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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We stayed here for a big church camp. The group site was basically a giant gravel parking lot, could have 40 to 50 cars with tents. There are bathrooms which are kept pretty well. There is a short walk to a muddy beach area. Good for launching kayaks or SUP. The kids had fun playing in the mud on the shore. It is a gradual incline so we didn’t have to worry about kids falling into deep water off the shore. Camp and beach are very exposed to the sun. This is definitely desert camping with just low brush. There is a large Ramada with tables and a few hose spigots. Look out for cactus and scorpions, again, desert camping. We had fun going up to the dam and bridge lookouts. We met a park ranger up there that pointed out a few cool things from the construction phases and historical things like a WW2 bunker on the hill. There is also a Native American cliff dwelling site with a visitor center just down the road. That’s worth seeing as well.
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.
We brought our pop up camper and stayed at the lower burnt corral shoreline over the week days. I heard from other campers who were more regular that it gets busy on the weekends and tends to fill up, but we did not have that problem. We ended up having plenty of room and privacy.
There was plenty of shade. Pit toilets, although some of them were pretty nasty
We were told by the ranger there that Tonto passes are valid, although signs are posted that stated otherwise.
There were also spots with pads and water spigots spread every few sites. Tables with benches at every site.
This instantly became a favorite spot with nearly every spot located right on the water. Great for swimming, kayaking, fishing, and boating.
Warning: DO NOT TAKE APACHE TRAIL ROUTE! Take AZ87-AZ188.
Photos titled ‘aerial view’ are from a private helicopter tour of the lakes I took about a year ago but they are so amazing that I had to include them. They are all of Apache lake where Burnt Corral is located.
This campground is found between the town's of Superior and Miami, Arizona, so if you are not am experienced camper, you could always drive to town in a pinch if you needed something or forgot something.
Some of the campground is along a wash, with a small pond on the west side. The official campground site is relatively small and has more established sites, but remote camping is found further down the road. Oak Flats Road provides a few miles of rougher trails (some might call them Jeep trails, but someone who knows what they are doing could get through most of it in a car) and would be great for a short overland type camping experience.
There are some great views with just a short hike and can make for a rewarding one day camp, or camp for a couple days.
There are is a bathroom within the small, more established campground, but no other facilities (including trash) so you must pack in and pack out whatever you are going to use.
Just about 6.5 miles from Roosevelt Dam, along a seriously narrow, winding, and mountainous dirt road, lies a great camping oasis along Apache Lake in the middle of the Superstition Mts. The road is well-maintained and well graded, but the short drive from the dam to the campground took us about 30 minutes with our little trailer and 4-wheel drive truck. Seriously, not for the faint of heart if you are pulling a trailer. We saw lots of smaller cars manage it fine.
This medium-sized sized campground offers lovely sites along the water and along the hill in the trees. For $12 per night, it offers many amenities: nice waterfront sites with picnic table, fire ring, boat ramp, drinking water, plenty of pit toilets (clean given the number of people at the campground that week), and group sites. There are some easy pull-thru sites for RV's.
Hiking, paddling, boating and cycling opportunities are available right from the campground. We paddled up the Salt River to the dam and back for a fun afternoon adventure. Bird life abounds in both the lake and river!
Closest town is Globe, about 40 miles away, has grocery stores, Walmart, gas stations, etc. So come prepared with what you need!
First-come, first-served, no reservations.
Note: The campground didn’t have any mobile service available with Verizon.
When traveling to new places, I want new things to look at and unique experiences when I camp. I couldn't have asked for a more unique first day in AZ when I made my way to Apache Lake Campground (at the Marina) in AZ. It was late when I arrived, and I was starved, so it was the perfect time to try my new Micron Trail Stove with Piezo by Primus!
It says that it takes over an hour to go less than 30 miles to the campground, and I assumed this was one of those GPS errors…until I saw the road to get there. Mostly washboard dirt, a little asphalt and a lot of twists and turns. Upper speed limits of 20 mph made it very clear that the GPS knew what it was yapping about. At one point, I thought I was on a movie set and seriously didn't know how any car coming the opposite direction would pass, if it came to that. But all that aside, it was a beautiful, peaceful drive! Just don't do it in the dark. It's called the Apache Trail and it's Arizona's oldest highway, originally built in 1905. Serious history here! Absolutely worth the drive, if you don't have a fear of heights and have extra time to kill. It passes through a little town called Tortilla Flat and there is apparently an ice cream shop there with prickly pear gelato!
About the campground. It's deep in a valley, on Apache Lake. What a view!! Down a steep road that's about a mile off the main highway (Route 88), you can see the camp before you even get there. Once there, it's a little confusing to find what you need because signage isn't terribly apparent and it's a kind of "lazy-kicked-back" sort of atmosphere. Nothing up scale about it, at all. But that's part of it's charm. I guess I was there at the tail end of the "off" season, so it wasn't terribly busy. It's not fancy, by a long shot, but what you need is at your fingertips. You have to check in at the main building, which isn't very clear, especially upon arrival in the dark, but in the office, they will take your money, show you a map, and point you in the right direction.
