake

Riggs Flat Campground is located in the Pinaleño Mountains 40 miles southwest of Safford, AZ. The lake is not all that big, a bit under whelming to be honest after such a great drive, although if your lucky you may be able to catch some trout and bass for dinner (you'll need a valid Arizona fishing license and trout stamp). I don't believe many people come to the lake to specifically "camp", what this location offers is a scenic drive and a base camp for much better nearby activities such as hiking, mountain biking, birding, caving and swimming.

There are no services or first Aid, the nearest would have to be Mt. Graham Community Hospital in Safford, 42 miles away. RV Camping is 22 feet and less. Boats permitted on the lake may be powered by no more than a single electric trolling motor. RV’s up to 22' and vehicles with trailers less than 21' are recommended. Longer vehicles have difficulty negotiating the switchbacks on the road up the mountain (AZ 366). Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground. Limit 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. 14 day stay limit.

The drive up starts out paved and well maintained, but half way turns to a semi-maintained dirt road. You'll climb from 3200 feet to 9000 in a matter of miles, Mt. Graham is known for is amazing diversity from the surrounding desert. You'll climb through many different Biospheres and witness wildlife change from Lizards, Snakes, and desert dwellers to Deer, Endanged Red tree squirrels, and black bear. There are many other camp grounds on the way but if they are all full then this is your… 15th or so choice!

If your a hiker you can find traces of the Anasazi Indians that once inhabited this area.

Keep in mind the cabins you will pass on the way up are PRIVATELY OWNED, and are not for rent.

First to Review
Prefect Desert Getaway

Within a 30 mins drive from the nearest town, you can leave 112 degree heat, cactus, and sand to find yourself surrounded by large pine, long mountain hikes & 30 degree difference in temperature!

Surrounded by large pine, a cool breeze and a cornucopia of wildlife! Although fire restrictions are always a concern Arcadia campground is the blessing all desert dwellers need!

Fire rings, BBQ, & bathrooms are available at camp sights. There is a $10 day pass or $10 nightly pass required to stay.

Info from the USDA:

When early settlers ventured up Mount Graham, the Arcadia area was usually as far as they got on the first day. A little later in the history of the Pinaleños, Arcadia was the site of one of several Civilian Conservation Corps camps established in the 1930s to provide jobs for workers idled by the Great Depression. Today, Arcadia Campground is the first campground visitors encounter on their way up Mount Graham by way of the Swift Trail (AZ 366), which was built by those Depression-era workers. Arcadia Campground is shaded by stands of tall ponderosa pine interspersed with Gambel oaks and Arizona walnuts. Such a diverse habitat makes this an excellent area for bird watching. Watch for poison ivy.

RV’s up to 22' and vehicles with trailers less than 21' are recommended. Longer vehicles have difficulty negotiating the switchbacks on AZ 366. Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground. Limit 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. 14 day stay limit.

Small Oasis in the middle of Southeast Arizona

Roper lake state park is a beautifully well kept state park. It's $20 a night for tent camping, $30 a night for full RV hookups. (which is kinda high for this area and amenities offered).

This is my local state park so I visit almost every weekend and kayak the lake. There is a lot of fishing, swimming, and hiking available. There are also some really nice cabins available to rent!

The camp sights are a small size but offer some privacy from other sites. There are fire rings in every site, as well as a Covered pick-nick tables!!!

They also offer some full hookup sites, as well as sewage dump and potable water.

There is a group sized hot tub available for public use that is filled with natural hot springs water as well as a swimming beach and day use area.

nice campground

great visit. even though it was semi crowded and the sites are close together, people were quiet. way hot during the summer, but you can swim in the lake. fair warning: dogs are not allowed on the swimming beach, which was kind of a bummer. campground though has been great!

Friggin Fabulous

It's beautiful. So many spots to camp, a river to fish, beautiful areas to walk around. Just gorgeous.

One of our favorites

We love Roper Lake. Great sites with full hook ups, no sewer. Group camping and tent camping available. Hot springs hot tub. Great hiking. Very busy in the winter months and during holidays. Early reservations required.

