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THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
Saguaro National Park, ARIZONA
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Most Recent Saguaro National Park Camping Reviews
Best little campground in Tucson

So close to town, yet feels like you’re way out in the desert. We usually go at the end of busy season and there are plenty of spaces. Bring your own shower as there are none available.

Love it here!

So friendly! Nice dog park, good wifi, activities like potlucks and poker. Would definitely come back.

Stayed Feb. 14, 2019 - March 14, 2019

Staff is very friendly, good size sites, beautiful views, and bathrooms are clean. Cable and WI FI available. They had a luncheon for Valentines day and Fat Tuesday, We enjoyed our time and will return again.

Small & remote camp

Happy Valley campground's name can be decieving.. its actually at 6,000' of elevation, 4.6 miles up the Miller Creek trail in the Rincon mountains east of Tucson. It lies within the Saguaro National Park so a permit is required ($8 fee). Up to 6 people per permit. There is 3 spots at the camp. Each spot has a fire ring, bear box, and some good size stumps to sit on around the fire. There is a vaulted toilet at the site as well. Water can be scarce in the Rincons so plan accordingly!

Another 3.4 miles up the trail and you'll be at the summit of Rincon Peak (8,200'ish).

Quick stop in Tucson

Great camp with lots of privacy, space, and views. Pet friendly. Nice restrooms. Streams and trails.

Fresh citrus at your site

This place is huge! It is a KOA, but still very nice. It is a “resort” so it’s a little pricey, but we were just there for one night to visit Saguaro National Park. The sites are a little close together, but we were on the end, so we were not crowded. And, there was a grapefruit tree, with ripe fruit, next to our site. Orange and lemon trees were scattered around the park. There is a large dog play area that was nice for traveling canine companions. There is also a very good restaurant, BBQLIFE, right in the campground, that delivers!

Quiet & Very Close to Saguaro NP (west)

This BLM property, right off the Ajo highway near Tucson, is extremely convenient for a short or extended stay. Anyone can stay up to 14 nights, free of charge.  Greeted people here from all walks of life -- from those living out of the back of truck to brand new 45 foot motorhomes.

Like many high-impact BLM areas, the entrance roads are not well-maintained so some are quite rough. We arrived in the dark, which we do not recommend as it was difficult to see where the entrances were and how rough the roads were ahead of us. The parking/camping spaces are not designated, but heavy use has carved out lots of opportunities. 

There are a few places to walk or ride throughout the property, which is actually quite small based on typical BLM property.  However, the nearby areas of Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park, offer plenty of opportunities for both. 

No facilities, no water or even a stream…so plan ahead!

El Pais the Vintage Vacation Destination

No where like it

A Blast from the Past

Like Stepping Back in Time

Mid Century Modern Madness

Shade structures are magnificent and nicest RV place in Tucson

We stayed here in early summer and were so comfortable in both an RV site and cabin. Wonderful. Staff great and the solar structures above most RV sites were great at keeping us cooler and happier! Best cabins we’ve seen in KOA Places. Nicest pool in a Koa. Super hot tubs and picklevall court. Wow. We’ll be back!

Close and comfortable

A large campground close to Saguaro National Park, Great views of the cacti and clean facilities.

Peaceful & Beautiful Desert Camping

Give yourself time to explore and enjoy the surroundings.

To get to the campground you must first go through the Saguaro National Park and the drive is just as fun as it is beautiful.

I suggest viewing the aerial map of campsites before hand. I had selected about 9 different sites before arriving and that was good because I ended up at my #6 choice. Which was still a great site.

Very quite and peaceful. However, it's the desert so you should bring an air mattress or cot. Most sites have tables and are close to water and restrooms. The restrooms were very clean and upkeep. Heads up there are no showers at this campground.

I felt very safe there and actually left my campsite unattended for about 10-12 hours and not a thing was out of place.

Tents are $10 a night and RVs are $20. Tents can camp in any RV space but you can't the use power at the campsites (30 amp). You can charge small devices using the power outlets in the restrooms. Also Verizon cell/data service was great out here.

I can't wait to go back next year.

After 10 years of RVing this is still my favorite campgrounds.

Secluded and very private. Large enough for your every need. Two nearest towns are 15-20 miles away. Sierra Vista has anything anyone would want and Tombstone is a tourist haven. Recommend this site to anyone that wishes to avoid large crowds and loves open skies and spaces.

Clean & Very affordable

Can’t believe this place is only $10 a night! Clean bathroom and nice space. I’d definitely return

Nice campground in the pines

At Rose Canyon Lake. Lots of spots. Though the campground was very nearly full, it was quiet. Has several loops separated by shallow ravines. Pit toilets. Very clean and well-cared-for. Friendly, helpful camp hosts.