There's a section for RVs with hookups (and they do have a dump station). There are restrooms in a few spots, and while not fancy, they let you "do the job" you came to do. Also some showers, and again, not the Ritz, but there is water to rinse with. I'd suggest shower shoes. The camping is kind of cool, though. It's dispersed. I mean, there are many little spots nested in the trees, around the lake, on the sand, where you can just pick a spot and stay. It was only $10 to pop a squat (I think it says $5 online, but that is incorrect). Some are far better than others (on little jetties or in the trees) but they all have sweet lake views and fire rings! You are allowed to collect dead wood to use, so that makes it easier to fire up at evenings end, but they sell firewood bundles too.
I had a little spot right off the lake, and it was quiet. A few night sounds, but nothing more than fish and birds. The only thing that bothered me were some bright lights, almost like on a jet plane, that were at the other end of the marina. I just positioned my tent so that I didn't get the runway lights right through my screen. In the morning, I took advantage of the big huge bathtub outside my tent (most people call that a lake) and took a very quick dip, since it was like ice water. Boy was it refreshing!!! Perfect little site for my first night in the desert. Not dessert. Big difference.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I occasionally get the awesome opportunity to review incredibly gear in exchange for an honest review. This time, I was able to have a hot meal on Apache Lake thanks to the rockin' Micron Trail Stove with piezo by Primus.
This little think only weights about 3.2 oz, and folds up like a little contortionist to fit in a stuff sack that's actually got room enough to throw in a lighter. Some stoves have skin tight bags for storage, but this one is great! It has a built in piezo lighter and is easy to screw on a canister for use.
First impression: I love the size, the weight, it's solid construction, the stuff sack is the perfect size.
What I don't like: The piezo fizzled the third time I used it. Ugh.
It's super easy to use, even without reading directions. Just make sure it's screwed on the canister tightly. You don't want to strip the threads and have it launching into space, but if you don't twist it on hard enough, your flame will fail you and you'll sit there thinking you're going to have to eat your oatmeal cold. If that latter happens, try twisting just a little harder, and you'll get a better gas flow that'll give you the flame you need! We don't want hangry campers at bedtime.
While the piezo on mine didn't actually work by the time I got it to my camping trip, I found that I much preferred lighting it with a lighter, anyhow. I thought that the location and way that the piezo worked was a little delicate. Like I might break the whole stove by flicking it. Turns out that they make the same stove without the igniter for about $5 cheaper, and it saves you 14g of weight by not having it. So you have a choice!
Bottom line, I still love the stove. I'm normally an alcohol stove gal, so this was a great chance to explore the idea of a canister version to cook with. I can absolutely see this little Primus Micron making it's way into my cooler weather arsenal so that I can get more hot water, faster, for things like coffee, water bottles for my sleeping bag, and cocoa!
This campsite is perfection up in the mountains. Dispersed spots give some seclusion, while other sites are clumped nicely for those like a little more “neighborly” camping. No cell phone reception offers a true retreat from every day life. Drive up to the top of the mountain and I promise the views won’t let you down. Careful for wildlife, bears are common and I saw a few elk on the drive. The winding mountain round to get there is gorgeous.
Spent earth day here in 2018 - it was perfect. We actually pitched our tent in what is known as Workman Creek - just a little further up the road. Definitely recommend a higher clearances vehicle, although I made it okay in my standard Ford Escape. Workman Creek is a great dispersed camping location and the views from the top of the mountain are unmatched. Careful of fire restrictions in dry season.
No real access to water from campgrounds. Unkempt and not the outdoorsy camping we were looking for. Lots of double camps that were decent looking but nothing cool enough for us to stay. Definitely take the time to go to Lower Burnt Corral campground for a scenic drive and better camping.
Nice area. Didn't catch any fish and lots of trees and rocks near water by camps. Didn't notice a dock till we were leaving. Enough room between neighbors, clean bathrooms. No phone service but it was nice to be off the grid. We will definitely camp here again!
Just south of highway 60, West of Superior, AZ (about 4 miles). Paved road to the turnoff for the campsite and then dirt but not too rough. My Prius made it just fine. Though there are definitely some roads farther on that are extremely uneven granite dells.
Two pit toilets are the only amenities, but there is plenty of hiking. You can hear road noise from highway 60. There’s a nearby mine and I occasionally heard muffled explosions but I did not feel them. On two of the days I was there I saw or at least heard low flying fighter jets (but within FAA regs) go by and a couple of multi-rotor helicopters. Had the skies not been overcast I’d have seen all of them. They were very loud but it was maybe five minutes total out of my week-long stay.
There’s no WiFi, even if you have a yaggi antenna. There’s enough cell service for text and phone calls (maybe/iffy) on the Verizon network.
Turn off Hwy 74 between Apache Junction and Florence, Turn East on Cottonwood Canyon Rd. and there is dispersed camping with ZERO amenities starting in about 2 thru 5 miles on both sides of the road.
This is a very popular off road spot for Motocross motorcycles, Jeeps, ATV's, and Side by Sides so be prepared for some dust and some noise from vehicles. There are lots of trails to ride.
This is Arizona State Trust Land so a permit is required but can be purchased and downloaded from their website at a cost of $21.00 and it is valid for 1 year for the family pass.
The location was clean and well cared for buy the people that camp there, and there are rock rings for fires but you will need to bring your own wood to burn as there is little in the desert and nowhere close to purchase any.
We stayed with a group in November and the weather and the sunrise and the sunsets were absolutely amazing to behold. We will definitely be back both for the wide open spaces and the great places to ride.