The best WALK IN camping near
Nelson , ARIZONA

105 Reviews22 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Nelson Camping Reviews
Excellent for RVer's, ok for tents

I thought the sites were all decent sized. Almost the entire campground is set up for RV's but most of the sites don't have anyone behind them and are spacious, so tents would be fine in those spots if you don't mind an RV a site over. The couple tent spots they have are okay. All 5 of them are right off of the road so they have more noise traffic. I think our spot in B2 was the most private and away from the road. The restrooms are clean. There's also a nice dishwashing sink. The location is ideal for exploring the west side (Tucson Mountain District) of Saguaro National Park. The stars here were great and I love the sound of the coyotes in the night.

Cactus forest indeed

Really cool place tucked away felt like a cactus tunnel and you can't beat free. Cell service was spotty to non existent.

First to Review
Beautiful Saguaros!

Relatively easy access from main road for most any vehicle, just take it slow and watch for ruts, especially after a rain. 

There are many cool places to pull off and camp, but stay on established open spaces, we saw little baby things trying to grow all over the place so don’t squash them. We arrived on a Wednesday, and it was peaceful and quiet and serene until that Friday, when a group of guffawing dude-bros took up camp across the road from us. Voices carry here, especially this type of voice. The ranger drove down Pipeline Rd in a truck to check on things several times, something I always appreciate. 

You can hear road noise the closer you are to the main road (W Avra Valley Rd), especially trucks driving to and from the quarry, which can sound like thunder. Beautiful landscape, saguaros everywhere, beautiful sunrise and sunset, very peaceful despite the truck noise. If we had a rig that could make it in further we would have camped further away from the road to minimize the noise. Pretty regular traffic going in and out on Pipeline Rd, campers and ATVers. 

Free range cattle also in the area. 

Good verizon and AT&T service.

Great Hiking

I camped in H loop (first come, first serve) over the new year for several days. The Campground’s three loops were crowded and not much space between sites. H loop offered the best chance to snag a site with shrubbery for screening and I took #6 after two nights in #25 which had roadway on three sides so was noisy😕. There are flush toilets but no showers. Extensive hiking trails traverse the Tucson Mountains and into the Saguaro National Park for spectacular scenery. It’s all about the cactus. Just Incredible, amazing and awesome all at once.

Adults only?

My only advice here is that it’s not fun for dogs. (And maybe not fun for young kids either?) It’s incredibly prickly everywhere. Imagine that, prickly in the cactus forest? You’ll want to avoid wearing sandals too. (I found myself with a piece of a cactus stuck to my foot and then when trying to remove it I got my hand stuck to the cactus that was stuck to my foot. Tools were required. Pain, lots of pain.) Seriously, NO SANDALS. But! PROS: the saguaro cactus are huge and impressive. We really enjoyed driving through this area at sunset and seeing all the iconic cactus. But then our overnight of camping on this random BLM land was just hours of dodging prickles. It’s quite an interesting place, but fair warning, is prickly. Act accordingly.

Nice place full of snowbirds oblivious to COVID-19

This was an amazing place in every way . . . except one which is very important to us personally. We stayed for a couple of nights in December 2020, when COVID rates were skyrocketing everywhere & especially Arizona. We had just come from a KOA in New Mexico which had 100% mask compliance throughout the campground. Here, despite the infection rates there was zero mask compliance amongst campers anywhere in the campground. The staff wore masks and we watched them diligently clean campsite furniture after campers checked out. But, nothing was done to encourage compliance from campers. In NM there were signs everywhere. Here, however, they were actively encouraging campers to gather at group (super spreader) activities. Seriously? Over 300,000 dead and they go on to host a full slate of weekly KOA sponsored activities and pancake breakfast like nothing is happening? The pool area was full of unmasked people. No one wore a mask in the restroom or laundry. There were constant, yelling unmasked kids running through our site. Four adult males gathered on one site openly heckled my wife for wearing a mask while she walked our dog. It was callous, very disappointed.

Have to pay cash or check

Justin's Diamond J doesn't allow credit card payment and doesn't have online reservations. It's adult only and had a bunch of restrictions. No use of washers/dryers in RVs, no streaming/skyping, no electric heaters. Breed restrictions on pets. See photo for brochure. There are pickleball/tennis courts, a dog area, horse shoes and bocce ball. Sites are full hookup. Premium sites offer better views and have more privacy.

Great Place

Only stayed one night but it’s a beautiful, rustic campground. We will definitely be back for more than a pass-through night.

Great stay

This park is really clean and all of the employees are super friendly, and helpful. They have activities for kids, bicycle rentals, several small putting greens, and a BBQ restaurant, that will deliver to your campsite. The pads are fairly level and covered in pea gravel. Very easy to setup. We really enjoyed our stay.

One of the best KOA's

Great spots, all with a seating area. Fruit trees at our spot. As it is winter now in most states, people tend to stay throughout the winter. Come in the summer and they'll have covered spots.

We'll definitely will be back next winter.