Perhaps one of the greatest places in AZ

If you camp for the pure love of nature, this place is for you. The drive alone is inspiring! There is a fee for camping which you should plan to leave in the box (yes, they do come around to check eventually). This campground fee is in addition to the fee you pay on the way up so carry cash. With so many views, trails, and photo ops, you couldn't ask for more. But if you do anyway, be sure to travel to the top of the mountain for some fudge in the gift shop and DO NOT miss the view of the creek. You may have to find a spot to park and walk about a half mile but it's just beautiful and it'd be sad for you to miss it since you're already up there. There is a lake within driving distance; you'll pass it on the way up. DO NOT feed the bears, please; for their safety (Seriously; they'll get euthanized).

Good starting spot for a day of hiking

Lovely place for a gathering! Close to town, had electricity, water, bathrooms and parking.

Long, Slow, Beautiful Curvy Scenic Route to an Under Whelming Lake

Riggs Flat Campground is located in the Pinaleño Mountains 40 miles southwest of Safford, AZ. The lake is not all that big, a bit under whelming to be honest after such a great drive, although if your lucky you may be able to catch some trout and bass for dinner (you'll need a valid Arizona fishing license and trout stamp). I don't believe many people come to the lake to specifically "camp", what this location offers is a scenic drive and a base camp for much better nearby activities such as hiking, mountain biking, birding, caving and swimming.

There are no services or first Aid, the nearest would have to be Mt. Graham Community Hospital in Safford, 42 miles away. RV Camping is 22 feet and less. Boats permitted on the lake may be powered by no more than a single electric trolling motor. RV’s up to 22' and vehicles with trailers less than 21' are recommended. Longer vehicles have difficulty negotiating the switchbacks on the road up the mountain (AZ 366). Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground. Limit 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. 14 day stay limit.

The drive up starts out paved and well maintained, but half way turns to a semi-maintained dirt road. You'll climb from 3200 feet to 9000 in a matter of miles, Mt. Graham is known for is amazing diversity from the surrounding desert. You'll climb through many different Biospheres and witness wildlife change from Lizards, Snakes, and desert dwellers to Deer, Endanged Red tree squirrels, and black bear. There are many other camp grounds on the way but if they are all full then this is your… 15th or so choice!

If your a hiker you can find traces of the Anasazi Indians that once inhabited this area.

Keep in mind the cabins you will pass on the way up are PRIVATELY OWNED, and are not for rent.

Challenge but great views along the way

This place is one of those little places that if you are willing to work for a camping spot you will have one of the most unique experiences. Hiking to this area is a task which I wouldn't suggest for the average day camper, but for those who like an adventure it is perfect!!

The trek in we found numerous kinds of cacti scattered throughout the duration of the hike. Many flowering which made for a dramatic view along the way!!

When the scenery changes you are met with large pine trees and such a different view, it is like night and day.

The campsite itself is positioned around a scenic and historic cabin which has a great story to tell to all those who arrive. The water here is really beautiful and when you arrive, unlike some camps where you might miss the site due to lack of signs, this one will CLEARLY indicate you have arrived.

Being that this is a backcountry site you won't find a lot of amenities here but it has spectacular views along the duration of the hike in and out as well as in the space itself.

Nice place!

very nice, well maintained, and friendly hosts. It is a nice cool area. Definitely going back!

Nice facility, friendly camp hosts and nearby hiking trails

Nice RV hookups but great tent sites as well. Desert vegetation so don't count on much shade. Best in the fall or spring. Summer is Hot!

We had to stop after being so shocked to find out what "THE THING" was

If you have traveled anywhere within 70 miles of Dragoon, Arizona you know you have seen a sign saying come see "The Thing", so naturally after seeing that for over an hour we decided we had to stop! We decided while we were here to check out a few campgrounds to give a little feedback and the Half Moon Ranch was one of those.

This is not a site I would usually consider for stay because while it does have tent sites it more focuses on the ranch aspect with ranch houses and focus on horseback riding and rock climbing, neither of which are really my thing. In fact, when I checked in to the facility I actually saw nothing to indicate tents would even have a space if they were considering staying the night.

The site was nice for what it was and is run as a part of the Coronado National Forest so it was maintained to standard.

This was a great place to stretch out and check out something new and who knows maybe in the future if I decide I need something a little different in my life I can check it out. But until then, I'll just chalk this up to a good stop after paying my quarter to see "the thing" nearby.

Beautiful

I can’t lie it got 5 stars on the bathroom/showers alone!!! Beautiful scenery great places to hike. Rangers and park staff are so friendly and great with kids. Park hosts are all business as I’m sure they see all kinds. we really only interacted with them upon set up. No dog run but dogs are welcome you just have to keep them on a leash. Spacious showers good water pressure. If you’re in a tent I did notice a sizable platform area. Lots are fairly level. We had some wildlife visit or site. We also took the tour of the caverns. It was good but extremely humid so beware. It was about 30 min drive to Tombstone I think.

stayed 3 days didn’t want to leave.

when you find the place you may worry but don’t. It’s gated very clean lots of stuff for kids to do with a rec area onsight workout room laundry, huge dog run area. close to a movie theater, wall mart places to eat but they do have an on site bbq place. we stayed under the large canopy. trash pick up from 8 Am to 6 pm everyday just put your trash by the curb and it’s picked up almost instantly. very clean restrooms and showers. I can’t say enough about this place

Themey like the town

So everything in Tombstone is pretty much a theme draw trying to get you to spend a little but I will say that when we found this campground it was a little chuckle because all the different rows are named for different aspects of the western world which is known to be Tombstone. ( Like Lariat or Marshall)

What wasn't old though was the feel of the facility which had modern amenities such as a pool and nice restroom facility. I can only imagine in this area things are highly competitive so keeping to theme but also meeting needs of campers is very important.