First to Review
Ranger Review: Midland LXT500VP3 (Up to 24 Mile Two-Way Radios) at Pioneer Pass Campground

Campground Review

I love that there is a free campground in the pines less than 2 hours from the valley. However, I don’t love the way this campground is laid out. All of the campsites are accessed from a one lane dirt road with a lot of blind corners. The forestry service states that there are 23 sites available in this campground. After being there and looking through the campgrounds I’d say this is more like half a dozen to ten areas that can accommodate 2-6 “sites” each. At least 3 of the sites are immediately off the main road and one of the fire pits is less than 10 feet from the road. About half of the sites are walk-in access only.

We stayed in site 22 which could be driven in to with a small trailer and while looking for firewood realized that site 23 was actually 50 feet uphill directly behind us with no access other than walking directly through our site. Site 22 had a concrete picnic table that showed a lot of deterioration around the edges (so much so that some of the rebar support in the center was clearly visible) and a grill that had been bent and torn off of the metal fire ring. All of the sites are no more than a quarter of a mile from a bathroom building. The bathrooms were stocked with toilet paper but weren’t the cleanest bathrooms I’ve ever seen. There are a lot of downed trees on the sides of the roads and near the campsites. If you foraged for sticks you’d likely find enough already cut to size to last during your trip. If you have a chainsaw or hand saw you could easily have more than enough wood.

Roughly sites 15 through 21 were located near a small parking lot and all walk in sites. They all shared a large open area in the center. If you tried to setup a trailer in the parking lot the closest fire pit would be 40 or so feet away. I didn’t take specific notes on all of the clustered units but every place we pulled in to seemed to have one access point and multiple tent spaces with fire pits and picnic tables very huddled together. I wouldn’t want to be in such close proximity to a complete stranger but they would be really great for groups.

The only other thing I’d touch on is the road to get to the campground. I wouldn’t suggest trying to travel up without decent ground clearance. There was a bit of wash boarding and obvious ruts in the road from where the road was traveled when muddy. We have gone through that area in snow/slosh and I wouldn’t even want to travel that road without 4 wheel drive in that situation. Know your vehicle and your driving skills!

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – on this trip I tested the Midland LXT500VP3 (Up to 24 Mile Two-Way Radios). The radio itself is a good size and sits comfortably in the hand. The antenna sits about 2 inches taller than the unit and is hard plastic. There are removable belt clips for each handheld unit. The top of the belt clips stick out from the back of the unit about half an inch as if they were hinged but they are in fact not hinged and therefor just push into whatever it is clipped to. The main button you use to transmit is textured and made of an easily gripped rubber so it made talking very easy. The LCD screen is not backlit and when turned on displays only the channel being used (until the battery is low then it has a low battery indicator). The handheld units were easy to control with clearly marked buttons on the front.

The set comes with a rechargeable battery for each handheld unit and a desktop charger. The desktop charging unit is small and light with red indicator lights to show when the units are charging. The desktop charger will charge both radios at once or you can use the power cord to charge one unit independently. The radios are supposed to be charged 12 hours for a complete charge. If you will not have access to an AC plug you can purchase the additional cable to allow these to charge via the cigarette lighter in a vehicle.

Channels 8 through 14 are low power channels. We tried these radios in town, on the highway, and in camp using these channels and at best only had a mile of range. However, when we did have enough signal to make contact the voices were very clear and easily heard. We were able to use the low power channels to drive through the campground with a lead car looking for a campsite while the truck/trailer were parked near the entrance to avoid getting stuck somewhere that we could not turnaround. We also used them on the low power channels around camp when going for walks or to the bathrooms.

Channels 1-7 and 15-22 are high power channels. We tried these in town (suburban area, no extremely tall buildings or geographical features… just houses) and easily got another half mile of range above the low power channels (somewhere around a mile and a half total). The voices normally came through very clear unless we were near overhead power lines in which case they had static interference. We also noticed that if I was near the end of the range of the radios and in a car I was able to receive transmissions but unable to send them.

Overall, these radios seem to be pretty tough and easy to use with a decent amount of range. For the price they could be great for kids getting into radios, for use around a larger property/park area, between vehicles in a caravan, or around camp.

