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Hayden, ARIZONA

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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!

Busy but cozy and beautiful!

Camping here was a great way to enjoy Mt. Lemmon. The campground was beautiful with a great lake for fishing and i believe you can also Kayak. The campground was very full, but it wasn't too loud and our site still offered privacy. Explore around the lake and be sure to bring your fishing pole!

Busy but cozy and beautiful!

Camping here was a great way to enjoy Mt. Lemmon. The campground was beautiful with a great lake for fishing and i believe you can also Kayak. The campground was very full, but it wasn't too loud and our site still offered privacy. Explore around the lake and be sure to bring your fishing pole!

Camp on the Mountain

Spencer Canyon Campground is a first-come, first-serve 60+ site camp located 21.5 up Mt. Lemon. Spent a long weekend, beginning on Thursday. Benefitted from getting there early, because I got my choice from most of the sites and come Friday all of the sites became occupied. By Sunday afternoon (check-out time of 1:00 p.m. is “strictly” enforced), nearly all of the sites were empty again.

The pine forest was a sight first thing in the morning, and the wind breezing through the pines created an extremely relaxing environment. Saw several deer. For the most part, the campground is reasonably quiet, and there is enough space between the sites to allow some privacy.

There is a bathroom and water available. Garbage is managed daily.

Overall, very positive experience.

great facilities, beautiful views!

The views are unreal!  It's nestled up against the Catalina mountain range with great views of the mountainside. The park entrance is not very obvious until you come right up to it and then you see the large entrance signs. It's very convenient to local shopping but yet very removed once you enter. The RV section is very clean and the spaces are wide apart for privacy. The hiking trails are well maintained and graded. The evening we stayed there was an outdoor concert that we did not attend but sounded fun from the notice the friendly attendants handed out at the gate. This was a very popular park even for day use so plan ahead. The river stream was running due to the recent snow storm the previous week and although the mesquite trees were still bare, the ground was covered in grass. Overall very nice state park in the spring. We made it to one of the easier hikes called Montrose Pools which was very picturesque and a great place for a picnic stop.

Fantastic views and lots of fun trails. They also have a lot of activities and entertainment to attend at various times each month. 30& 50 amp with water and no dump on their"B" loop sites with restrooms and showers. The"A" loop sites have some with and some without power. There are also 2 easy to access dump stations in the park. Very close to town.

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.

Camping on Mt. Lemon

Camping high in the mountains above Tucson was great. Rose Canyon campsites are spaced out and quiet. The lake was about a half mile walk from the campsite. There is also hiking trails close to the campground.

Overall, the campsites are larger than normal and the sites are even. There are also ample trees to hang a hammock to relax during the day.

Currently Closed due to flood rush

I wanted to stay down by the lake but the washes are closed due to the flash flood risk. The recent fire much of the vegetation that stems the flow of water. I would imagine that the campground will open back up after monsoon season but might periodically close based on the weather patterns. At least until the vegetation regrows.

I ended up staying on the south side if Davis Wash just off Apache Trail in a dispersed campground. I was the only one out there which was nice and spooky. Being that it was Friday the 13th. I figured it would be better to be with the four legged creatures than the two legged. Better behaved. Nice night that cooled off enough to sleep at midnight.

Loosely named a "Resort"

This place is not the type of resort you "girl's trip" to. It's the kind of resort where you plan to spend all day on the lake and come back to a shower and a real bed. You can choose to camp in your tent/RV or start in the motel.

The resort offers:

  • breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • watercraft rentals
  • two boat ramps
  • convenience store

There is a $10 fee to use any of their land. Even if you're just launching your boat. Emergency personnel have a base on the property which is comforting. Cell service is scarce on the lake but works great close to the resort. Only gave the resort 4 stars because I prefer camping around less people.

Ranger Review: Primus Essential Pot Set at Crabtree Wash

Campground Review:

Crabtree Wash is a small campground next to the Apache Lake Marina and Resort. There are two ways down to the wash: one fun dirt road to take your 4x4 vehicle or service road 79. Service road 79 is the same road you take to the resort and is paved all the way down. Crabtree is run by the Tonto National Forest so you must have a Tonto Pass to enjoy the day or night. Passes can be purchased at any Tonto Ranger station, Canyon Lake or most gas stations on the way down Apache Trail. 

