Adam R.
Thatcher, AZ
Joined September 2018
Adventure & Discovery is as much apart of me as my first name. I get physically uneasy if too much time has passed between my last trip & my next!
Luna New Mexico Rodeo Camping

Every year my wife and I attend the Luna New Mexico Rodeo. This is one of our favorite places to visit, it always rains when we are there but this could not dampen our fun! the camping is dispersed and first come first serve. We suggest you pick a high spot! Although we camp during the rodeo weekend, there is no reason you cant camp other times of the year. Surrounded by towering pine and waking up to the fresh smell of wet camp fires mixed with the pine is an unforgettable memory.

Trees are too far apart for Hammocks

There are plenty of hiking and UTV trails nearby

Facilities:

No fire rings or BBQ pits.

Restrooms are available and running water near the Rodeo arena.

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.

Stunning, Free, Within 15 Mins from Amenities

A good friend of ours brought us up to Stanley, ID to explore for a week on horseback, hiking, and camping. I have been a professional photographer for many years, although I have seen stunning jaw dropping landscape photos in magazines I had yet to find myself in a location that would take my breath away… Until the day we set up camp at Decker Flatts.

I wont rattle on about how we were within 2 mins of a hiking trail that leads you to "Hell's Roaring lake", or about the amazing Trout fishing within 10 feet of my tent, or even the stunning sunrises every morning. I wont even describe the Beauty of the 5 other lakes that were all within a 10 min drive and a 5-10 mile hike or horseback ride from our camp. (Upper Marshall Lake, Alice Lake, Petti Lake, Alpine Lake & Sawtooth Lake) I'll just let you see the photos attached to this review and hope you'll make the life changing camping trip we did.

a few things to know:

  1. The trails we took are not per-say beginner trails, the shortest one is 10 miles Round Trip and it leads you to Hell's Roaring Lake, (My wife and I Hike quite often and it was a most the day trip)
  2. All the other lakes we visited were on Horseback, they were all day long rides. i could not imagine making those trips in ONE day on foot, although we passed quite a few people whom have hiked up, spent the night, and hiked out the next day.
  3. Decker Flatts is really easy to Miss, passing red fish lodge turn off headed south keep going 12.8 miles till you see a creek crossing bridge called "4th of July creek", take you next left, cross the one lane bridge, follow the road to the left, your next left will enter the different camp sites available

The Sawtooth Mountain camping areas are designed for self-sufficient camping. the USFS campgrounds do not offer trailer hookups for water, sewer, or power. Because of heavy winter snows, most area campgrounds are open only from mid-May through Labor Day. The area you'll find Decker Flatts will amaze you when you see that the terrain flattens and broad meadows push back the forests. This sprawling preserve encompasses four mountain ranges, several large lakes which i have only explored a few. It's the sort of place that begs you to unplug your phone chargers let them die, lock the car, and put some ground under your feet, maybe even get knee deep in the crisp cool water of the river nearby.

Natural Features:

Dispersed campsites are stung along the flat river side, find yourself between pine and spruce trees that tower in stark contrast over the surrounding sprawling meadows. Although, this area is inaccessible during the winter months the meadows are wide and utilized by local ranchers to rise cattle.

Visitors may want to keep their eyes out for elk, deer, coyotes, and hawks as you take in the surroundings. Bobcats, mountain lions, and bear do live in the park, however they are rarely seen near humans.

Recreation:

Hikers, fisherman, photographers, mountain bikers and the average nature junkies flock to the Sawtooth Mountain range for the variety of available activities of the park.

Dispersed Camping, Free, 18 mins from Page, AZ & Beautiful Sunrise!

My wife and I took a random trip through Arizona on the way to The North Rim Grand Canyon! We happened upon Page Arizona, and found that we are the only ones whom didn't already know about the area. In other words there were NO spots to camp left near the town. but we found this Dispersed camping just a few miles into Utah. We were a bit worried about not having a park host, or really any direction to where to park and set up. Although we did love the no Fee program!

turns out you park wherever you want! we found one of the few trees and parked near it, it was late and dark so we set up camp and slept, we woke up to one of the best views we have had yet, "Lone Rock" proudly stood in our mist like a loan Guard. with a beautiful sunrise we ate as we watch jet skis and water skis jet by.

We were only a few minutes outside of page and found our camp safe and sound when we returned from a full day on the lake kayaking!!! a short drive to "Horseshoe Bend", the worlds most photographed landscape! and of course Antelope Canyon.

*** INSIDER GUIDE ***

You can feel free to pay the "tourist" tax of visiting antelope canyon with a guild and a hundred other people… Or you can save $80 by renting a kayak in page for $30 and kayaking into the mouth of antelope canyon and see parts that most others never see!! see my photos!!

Hard to Get reservations, But Worth it!!!

My wife and I took a week long road trip through Arizona, we made no plans and no reservations. Little did we know after reaching the North Rim Campground, we would find that the camp sights are books 6+ months ahead of time. The park ranger told us about the dispersed camping many mile away, as we were getting ready to leave line, a couple walks up and explained they had reserved a corner spot which contained 2 spots, because it was the only one available that weekend. they offered the unused sight to us!!!!!

We took the offer and were Blown away by the beauty that surrounded our site, we were far from others even quite far from our helpful hosts, the hiking is stunning and the lodge there makes some great food as well as a great place to buy some souvenirs.

Facilities:

Fire-ring, BBQ, Water nearby, AMAZING SPACE, plenty of tree coverage from the sun, close to hiking, and within a short drive to the best sunsets Arizona has to offer

We HIGHLY recommend catching the sunset at Angel Peak!!!! but watch out for the altitude change, its quite high at 8297 feet. Our hometown is at 2800 and the hiking got the best of me…

Prefect Desert Getaway

Within a 30 mins drive from the nearest town, you can leave 112 degree heat, cactus, and sand to find yourself surrounded by large pine, long mountain hikes & 30 degree difference in temperature!

Surrounded by large pine, a cool breeze and a cornucopia of wildlife! Although fire restrictions are always a concern Arcadia campground is the blessing all desert dwellers need!

Fire rings, BBQ, & bathrooms are available at camp sights. There is a $10 day pass or $10 nightly pass required to stay.

Info from the USDA:

When early settlers ventured up Mount Graham, the Arcadia area was usually as far as they got on the first day. A little later in the history of the Pinaleños, Arcadia was the site of one of several Civilian Conservation Corps camps established in the 1930s to provide jobs for workers idled by the Great Depression. Today, Arcadia Campground is the first campground visitors encounter on their way up Mount Graham by way of the Swift Trail (AZ 366), which was built by those Depression-era workers. Arcadia Campground is shaded by stands of tall ponderosa pine interspersed with Gambel oaks and Arizona walnuts. Such a diverse habitat makes this an excellent area for bird watching. Watch for poison ivy.

RV’s up to 22' and vehicles with trailers less than 21' are recommended. Longer vehicles have difficulty negotiating the switchbacks on AZ 366. Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground. Limit 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. 14 day stay limit.

Small Oasis in the middle of Southeast Arizona

Roper lake state park is a beautifully well kept state park. It's $20 a night for tent camping, $30 a night for full RV hookups. (which is kinda high for this area and amenities offered).

This is my local state park so I visit almost every weekend and kayak the lake. There is a lot of fishing, swimming, and hiking available. There are also some really nice cabins available to rent!

The camp sights are a small size but offer some privacy from other sites. There are fire rings in every site, as well as a Covered pick-nick tables!!!

They also offer some full hookup sites, as well as sewage dump and potable water.

There is a group sized hot tub available for public use that is filled with natural hot springs water as well as a swimming beach and day use area.