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Date of Stay: 1/20/21 Vehicle: Subaru Crosstrek w/ tow-behind popup
I was a bit wary of this campground due to lack of reviews, but after an unsuccessful attempt to camp at another campground close to Saguaro NP East, we decided to give this site a go - and I’m SO glad we did. This is the perfect BLM campground - very dispersed, quiet, and FREE!
We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon with only about two other groups there. Directions from the Dyrt are perfectly accurate, but the turn is a bit tricky to see, as it is a narrow dirt road surrounded by brush. You can actually turn left or right when prompted by directions, but we went right and drove about ¾ of a mile down (you’ll see a sign addressed to campers so you’ll know you’re in the right place). Road is mostly very flat but does have the occasional bump/washout, and there is no shortage of rocks. Had no problem in my vehicle w/ trailer.
I honestly don’t know how many “campsites” are here, as they seem to be scattered pretty randomly around. There are little side roads that branch off the main road as well, we went down one of those and found a quaint little spot with camper-made fire pit that isn’t visible to the main road. Because of this, I would highly recommend arriving to this spot during the day, as we would have never found our great spot had it been dark.
As for the spot itself, it isn’t the prettiest because it’s mostly desert brush and dirt, but the Saguaros most definitely make up for it. Our specific campsite is marked by a towering, twenty-foot high Saguaro that I love waking up to every morning. There is little to no shade, but during the winter, the sun is very welcome. As for wildlife, we’ve seen several coyotes and roadrunners but not much else, at least during the day.
Location of this site is optimal - about five minutes from a local mart with all essentials, and ten from a Speedway and Dollar General. About 35 minutes from Saguaro West/Mountain Park and the same into central Tucson. Overall, I highly recommend this site for any avid BLM camper who is accustomed to no amenities. This may be my favorite BLM site I’ve ever camped.
In general its a lovely state park with good provisions. Ended up in the group site, which appears not be an actual group site, as sites are individually reservable and functions as overflow camping. You are unfortunately….right on top of each other. We had maybe 8 ft between us and the camper van next to us. That said, other campers were quiet and respectful.
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.
I stayed here for two nights on 12/30/20 and 12/31/20. The first night was full and very quiet. The second night was a bit louder but quieted down by 10:00 PM. I expected it to be louder since it was New Year’s Eve. The bathrooms were cleaned multiple times throughout the day. The sites were also well taken care of. Water and electric at most sites and there was trash and recycling as well. Views of the mountains were awesome. I recommend making reservations early since they fill up fast. You can not burn wood either. You can use a propane fire pit or burn a duraflame type log in the grill.
Stayed one night while traveling. So glad we stopped. Beautiful views of Picacho Peak and the ancient cactus trees. Nice flat trails walking thru the desert, gentle breeze and surreal sunset colors. We had our skamper so able to hook up to watch the game see pic. We were surprised to learn about the civil war history that took place. I had no idea.
We stayed at this campground for 2 nights in late October 2020 while visiting Saguaro National Park. We highly recommend this state park-- it was one of the best campsites we've experienced at a state park!
-Sites are large and have space between them. Our site (B45) had a good amount of space between us and our neighbors.
-Plenty of room on the site for our 1 tent, but you could have had several
-Sites have power and water in addition to a picnic table and grill
-Mountain views from the campsite!
-Tress and shrubs around the site provided shade-- even a place to hang our hammock!
-Shower house is modern/updated and was always clean
-Nice touches such as a bulletin board with announcements by the shower hours, a "little free library" with books, and a dishwashing station by the shower house
-Honestly none really. There was a sign that the campground can flood in rains.
Highly, highly recommend this campground!