The best DISPERSED camping near
Franklin , ARIZONA

12 Reviews6 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Franklin Camping Reviews
Not Much To Recommend

Easy access off 191. Shot gun shells, bullet casings, cigarrette butts, broken bottles, mild trash, wide open desert terrain with panorimic Mountain views. BLM free. No services. If this is your thing, go for it. Spent one night.

Beautiful area

After enduring the 3 mile washboard road and pulling through the last cattle guard you’ll find it was well worth the journey. That’s if you have a small to medium rig because for the big rigs their are only a couple sites and as popular as this place is getting you might not find a site. At the entrance you’ll find a vaulted toilet pit and a couple of trash barrels as of the time of this review. The Ranger who stops in once in awhile said people are abusing the trash barrels and they might resort to start charging an entrance fee. If you’re into rock climbing, theirs plenty of it and you could find some Indian artifacts. Please pack out what you packed in

Great campground.

You are right off the road so there is some noise, but it is beautiful. Easy drive to get to. Stayed here 2 times in a couple of weeks, two separate sites, and did fine. 21 ft trailer

Peaceful in December

This is the first time I've ever stayed on BLM land. I parked at the 3rd spot in midday and stayed all night. I only saw about 6 vehicles go by the entire time I was here, but I couldn't see or hear anyone else aside from that. The view was nice from my spot. Had about 2 bars on average with AT&T

Secluded and beautiful

This site is relatively easy to get to, considering how remote and alone and quiet it feels once here. We found a nice spot at 32.2437301, -109.5120963 in our 26 ft class C.  Some sketchy parts of the road, rocky and narrow with some dips, but it can be done if you're careful.  

BLM ranger and other law enforcement drove up the road about once per day, which was nice. 

Drive through Bowie to get to Apache Pass Rd then a left on Happy Camp Canyon dirt road which is wide and flat but washboarded. Once you get to the recreation area, there is a picnic spot with tables and toilet but no camping is allowed in that area, you'll have to keep driving a bit further. There were a lot of campers when we stayed but we found a nice spot right off the dirt road with amazing views. Heard some gun shooting going on the first day but none following that. There are open range cattle roaming around so give them space and keep your animals leashed. On a hike one was walking right up to us so be aware.There were times on our hikes where you turn a corner and there are a few just standing there. The brush is high enough to hide some too so keep an eye out. This is BLM so the camping is FREE there is however a private property further up the dirt road (property is gated and fenced off). Spots are adequate for tents, smaller RVs or trailers. 

Good place to hike, scramble up the rocks or mountain bike.  

Good verizon and AT&T reception.

Peaceful Desert Camping

Nice BLM camping location. Happy Camp Road is well maintained. Although it is a dirt road I’ve towed my trailer on much worse. Hiking is plentiful. I didn’t drive too far away from entrance as it seemed a little dicey for my trailer. Near the entrance there is about 5 or 6 spots that would work for larger rigs. I took one star off for the flies. I guess they can’t be helped since this is free range BLM.

So unassuming and yet Indian bread Rocks for the win!

The views are really amazing and you are close to awesome hiking! There are a couple spots for Class A rigs and a lot for smaller.

Great boondocking with cell coverage

This area has five to ten campsites suitable for small rigs (we pull a 17-ft trailer, wouldn't go much past 20ft).   From the almost-ghost town of Bowie, AZ, take the Apache Pass Rd until you reach the Happy Camp Rd.  This is a good gravel/dirt road that goes up to a public picnic area (no camping).  Here take the turn-off to the right to continue on Happy Camp Road.  Soon you will see turn-offs and side roads.  We didn't explore the side roads but we did see a couple of small rigs a hundred yards or more from the road, so it is possible to find sites there.  As you continue along the road it gets worse and you'll need decent clearance (there are also sites before the road gets a little dicey, closer to the picnic area.  About a mile from the picnic area we backed into a site right below the rocks with a grand view of the plains below.  We camped for two nights, saw no-one.  In late September, 90s during the day and 60s at night.

This site is on the *other* side of the hills from the Chiricahua Monument.  To get to the monument, you can either go back to Bowie, and then to Willcox, and back to the Chiricahuas, or you can take the Apache Pass Road (the one you turned off from to get to the campsite) over the hills, past the ruins of Fort Bowie (you will have to hike 1.5 miles to the actual ruins).   Total time is probably the same either way.

We drove past the campgrounds near Portal AZ as we were exploring.  In late September, they were all full and there were lots of ATVs buzzing around.  Compare and contrast to our empty, quiet campground with neat-looking rocks and a fine view. 

We had two bars of Verizon coverage and it was fast.

Fun day trip or for dispersed camping

Millions of years ago, volcanic activity in the Southwest create lava rocks and fire agate. Inside the Rockhound area you can walk and collect fire agates right off the surface of the ground. It is the desert equivalent of searching for sea shells at the beach. It makes a fun day trip for families and rock enthusiasts. If rocks aren’t your thing, bring an ATV, 4x4, or dirt bike and enjoy miles of trails and dirt roads.

The Rockhound area can be accessed from the Black Hills Scenic Byway or the main access road. We had no issues finding it using Google Maps. We did take a 4x4 on this trip, but it isn’t necessary. Any vehicle that can handle a few miles of primitive/gravel road should be fine.

If you’re adventurous enough, spend the night in one of the dispersed camping sites. Just be prepared. There are no facilities or water available. The site only has a sign, a log book and a small trash can. The area is very rocky and I don’t recommend tent camping, but it would be feasible with some raking. There were 3 other groups camping while we were there and they were all sleeping in some type of camping vehicle. There aren’t any trees, so we experienced lots of high wind gusts. As a precaution, We took our awning down in the middle of the night, but our roof top tent was fine. Although this area is remote, you can see the lights from Safford,AZ at night. We didn’t have a fire, but they are permitted (as long as there isn’t a fire ban in effect). Some of the sites had camper-made fire rings/pits dug into the ground and surrounded by rocks.

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.