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We were surprised on the number of people who ventured out to this BLM spot off Park Link Road in the Cactus Forest over a rainy weekend in Tucson.
The first dozen dispersed spots were full with camper vans, small trailers and trucks. We continued to drive down the gravel dirt road to a more secluded spot. We didn’t see anyone in our one-night stay beside a mountain biker in the morning.
Even though It was raining in the area for about 24 hours before we travelled to the campsite, we didn’t have any issues navigating the 1.5 miles down to the site we chose. The truck has some mud in it and the 4x4 wasn’t needed (but made it easier). I would recommend a high clearance vehicle to reach the further back spots. Also, the road was narrow, our F250 brushed a few bushes on the way.
Most dispersed sites had a fire ring (check locally fire conditions first). I’d suggest bringing in fire wood unless you just want to burn the few fallen twig and limbs. It’s a cactus forest- so the terrain is mostly saguaros, chollas, Palo verde trees and shrubs.
Our site had a beautiful view of the sunset and a view of Picacho Peak in the distance. We visited in February and the weather was nice (on the chilly side) for our roof top tent. I wouldn’t come here in the summer unless we had a rig with air conditioning. Impressive view of the stars at night. Some traffic noise from I-10.
No water, toilets, or trash. So be prepared to take out what you bring in. We had 2 bars of LTE slcell service with T-Mobile.
It’s BLM land close to Tucson, so locals use the area for gun target practice. We heard gun shots until the sunset and starting again the morning. It was basically non-stop. If you want a place to shoot, this would be a good spot to camp.
🌵 Saguaro Facts: Saguaros can live to be 150-200 years old and grow as tall at 40 feet. A 10 year old saguaro Is about 1.5 inches tall (please watch where you drive, park and step). At 80 years old, it’s around 6 feet tall and starts to bloom. The best time to see saguaro blooms is mid-May through mid-June. At age 95-100, it’s around 15 feet tall and starts to grow it’s first arm. 🌵
Hiking Through Saguaro National Park in the late Winter is now my favorite past time. You get the feel of Spring but the look of Summer. Between the higher elevation changes in scenery and the lack of people on trails, this is one of the best spots to hit up if you want to get away but don't have the ability to handle super cold weather.
Douglas Spring is a little over 6 miles from the trailhead and it is super popular usually so reserve your backcountry permit fast! You can have up to 6 people on your permit and there are three sites available at the top. It's only $8 per campsite in the park but there is NO vehicle access, so you will need to hike into any camping you need and ONLY camp in designated areas.
Bring lots of water, there isn't much water available near you, contrary to the name. The trial is also pretty open and not much shade, so early Spring and Fall are your best bets.
This trail is pretty heavily populated by horse riders so wear shoes that you don't mind sidestepping manure in.
The sites are first come, first served but we didn’t have any issues finding a spot during the winter. Our site had plenty of space for 2 vehicles, 1x 3-person tent and 3x 1-person tents. The sites are well shaded with trees and each site has a fire pit and bear box.
Lots of hiking trails available. Since it’s a wilderness area, they are all pet friendly. It is the perfect getaway from Tucson.
The Ranger and camp host we meet were super friendly!
My husband, myself and our 2 small dogs live in Tucson, AZ. We recently acquired a roof top tent and we’ve been trying out various campgrounds across the Southwest.
Dog friendly hiking opportunities from this campground on the Cochise Trail. I recommend arriving during daylight hours. We left after work, and it was harder to navigate the primitive roads back to the campground in the dark. You do have to cross the stream several times to get the the site. When we crossed the water was 3-6” deep and a few crossing are over rocks (not pavement). We had no issues in our F250, but any vehicle with a normal amount of clearance should be fine. We saw several small SUVs/crossovers, small trailers, a dirt bike and a Prius.
It’s a popular place and we were lucky to get the last site available that night. There are also dispersed camp sites (also popular) along the W Hunt Rd loop.
The campground has pit toilets (with 2 stalls each). Each site has a picnic table, a nice fire ring and a tall BBQ grill. The sites are close together. No water, so bring your own.
We will definitely return to the Cochise Stronghold area.
Sabino Canyon recreational area Is the perfect get away for a picnic 5 minutes away from the city. They have handicap accessibility and bathrooms for those who absolutely must have them. I myself prefer to pee by the trees. The also offer a tram for those who have a high hard time walking long distances. Highly recommended to those 1st visiting the Tucson area.
Staying at Rincon Country East has proved to be a fantastic choice for us. The level of silence both day and especially night is a bit of heaven. Thoughtfull staff and campers makes for a most pleasant stay. The mountain views greet us constantly here. Mount Lemmon is a short drive or bike ride away with snow capped top and great food offerings. Skying is possible for those with young legs. The bike situation in Tucson is the finest we have encountered. Our electric bikes can run forever on the well paved trails all over the county. Tucson is an easy town to drive around with good shopping and dinning. So happy with our snowbird park pick!
While site parking is a serious challenge unless 25 foot and under the park is fantastic on most levels. Beautiful grounds with kind staffing that are most helpful. Wifi is one of the problem areas here. Their "free internet" is a serious joke and the high priced Wifi setup is so slow it's criminal. We opted for making our Comsumer Cellular phones "Hot Spots" which works very well. Palm trees and flowers everywhere with great pool and hot tub that are kept spotlessly clean. All the amenities you could ask for even Pickle Ball courts. The nearby adventures are fantastic with desert and cool mountain top adventures aplenty. I highly recommend this park. The five month stay rates are great at just under $4000. Propane delivered to your door and all aspects of this operation are kept so clean it squeaks…….With the help of friendly neighbors we parked our 35 foot Toy Hauler--took an hour--serious obstacle coarse to parking--palm trees at curbs being a problem.