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Saint Johns, ARIZONA

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Most Recent Saint Johns Camping Reviews
Nice but make sure you don't have a shared site!

Great place with lots to do for just about any age! Camping, dry or with hookups.Some of the pads are made for two campers though, which means the other camper could be less than a foot away. That's fine if it's family/friends, may not be so nice for someone you don't even know. The lake is nice with kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards for rent. Heard fishing is also great, with catfish, walleye, trout and bass.Lots of piers, as well as the lakeshore that you could fish from. And a boat ramp if you have your own boat. we really enjoyed all there was to do on the water!

Great location for lakes (and lots of people)!

Stayed here for two nights and was impressed by the staff, availability of ice and firewood, and the quick jaunt to Woods Canyon Lake.

If you’re expecting dense pine and privacy, this isn’t your place. The network of campgrounds up here combined with the sparse tree growth sometimes makes for a parking lot-like feel. I’ll look for something a bit less trafficked next time.

Amazing experience

It’s an easy hike down from the painted desert inn down and into the wilderness. Permits are free and easy to obtain. Ask for a wilderness hiking booklet as well, it’s very well made and can help orient yourself in the vast wilderness as well as offer hiking options and specific destinations and points of interest.

Once you’re out there - you’re out there! No amenities and you only have what you packed!

First to Review
Beautiful campground on Apache Reservation

Boondocking at its finest! Quiet, large campground, easy access to lake, wildlife. Close to town but far enough that it feels like your way out.

Wonderful getaway

We have camped at a lot of the Arizona State Parks and Fools Hollow was one of our favorites yet. Everything is very clean and well kept. We stayed in Mallard 8 which has full hook ups, great shade and views of the lake from your campsite. We were advised to go up the channel for fishing as during summer time they rent boats at the boat dock and that scares the fish up stream. We fished with both powerbait and catfish bait. Had success with catfish.

Show low is 2 miles away if you forget any essentials.

Our favorite place to escape!

Hawley Lake is the perfect escape when you want to get out of the heat. Pristine views, cool weather during the summer and clean facilities almost make you feel like your not in Arizona anymore. Campsites are first come first serve and both times we went in August and there were plenty of spots to chose from. Be sure to get your fishing license and permits in town, it’s a long drive into town from the lake. Bring rope to protect your campsite from wild horses and wandering cows. Overall one of favorite places to camp!

Monster Speed Humps, Packed in like Sardines, Nice Pine Forest

The speed humps in this place are MONSTERS! We had to crab over them so that we didn't leave our plumbing with them (and very nearly did leave some plumbing the first time over the first one). The biggest suggestion I would have for management is to get some DOT specifications for speed humps and use those (The ones in our home neighborhood do a more than sufficient job of slowing people down without threatening RV plumbing systems).

The spaces are pretty close together and you get to know your neighbors pretty well (fortunately most are the friendly type). Most people seem to be staying for the season (and not just a few days like us).

The setting is a nice Pine forest. There was a group of wild horses roaming around while we were there. The roads are gravel and packed gravel that handle the rain nicely (we had no problems with mud).

There are 30 and 50 Amp electrical hookups, water and sewer in each space.

The cost is VERY REASONABLE when compared to other RV parks in the area.

Shower facilities are nice, but could use more ventilation (no windows, no openings other than the door and vent fan).

The walk to the Casino is, at most, 1 mile (furthest spot). The close ones are right across the street from the Casino.  Road noise might be a problem on these close spaces, but we were most of the way to the back and heard no road noise at all.

Best camp ground ever

This campsite was fabulous. It was probably one of the cleanest campsites I have ever been in. They keep the grounds well-maintained and the showers and bathrooms were spotless. We were there the last week in June and it was full. You definitely have to make reservations far in advance. We were lucky that we were able to reserve (two nights) a spot right on the lake. Our car battery died, the camp host was very helpful and gave us a jump. We are definitely coming back!

Horseshoe Cienega

Horseshoe cienega lake and campground is located off the 260 about 45 minutes east of Pinetop-Lakeside. First impressions: wow! The lake in and of itself is beautiful and very similar to the other small mountain lakes in this area. It is visible right off the road. Fishing and kayaking is available here but you have to buy a special fishing permit for the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

The campground is open between May and October. No reservations, first come first serve. We stayed in a large group over Fourth of July week and of course this place was packed. That said, the sites were still far enough away to have some privacy.