The campground itself is fairly small and first come/first serve. This campground is unique because it is next to the “resort”. The campground has toilets and trash pickup. The resort offers many things for sale (firewood, ice, lunch…) so it’s like camping out in the desert next to a convenience store. 

When planning a trip to Apache lake plan accordingly as this is a desert campground. In September I sweat bullets until about midnight when the temperature dropped. The lake the next day made it all better. 

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt (what I refer lovingly to as a Dyrt Ranger), I get the privilege to test products. At Crabtree Wash, I tested Primus’ Essential Pot Set 1.3L. I have been in need of specific camping pots as the kitchen pots I was using were not getting the job done. These pots were impressive. 

The set comes with two 1.3L pots, one frying pan, a pot gripper and a carrying bag. First impressions: love the carrying bag, pans look well made and perfect size to cook for my one or two person camping trips. 

I was able to throw my plate and silverware into the carrying bag with the pots so everything is self contained. The flying is nonstick and doubles as a lid to the pots.  The pot gripper is okay, the design is akin to scissors. I’m planning on upgrading to the Primus Crimp Pot Gripper as I fully expect to drop a pan of boiling water because I loosen my grip on the gripper. Overall I am completely stoked to add the Primus pots to my camping gear. 

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.

Camping at Pepper Sauce Campground.

We went there to camp for 2 nights but because of the constant traffic we only stayed one night. The campgrounds is full of trees. There are several bathrooms. The one closest to us didn’t lock so I used a stick to keep the door closed. There is water to draw and take to your camp. There are mosquitoes and lots of flies so be sure to take some mosquito spray. The camp was lovely with lots of trees and we saw deer and javelina and birds. The only drawback…and it is a big one is there is non-stop traffic. The cars drive in and to the end of the campground where there is a big sign that says RITE OF PASSAGE SICAMORE CANYON ACADEMY which we found out is for troubled teens so it is either the help or the parents constantly driving to and from the academy. Starting just after 6 am until after midnight, even the Pinal County Sheriff drove up there for an hour or so. We won’t go back but I hear if you take the road#29 on google maps right across from the campground you can camp for free. There is just no water, toilets, garbage… and also not all that traffic.

I would rate the campground a 5 if all that traffic was diverted onto their own road.

Great, easy getaway if you don't mind company

Spencer Canyon Campground is a nice campground approx. 20 miles from Tucson up the General Hitchcock Highway(often called the Catalina Highway or Mt. Lemmon Highway). It is located approximately 3 miles past the Palisades Visitor Center and the entrance is marked well by a big brown sign as you approach. Phill and Denise, the friendly campsite managers will give you advice and suggestions about campsites that suite your needs. The photos attached to this review are from campsite#6, which is close to the Phill& Denise’s camper location and the highway- yes, we did hear road noise. Most campers chose locations deeper in the campground, but we were there on a busy weekend so most of those“deeper” campsites were occupied. All sites have a large bear box, concrete picnic table, charcoal grill and an iron fire pit. The picnic area of the site is level but the whole campsite is NOT so pick your location carefully if you want to pitch your tent on a flat, level plot. We did find some firewood left over from prior campers but recommend bringing your own, dry wood if you have room in your rig. In my observation, there is a rather nice, vessel toilet house strategically located to serve 6- 7 campsites. There is also a water faucet to be shared by 6- 7 campsites. Campsite#6 has its own faucet so others might also. There are 60+ campsites throughout Spencer Canyon and I would suggest that those“deeper” in the campground are more desirable. It should be noted that most of the campsites are close together, that is, about 50-75 feet apart, hence, my“… if you don’t mind company” comment. It should also be noted that Phill& Denise are really nice and helpful, the campsites are well maintained and clean, it is only 22 miles from Tucson and less than 6 miles from the mountaintop hamlet of Summerhaven, and is situated at approximately 7,900 fee of elevation. Thus, Spencer Canyon Campground is a great getaway from the Arizona heat and close enough to Tucson for a 1- 2 night weekend.

