A treasure in the desert

Wow, what an awesome AZ State Park! If you live in Arizona and haven’t camped here you are doing something wrong! It’s a quick weekend getaway from Tucson or even Phoenix. The camp hosts are friendly and stopped by to say hello, leave us maps, and give us the run down on a few rules. Kartchner is a designated Dark Sky park, so they do a great job of making sure everyone keeps the lights off after 8pm so you can enjoy the stars. It really is an awesome perk of the park! The campgrounds are immaculate. Like the cleanest and most well taken care of sites I have ever seen. Everything was perfectly raked and swept prior to our arrival. *We didn’t use the restrooms, showers, or dish washing stations due to covid, so we can’t report on those. We did notice family restrooms, which is always welcomed with little ones! We walked around the loops, like we always do when camping, to make note of the best ones for future trips. There were too many to count! All the sites looked spacious (for state park standards), clean, and had plenty of mesquite trees (perfect for learning how to climb trees for the first time!) The hiking trails are aplenty and dog friendly. The caverns are a quick 5 min walk from the campsites. We didn’t visit due to covid, but in the future plan to visit the caves, discovery center, and cafe. Although the campsite seemed to be most occupied by snowbirds, it really is the perfect destination for families too! We can’t wait to go back!

Escape from the City

This is the best place to escape from the big city and enjoy nature! There is so much to do. The hiking and bike paths are aplenty. We loved seeing the gators, especially when the babies were hatching (spot dozens of babies in the photos). The observatory is also incredible. There are so many friendly astronomy enthusiasts who are willing to share a peek through their telescope (pre-covid) and share their knowledge. Be sure to help keep light pollution down in that area so everyone can enjoy the stars (no flashlights or phones out). This is such a great park to enjoy and spend a weekend away from the city without traveling too far.

Desert Terrain with Moutain View

There is plenty to do at Roper Lake. Great spots for RVs, tents, and cabins too. This is a popular area so get your reservations in early. The lake was low in December and it was windy and cold, but we made the best of it and enjoyed the views of snow capped Mt. Graham. Campground was clean and very dog friendly. They have a dog park. The have a junior ranger program… fun for the little ones! We did notice that many weren’t following covid protocol in bathrooms and around the campsite. But we had no problem social distancing and keeping to ourselves, even with our loop completely full. We felt safe and comfortable. Your stay also includes access to Dankworth Pond State Park, a 10 min drive down the road. The pond is small, but you’ll catch more fish here. There are also great educational hiking paths with information & replicas of tribal villages. Worth the drive!

Lake lovers dream

This campsite is perfect for tent campers looking to be close to the lake. Sites are more private that brookchar (next site over) but only have vaulted toilets, no running water in bathrooms. There is designated parking for each spot, but you might have to hike a little ways to your site. Not all spots are level, but the views are great!

Tent Camping with a view

This tent walk in site has been our family favorite for decades. The sites have plenty of room for 2 tents. There is a clean bathroom in the campsite as well as water. This sites are across the small road from the lake. This is our favorite place to camp with other family members since the sites are close together. Easy walk to the lake.