The campground sits between the lake on the north and a spectacular cliff with a river running at the bottom on the south end. This was an awesome view! The river is accessible and you can hike down to it.

This is just a simple campground, no hookups, with amazing views! I would love to go back again not on a holiday weekend!

Two Places; I preferred the paid side

I really loved these camping spots at the South gate of The Petrified Forest National Park.

There are two locations across the street from one another, one paid, one free. We stayed on the paid side, as it was evident to us they were well cared for.

Hosts were very nice. I hope to stay again in our way home. Gift shop has some lovely specimens of petrified wood.

Great spot

Really liked this campground. The roads were all paved, bathrooms & showers were very clean. We road in on motorcycles & the camp spots were really great. It gets a little windy in the afternoon and evening but dies down to have a little camp fire. We did not take advantage of the lake(fishing, swimming or boating) but it looked nice. I would definitely stay here again. It was inexpensive for the camp spot which was a bonus.

Permanently closed

Site has been permanently closed according to fa.usda.gov

Weekday Heaven

This campground was really nice and quiet on the weekdays. I left on Sat morning, and Friday night it was hopping and crowded (It was also Fathers day weekend). Most of the electric sites are really big and private. Lots of trees to block camper other campers. On the downside there was only 1 flush toilet bathroom for one side of the campground. There were more flush toilets and showers by the registration office, but they were locked in the evening/night.

Nice for an overnight stay

Great little campground on the way through Oak Creek Canyon. It is a little close to the road but the noise is minimal. Great spaces, well maintained, friendly host and a small river to the west adds to the experience. There is a natural spring  not far from the exit that has some very good clean drinking water. I’ll stay there again.

First to Review
Great little camp site

I was originally going to camp at raccoon camp about a half mile north of here but upon my arrival there were waaaaay too many tiny human darting about for my liking so I kept moving. Next was horse springs. This was prefect little spot. It was set back off the road (unlike all of the sites north of there) and had 16 well spaced out spots (27 when you count the ramada and the other ten spots a bit down the road) and only 3 other campers. I was home. I picked a spot back away from the road and up against the river that already had a pile of firewood laying about. When the camp host John and his pup Carver returned from his trip to town Buddy (my dog) and I went to say hi, pay our fees and chat. John was a great host. He was happy to chat, and even dug out an old alpine ranger district hiking guide for me to peruse. The bathrooms were spotless, tha is John, and the camp was super clean. I definately recommend this spot.

Great sites

We stayed  here over a holiday weekend and had a great time, felt a bit out of place as we have a pop-up and everyone else was in RV's. The sites are all clean well maintained with decent tree cover if you book ahead.  Town is very close by so shopping is easy seems to be a bit of an older crowd in town but nice people. We will make this a stop when it gets to cold in Colorado.

Amazing camping experience

It was amazing how beautiful the view was. Had the lake right night to us. The wind was blowing perfectly. There was an amazing trail to walk next to the lake. The bathrooms were close to our camp site. Convenient to go at night since it had lights to lead the way. Also had a chance to shower in a clean bathroom. Will definitely be back.

First to Review
Nice

Great weather

First to Review
Peaceful and beautiful sunsets

We love this campground because it is a little out of the way so there are usually spaces.  The spaces are large and nestled in a pine forest near the lake.  Clean restrooms and water available.   You can walk to the lake.  A nice place to kayak, bird watch and the sunsets are amazing.  The town of Alpine is small but there is a little store with food and camping items, a couple of restaurants and a nice bar.

Shake down

We did our sharks down here last weekend. Super clean and well maintained, very friendly staff and neighbor campers

I love this place

Awesome scenery. But the camp ground can get very busy. The site are ok in size but some sites are very close together. There are showers and flush toilets if you are into that. To get to the lake from the tent sites you have to climb down a pretty steep rocky hill or drive to the day use area. We fish for catfish and have caught a few here but also got skunked a few times. I've stayed here June July and October. Dont really recommend fall really windy cold and rainy. But not not many campers that time of the year.

Perfect Day for Petroglyphs

Well maintained trail system that offers amazing views of the sandstone rock formations and petroglyphs. There is a rock squeeze in the trail too.