Ranger Review: Renogy E.LUMEN Multi-functional Flashlight at Upper Pinal Campground

Campground Review

Upper Pinal campground is tiny. I’m not even kidding you… tiny. There are literally 3 campsites surrounding a 100 foot wide dirt turnaround in the center. The campground does not take reservations so it’s a long way to drive with a good chance you won’t find an open site. However, if you’re lucky enough to get one of the spaces you may really enjoy it. To the South is Unit 1 (where we stayed) and it’s an uphill driveway with a raised area with a fire pit and metal picnic table. If you have a small tent you can camp on the elevated area near the table and fire pit but otherwise you do have room to back in a small pop up trailer (beware, it is a curved driveway so if you aren’t comfortable backing up a trailer I wouldn’t suggest it). The site is almost completely surrounded by very tall trees which blocked both most of the morning and afternoon sun.

The East side of the circle is Unit 2. This is right on the edge of the circle and could be easily pulled right up to. The downside to that is that there is little to no privacy for that camp unit. It also has a fire pit and picnic table.

The North side has another campsite with a smaller (and straighter) uphill driveway. You wouldn’t be able to put a trailer facing towards the fire but you likely could camp with a small pop up in this unit and park lower down the driveway.

The West side of the circle had the single unit unisex bathroom building. It was really clean and well stocked with toilet paper (but another camper one of the nights we were there decided it was a smoking room, yuck).

The entire area had a lot of downed and broken trees for firewood. We could have easily supplied our fire all weekend with just broken pieces but we had a small handsaw so we were able to cut slightly larger logs from fallen trees.

The only other thing I’d touch on is the road to get to the campground. I wouldn’t suggest trying to travel up without decent ground clearance. There was a bit of wash boarding and obvious ruts in the road from where the road was traveled when muddy. We have gone through that area in snow/slosh and I wouldn’t even want to travel that road without 4 wheel drive in that situation. Know your vehicle and your driving skills!

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – on this trip I tested the Renogy E.LUMEN Multi-functional Flashlight. Upon opening the box I noticed the flashlight was much larger than I had anticipated. As such, I don’t think it would be ideal for everyday carry. However, it does have quite a few really neat features and I think it would be a great addition to any bug-out bag. Of course, my curiosity got the better of me and I was dying to test the seat belt cutter (because I’d rather know how it’s going to work before my life depends on it). Luckily, I had the belt from an expired car seat and decided that would be the perfect test subject. I angled the belt over my chest where a shoulder strap would sit and it was hard to get it to cut all the way through. It took a few tries and a lot of strength but it did make it through. I could imagine that while a knife may cut through it easier in a panic situation I’d hate to end up accidentally stabbing myself using a knife instead of the safety guided blade on this flashlight. To see the full video check out the YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/xWqkgSS7iEs

In addition to the belt cutter the flashlight can be solar charged and has a USB out so you can charge other devices. If you plan to use the solar charger the manual says it can take up to 30 hours for a full charge. Thankfully, there is also a USB charging option to cut that charging time into around 6 hours. Depending on use you’ll get anywhere from 3-7 hours of use from each charge. The light itself is very bright but of course using the brightest setting will put you towards the lower end of the usable time at around 3 hours.

The flashlight also boasts a compass on the bottom of the handle. We tested this a few times and it seemed to be completely inaccurate against 3 other compasses we had. I was able to true it up a bit by running a magnet along the needle a few times but that seemed to be a temporary solution. My 2 cents is that I would not trust this compass as a first choice.

The last thing I wanted to touch on was the magnet on the side of the flashlight they state is for mounting and storage. When I tried to hang my flashlight on my metal fridge it buckled under its own weight slamming on the ground and breaking one of the plastic clips for the wrist strap. It will not support itself in ideal situations and definitely will not support its weight in a violent car accident. If you choose to put this in your car it will need to be secured by some other means.

So overall, would I buy it again… yes. For the price you can beat the peace of mind knowing that if you were to get lost in the woods you’d have a way to charge your phone to call for help and have a light source if necessary.

Has become my favorite so far

Two night stay. Visited Mt Graham, picnicked and hiked. Enjoyed the hot springs hot tub in the campground. Clean, beautiful and friendly staff