Sure it is a little dusty like the west, but you are in Arizona so it can be expected.

They do have rustic accommodations and cabins for those wanting to get the real old west feel and also accommodate both RV and tent campers like myself which was really nice to find out. In fact there was an entire row just dedicated to the good old tent hombres (lol, we will keep in the western theme as well).

Everyone seemed very nice around camp and many were exploring in town at night at one of the many saloons and even asked us if we wanted to come with. They do offer a shuttle service as well for those not wanting to get swept up in the attempting to find a non-pay parking stop.

We paid $25 but had full service at the campground which also included laundry and ice availability without having to get in the car to find a different location. That combined with the pool made it worth every penny!

TIPS:

  • Remember everything has a price tag here so find the deals by researching in advance. There is one ticket for $10 that gets you a show, free souvenir and viewing of the diorama.
  • Take advantage of the propane at this stop if you are in an RV!
nice area to hike

The campground is ok, but attracts all kinds of people some more raucous than others. The hike from there is well worth doing, into sycamore canyon, though there are several other hiikes close by. Best used in early spring winter and late fall.

Lovely Mountain Campground in the Pines

This campground is walk up only with over 60 sites to choose from. Several sites are double or group size. This is the highest National Forest campground on Mount Lemmon and your best bet for cooler temps during the summer. Parking can be limited with only a few of the sites having adequate parking for trailers up to 22 feet. Your best bet for a good site for the weekend is to get there on Thursday or early Friday.

Convenient Desert & City Location

Gilbert Ray is an extremely affordable campground located in Saguaro National Park. It doesn't have showers but it does have rv hookups and a bathroom with hot water dish wash stations.

It is located right next to Tucson AZ but features lots of hiking options in the national park. The best of both worlds. It has very helpful campground hosts and a tourist draw.. old west Hollywoodmovie sets.

I really like this safe quiet and convenient option as a single female traveler

Best Campsites for Snowbirds In Arizona

When spending time on the road many times you will find campsite after campsite that is welcoming but not quite like home away from home. But when you drive through Tucson, there is a mecca filled with winter bird campers and long term campers which create a home away from home.

With only tent sites available on the facility, we were fortunate to find a site, however when we arrived we were so excited by the facilities we extended our stay by a day.

Office staff immediately greeted us and let us know about the facilities, which happened to feature a mini golf course, an indoor events facility, 2 swimming pools and hot tubs, an indoor recreation area and multiple on camp fire chinineas. In addition there was a fishing pond and dog park area.

Each of the 4 campsites were considered to be regular campsites instead of upgrade sites but when we arrived it was the most delux sites we had encountered along the way.

Pad sites were large and the first to actually accommodate our large tent and the ground was u like any we had seen before at a site. The soft mulch was similar to that of a modern day playground and made for a much more comfortable sleep over the two days we were there.

In addition to the standard picnic table of most facilities, this campground offered a kitchen facility at each campsite including a large copper sink and food storage as well as electricity and overhead lighting in the pergola designed to allow shade from the harsh Arizona sun.

It was the closest thing to glamping we had encountered by far!

Then as an added bonus, fresh fruit trees abounded ready for the picking. The front desk informed us of the allowance to pick what you want as everything was in season! An amazing treat on the road!

We spent many hours at the pool facility, enjoyed amazing neighbors, used the wifi and even did a load of laundry while in Tucson. The facility really was like a home away from home on the road.

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If the scale went higher we would rank it more Bunnies. There were no real areas we could see for improvement. Staff was very accommodating, long term and short term residents of the facility were amazing and this was a desert oasis like no other!

Amazing and helpful

Unfortunately ended up stopping at this KAO do to having a family member ending up in the hospital. But the staff was kind and helpful. The gym on the grounds was nice and most of the times empty. The laundry room was very nice and machines work amazing.

Bring your bicycle

Stayed here for a scout outing and I am not sure how I've managed to stay away since.

Honestly because this park is basically in my backyard is the only reason I haven't returned. I know that sounds stupid, but you know how we take our local area for granted. Otherwise, I would love to spend a weekend or two in this spacious, clean jewel. Nice facilities and paved roads make it easy to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Don't forget your bicycles either. Regardless if you just pedal around the park or if you venture out into bike friendly Tucson you will love it here.