Secluded and gorgeous

Dispersed Camping was wonderful here. Permits are available at the visitor center. We walked down into the wilderness area behind the painted desert Inn. Beautiful views, an easy hike out, and no one else around

Awesome but not too far out of Show Low. Lots of trees and activities

Campgrounds have clean bathrooms with showers. Most spaces are not too close to your neighbors. If you reserve early enough (up to 6 months in advance) you can get some very premium sites. I recommend the “Ruddy Duck” or “Red Head” loop sites. Kayaks are also available for rent. Most sites are full hookups

Ranger Review: RoM Women’s Altitude Hydration Jacket at Fool Hollow Lake

Campground Review

Fool Hollow is right on the outskirts if Show Low. You literally drive through neighborhood streets to get to the entrance. The first ¼ mile of roads within the park, you also drive along a fence that backs up to private properties. Do not let that “fool” you though… when we got to the Osprey loop within the campground you would have had no idea town was so close! The scenery is a mix between forest and high desert. There were plenty of pine trees but still the occasional cactus. All of the roads through Fool hollow are paved. There are plenty of dumpsters and trashcans available.

The spaces in the Osprey loop were fairly close together. We had loud neighbors and heard them all night long. This surprised us because the Quiet Hours are 8 pm to 7 am and we were right across from the host but they never said anything. That being said we saw the host drive by once or twice in the entire 3 days we were there. In fact, when our not so friendly neighbors left on day 2 they left the site trashed. The host did not come to clean it up until day 3 after another camper had stayed in the site and complained about it being dirty. Another notable item for Osprey is that while the spaces appear to be waterfront on their website there is a 20-foot drop off between the sites and the lake. I think this is worth mentioning in case you have small children or actually plan to go to the lake.

I know our pictures show us in a pop up trailer but this summer Fool Hollow updated their policy and pop up trailers are now considered “RVs” and cannot be in the tent only sites. We were grandfathered in to the space because we already had reservations but if you plan to visit with a pop-up be sure to book in an RV space.

Fool Hollow boasts some of the most modern bathrooms I have seen at a campground. There was a coke vending machine and an outside sink. Our building had three women’s and three men’s bathrooms. For each gender, two also contained showers. I did not use them because it was really cold and there is no electrical to run a blow dryer so I didn’t want to be stuck with wet hair. However, I did see campers use them and after talking with them, they said they are always hot. Unfortunately, if hot is not your thing there is no temperature dial on the shower so you are stuck with the water at whatever temperature it comes out at. The bathrooms were well lit all night. So much so that if light pollution bothers you I would not suggest getting a space near the bathroom.

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – on this trip I tested the RoM Women’s Altitude Hydration Jacket. This jacket in particular is one of the prototypes that RoM had. From what I was told the sizing on them will be a little off from the final product so I do suggest reaching out to customer service if you have questions on sizing. With the prototype I chose a Women’s Extra Large. I’m around 5 ft 8 in tall and wear an 8 or 10 in women’s jeans. This jacket was an excellent fit on me in the torso, arm length, and overall sizing. I had just a little free space around the hips and was able to move freely without it being too big.

The jacket’s unique feature is that it has a built in hydration pack holder that routes through the jacket. I thought this was going to be one of my favorite features but it ended up being the thing I disliked the most about it. The hydration bladder sites on the inside of the down layer so if you have cold water in it you then have a cold hydration bladder only a thin layer of material away from your back. This seemed a bit counterproductive because the jacket is WARM and if you need a jacket that warm you likely do not want something cold pressed against your body. When the hydration bladder was full it also pulled down on the back of the jacket and kept making the front ride up. The drinking tube routes through the left side of the jacket and cannot be routed through the other side. Generally speaking you shouldn’t put warm liquid in those bladders but you could use the pocket for a hot water bottle instead. Again, you will be battling the weight but it may keep you that much warmer.

The jacket was extremely warm. When we arrived, it was in the upper 60’s and the winds were around 25 mph. My clothing was warm enough but the wind was cutting through so I decided to put the jacket on. I ended up in a tank top under the jacket and it would still get warm enough that I’d need to take the jacket off periodically to cool down. It got down into the low 30’s and I was comfortable wearing this jacket with a long sleeve shirt underneath. As far as wind resistance, this was probably the jackets best feature! The sleeves and hood can zip off and I was worried that the wind would still come through the zippers. They have put this awesome rubber cover over the zippers and no wind got through at all!