Cool

Lots to see.. Stayed In the open camping community sights.. Very nice and clean

Nice

Desert life.. Very quiet and clean.. Lovely view of the desert and some hiking trails

Very nice

They have some secluded spots.. Very clean and nice

Off the grid

While this exact campsite was closed at the time, driving up the road across the street and into the mountains gives you the opportunity to camp in the wilderness. Finding a good little spot is not difficult, and you’ll get an amazing view of the city lights at night, or the sunrise in the morning. Very close to Summerhaven to grab some coffee in the morning as well

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.

Beautiful setting with a flyover

March 20-22, 2019. Campsite #42. Site was right on the water, as quite a few are. There were other sites available that have amesome elevated views of the lake, and even more sites in between but we opted for the lakeside site(s) and it was perfect for us (2 families, 5 kids, 4 adults and our little pupperino Biscuit). There was a beach area on the grounds which was nice to play around and float about. The camp host, Nick, was great and the campsites and bathrooms were very clean. As we were packing up to leave, three airplanes flew over the lake about 40 feet from the surface of the water, flying threw the canyon. We were definitely caught off guard, but it was super cool and a nice way to say goodbye to a fantastic time at Burnt Corral. We would gladly go back and stay at the same site, or most of them really, with or without the flyover. But after hiking around a bit, for a more primitive or intimate experience, maybe we will try the Upper Burnt Corral area next time.

Very friendly and accommodating hosts!

The campground hosts were awesome and hospitable. I have a thing about clean bathrooms and these were VERY clean!  It was just an overnight stay, but we will definitely be back!

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.

Well it had a bathroom...

While working on the Woodbury Wildland Fire here in Arizona my Ambulance was staged at Oak Flat Campground. It was nothing but desert, a few picnic tables, with some trees with nice shade and two bathrooms. It’s probably the least nicest campground I’ve been to. Luckily we weren’t staying there for the night just parked there during the day. It appeared to be free, it was a decent distance off the main highway. If you’re just looking for a place to stop and rest for the night then it’s not a bad spot but I wouldn’t take my family there for a vacation.

Scenic

This place was really pretty and a lot of critters running around to watch. Also a great spot for birdwatchers. The campground itself was well kept. I did not care for how close together most of the sites were and lack of parking. Be sure to get here early because sites fill up quick!

Nice views

Very nice area and very good hiking trails. I would go back again

One of the best

Well maintained beautiful sites. Our group had site 4 and 5. Which had several spots to camp. Ramada had water, electricity, grills and fire pits nearby. Great time.

Peaceful & Serene!!!!!

We got there early Friday morning, there were Wild Turkeys passing through the area. Way cool!!! Most spots are roomy and Shaded, temps were really nice for Arizona in June, due to the elevation. Met a few campers that had been staying there since Wednesday, and they were really nice people. Highly recommend going here..

Jewel in the desert!

We try to stop at this SP campground every time we're heading out of town or come back home (Tombstone) We always stay during the Fall/Winter months though. I'm not sure if they are even open in the summer, due to extreme heat. This park is just beautiful. Full of blooming cactus in the Spring and gorgeous sunsets always. The bathrooms are spotless and they have individual locking showers. For $30 you get water, electric, a huge site &, tent area in addition to your rv lot, The lot is pavement, and the tent is sand. All sites are set up in a random pattern, to give you the most privacy.  our site had a Ramada with picnic table & fire pit. They do sell firewood but it's $7 a bundle. We also once stayed in their overflow area, which is dry camping and that's only $15. They have great hiking trails, but use a walking stick, I got too up close and personal with a rattlesnake.

First to Review
Right on the water

This campground was a great spot for our first kayak trip. Very little water traffic, great views, and lakeside camping. The area is first come, first served, but you only have to have a Tonto pass to stay there. No campground fees. The road to the lake is pretty rough, but manageable without a trailer. We will definitely be back.