The inside of the jacket has four small pockets. Three of these pockets have no closure at all (no Velcro, snaps, or flaps). They are also not very large. I’d imagine they’d work great for a chapstick, small wallet, etc. The fourth pocket has a material flap closure but nothing to secure it with. It was large enough to fold up the hood when disconnected but then there was a lot of bulk in the chest of the jacket so I did not use it like that for long. The sleeves have Velcro around the wrists to tighten them as needed. The Velcro seems to be of a good quality and should not get fuzzy after repeated use. One thing I would have liked to see on this jacket was something to tighten down the hood around the face. With all the wind I had the hood blown off quite a few times because there was no drawstring or bungee around the face.

RoM’s website does not specifically state the jacket as being waterproof but makes mention to wearing it in the rain so I figured I’d test it out. I made it about 10-15 minutes in the sleet/snow before I started feeling the moisture seeping through on my shoulders. The shell is Polyester and seems a little water resistant but I would definitely not call this jacket waterproof.

There were a few loose strings around the jacket where it looks they had finished seams and did not tuck the tail in so I cut them off and had no issues. The only seam that seemed to “fail” was the one on the bottom of the right exterior pocket. When I was unzipping it the zipper it went through the stitching at the bottom and came off the track. It is an easy fix and with a few stitches at home it won’t be a problem again.

The jacket doesn’t have written washing directions but does have the symbols for Machine Wash Cold and Lay Flat to Dry. I ran it through my washer on a cold cycle and laid it out to dry. It took about 24 hours to dry out completely. All of the down filling seemed to stay well in place and there was very little “balling” or “bunching” in the sections.

Overall, I am happy with this jacket as a cold weather jacket (especially if there is going to be wind). It was very lightweight and easily kept me warm into the 30’s. If you are looking for a waterproof outer layer I would suggest passing on this jacket because it really did not hold up to extended water exposure. Also, while the hydration pack was a great feature in theory it isn’t set up in a way that made wearing the jacket while the bladder was in very comfortable (because of it pulling the jacket backwards) or warm (because of the cold water being near your body). I may just end up using the hydration bladder pocket for a few light snacks or my wallet when I am out.

FREE Camping Right Outside Petrified Forest

I am just like everyone else, I LOVE a good FREE campsite and along the way I have learned about so many of them, but in two trips by this one I didn't know it existed then BOOM there it was and I suddenly questioned how I had passed by it and never known!

Sure like all good campsites which are free there are a few negatives, this one being that there are ZERO amenities. NONE!!! But when I had attempted to camp in the petrified forest there weren't any there either so no big deal.

So how did I miss it?? Well upon first glance it just looks like a picnic area with some covered tables next to a gift shop and there isn't a welcome wagon just rolling out to say "hey come stay here". it is one of those places you have to know is there to know it is there if that makes any sense.

A fellow traveler told me about it and when I glanced I noticed some boondockers there but then upon a more careful evaluation there were tent campers in the distance. SCORE!!

If you aren't able to camp without then this won't work or you at all, but if you are ready for an adventure then here you go, close to the park and perfect for getting in those early morning sunrise photos. We always wonder how they do it… well this campsite is a BIG reason some of the photographers are there for those amazing money shots.

TIPS:

  • Come prepared, you won't have a store with all your extras until you get into Holbrook so be ready for anything.
  • Don't get to close to the residents, they give you the stink face but you have every right to the land, if you don't believe me, do your research on the BLM website!
  • Take your camera, you will want to make sure you get your late evening and early morning shots that are once in a lifetime.
First to Review
Very Nice

I wouldn't say this is an awe inspiring getaway, but it is a refreshing place to escape the heat of the Valley of the Sun in Phoenix. It is a very large campground near Woods Canyon Lake. Some spots are very shady, in the pines, and some spots are not so shady, near the meadow. The campground hosts are very friendly and host Movies in the Meadow and "Ranger" classes for the kids on the weekends. It is very, very common, to have Elk wander through your campsite daily. Good for either tents or trailers.

Serene

When all the other campgrounds in surrounding areas are packed, Benny Creek is it!

came here on a recent holiday weekend, when everything around show low and pinetop were packed. Greer is right off the 260, but a hidden gem for sure.

Campground was nearly empty. we saw two other groups/families. Camping sites are large, but not as dispersed, so might be noisy if this place gets busy. There are areas for RVs, as well as vault toilets.

There is a Creek that runs along good amount of campground, and a little lake/reservoir 10-15 minute hike away. Lake area was empty and serene as can be (check pics)

Town of Greer is about 10 minute drive from camp ground. There are some services and restaurants. campground does have fire rings and picnic tables in most sites!

This spot is a true hidden gem!