the dyrt
Shari G.
Boone, NC
Joined June 2016
Environmental Educator, Photographer, Traveler, & RV Adventurer. We found Freedom in Can in 2012 and haven't looked back! http://freedominacan.com
We'll be back, Kofa!!!

Free dispersed camping, about 23 miles south of Quartzsite, with no services available, but lots of space and stunning views of surrounding mountains. Camped here for 3 days and loved it! Many RVers were using solar panels instead of generators, adding to the serenity here. In addition to RV access, there are a couple of beautiful tenting areas near the entrance to Palm Canyon. No water or toilets nearby, so plan ahead!

Awesome hiking and mountain biking in the area. Be sure to visit Palm Canyon and Kofa Queen Canyon -- very different from each other, but both are spectacular. Kofa Queen is accessible via OHV and mountain bike as well as on foot. Palm Canyon is a fun, scrambling hike and much more difficult than Kofa Queen, but absolutely worth it.

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and beautiful! Easy access back into town (via Hwy 95) for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about everything a camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Free & Just North of Quartzsite

Free dispersed camping, about 4 miles north of Quartzsite, with no services available, but lots of space and beautiful views of surrounding mountains. No trash service, but this area is very close to the Refuse Transfer Station off Hwy 95. Area is quiet with no major road noise.

Be sure to register with the Camp Host on duty near the entrance to the area.

Many RVers use solar panels for all or at least part of their power needs though, so generator use is minimal.

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and beautiful! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about everything a camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

First to Review
Convenient to town

A big sandy parking lot of RV’s with both full hook-ups electric/water/sewer and dry camping options.

There are a couple of flush toilets (often no toilet paper though), $5 (passable) showers for anyone to use, and a large dumpster available near the main entrance.

The upside is that you can easily walk/bike to the Big Tent RV Show and just about anywhere in Quartzsite, the downside is that you can hear the incessant hum of Interstate 10. The managers are kind people but bring your patient hat!

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access to town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Free & Close to Quartzsite

Free dispersed camping, about 3 miles north of Quartzsite, with no services available, but lots of space and beautiful views of surrounding mountains. No trash service here, but area is very close to the Refuse Transfer Station off Hwy 95.

Be sure to register with the Camp Host on duty near the entrance to the area.

Unlike some of the other BLM land nearby where many RVers were using solar panels, nearly everyone here at Plomosa was using a generator.

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and beautiful! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about everything a camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Free & Near Downtown

Free dispersed camping, about 2 miles outside of Quartzsite, with no services available, but lots of space and beautiful views of surrounding mountains. Be sure to register with the Camp Host on duty near the entrance to the area. The major drawback is that you can hear the traffic on Interstate 10. Many RVers use solar panels for all or at least part of their power needs though, so generator use is minimal.

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and beautiful! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Free & Near Quartzsite

Free dispersed camping, about 20 miles outside of Quartzsite, with no services available, but lots of space and beautiful views of surrounding mountains. The major drawback is that you can hear the traffic on Interstate 10. We stayed here for just one night, as we were approaching Quartzsite at dusk and didn’t want to mess with finding a spot in the midst of the crowds after dark. It was a nice, easy stop for the night and put us within 30 minutes of town.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

BLM at its best!

Dispersed camping for a nominal fee ($40 for 14 days; $180 for 7 months from Sept 15-April 15; free during the summer months) and just 2.5 miles out of town. You cannot hear Interstate 10 or Hwy 95 if you choose a site close to the mountains.

Services available on-site include a few extremely well-maintained pit toilets and trash dumpsters. By paying the fee, you also have access to both potable/non-potable water and a sewage dump at La Posa South, just a few miles down Hwy 95. You are allowed to stay in one place during the duration of your stay, or move around the region. Be sure to register at the BLM office at the entrance to this area.

We stayed for a 5 days and found this area very quiet and peaceful. Just a few RVers were running gas generators, while most had solar panels, which always makes things more pleasant. Some folks have their area established for the season hence the funny signs around the property.

Gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and very easy access to hiking, mountain biking, and OHV trails. There are some Native American petroglyphs and grinding holes south of this area, along the main wash (accessible via mountain bike or OHV). Ask the BLM office for details as they are tricky to find, but worth it.

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Basic BLM camping

Dispersed camping for a nominal fee ($40 for 14 days; $180 for 7 months from Sept 15-April 15; free during the summer months) and just 1 mile outside of town, though you cannot hear either Interstate 10 or Hwy 95 if you choose a site close to the mountains. Trash dumpsters are the only service available on site, but by paying the fee, you also have access to very clean pit toilets, both potable/non-potable water, and a sewage dump at La Posa South, just a couple miles down Hwy 95. You are allowed to stay in one place during the duration of your stay, or move around the region. Be sure to register at the BLM office at the entrance to this area.

Gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and very easy access to hiking and OHV trails. Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Amazing BLM Camping with it ALL!

Dispersed camping for a nominal fee ($40 for 14 days; $180 for 7 months from Sept 15-April 15; free during the summer months) and just 4 miles outside of town. You cannot hear either Interstate 10 or Hwy 95 if you choose a site close to the mountains. Services available on-site include a few pit toilets, trash dumpsters, potable/non-potable water and a sewage dump. You are allowed to stay in one place during the duration of your stay, or move around the region. Be sure to register at the BLM office at the entrance to this area.

Gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and very easy access to hiking and OHV trails. Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Free & Walking Distance to Town

Dispersed camping for a nominal fee ($40 for 14 days; $180 for 7 months from Sept 15-April 15; free during the summer months) and within walking/biking distance of town, though you can hear the incessant hum of Interstate 10 on the northern most end of this area.

Services available on-site include a few pit toilets and trash dumpsters. By paying the fee, you also have access to both potable/non-potable water and a sewage dump at La Posa South, just a few miles down Hwy 95. You are allowed to stay in one place during the duration of your stay, or move around the region.

Be sure to register at the BLM office at the entrance to this area.

Gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and very easy access to hiking and OHV trails. Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Next to the Big Tent RV Show

A big dusty parking lot of RV’s with both full hook-ups electric/water/sewer and dry camping options. There are a couple of clean flush toilets and a large dumpster available near the main entrance. The managers are sweet and helpful people and have been in the area for years!

The upside is that you can easily walk/bike to the Big Tent RV Show and just about anywhere in downtown Quartzsite, the downside is that you can hear the incessant hum of Interstate 10 and during January show time, it is crowded. We stayed here during the duration of the Big Tent RV Show in 2019 (10 days), while working the Renogy solar booth and easily walked back and forth every day.

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access to town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Free & Gorgeous Views

Free dispersed camping, just 5 miles outside of Quartzsite, with no services available, but lots of space and beautiful views of surrounding mountains. This BLM area seemed to have less traffic and you could not hear the incessant hum of traffic on Interstate 10. You could hear a bit from Hwy 95, but it’s much less frequent and annoying.

Gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and very easy access to hiking and OHV trails. Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

Free & Close to Town

Free dispersed camping, just 3.5 miles outside of Quartzsite, with no services available, but lots of space and beautiful views of surrounding mountains. Be sure to register with the Camp Host on duty near the entrance to the area. The major drawback is that you can hear the traffic on Interstate 10. Combine that with the folks running generators and the noise might drive you further out of town. To be fair, many RVers use solar panels for all or at least part of their power needs.

Scaddan Wash is the site of the annual RubberTramp Rendezvous, held during early January. The famed RTR is a gathering of like-minded mobile dwellers living in everything from new Class A motorhomes to small home-made truck campers. Everyone is welcome and workshops are free! It’s pretty awesome and the numbers of people coming to this event have doubled nearly each year.

Sunrises and sunsets are endless and jaw dropping! Easy access back into town for food, gas, firewood, laundry, and just about anything an RVer or camper could need.

Check out this article for more info about the Quartzsite region: https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/rv-campers-guide-quartzsite-az/

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!

Great shade for the summer months

The Cave Creek Canyon on the western edge of the Chiricahua Mountains is a spectacular area that will completely take you by surprise. This cute campground tucked into the trees will charm your socks off!

Each site has the standard picnic table, bear locker, fire ring and lots of shade. The bathroom is a vault toilet, kept clean by the volunteer camp host, staying at Sandy Flat. This campground is rather small with just a couple small RV sites and lots of shade. Perfect for tent camping though. Great for warmer months, not so great for solar charging due to the shade, so we moved up the road to Sunny Flat campground. There are two small cabins available for rent near the forest visitor’s center, check with the Coronado National Forest, Douglas District office.

The area is a birder’s paradise and at certain times of year can get very busy. Great opportunities for hiking, biking and wildlife viewing throughout the entire mountain range. All the campgrounds are first-come, first-served.

There's not much in the area for food and gas, so come prepared. There is one small grill/basic grocery store down the mountain, but if you are looking for real groceries, shop before you come.

Awesome Choice for Christmas!

We came for just a night to see if it was open and spent 3 glorious nights here! The volunteer camphost, Jan, is fantastic! She single-handedly kept this campground open during the government shutdown…and hosted a Christmas potluck brunch at her site.

The Cave Creek Canyon on the western edge of the Chiricahua Mountains is a spectacular area that will completely take you by surprise. And the campground tucked into a wide-open clearing set in a spectacular valley ringed by stunning granite cliffs will also charm your socks off!

Each site has the standard picnic table, bear locker, fire ring, and lots of shade. Campsites which aren’t under the trees have a nice shelter over the table. The bathroom is a vault toilet, kept clean by the volunteer camp host. All the campgrounds are first-come, first-served.

This campground might be better for small RV’s than some of the others in the area because of the size of the sites, though anything bigger than 25 feet might have a tough time getting backed in. The area has some nice sunny spots for those like us who run on solar. There are also two small bunkhouses available for rent near the forest visitor’s center, check with the Coronado National Forest, Douglas District office.

The area is a birder’s paradise and at certain times of year can get very busy. Great opportunities for hiking, biking and wildlife viewing throughout the entire mountain range.

There's not much in the area for food and gas, so come prepared. There is one small grill/basic grocery store down the mountain, but if you are looking for real groceries, shop before you come.

Free, Beautiful, and WARM!

This campground, located on the bluff overlooking the dam and a large part of Lake Meredith, offers about 10 traditional RV sites with water and electric. There are also plenty of tent sites, each with a covered picnic pavillion. There is a sanitary dump, the bathrooms were very clean and are family-style (single use with toilet, sink, and shower). The water was hot with good pressure. The best part…this campground is FREE (unless you need hook-ups)!

The nearby boat launch is just down the hill, with a huge parking lot (our guess is that the lake gets busy in summer). The area offers some great fishing and water sport opportunities. There are a few hiking and mountain biking trails, though more seemed to be on the less developed, western shore of the lake.

The town of Fritch is less than 4 miles away with a few restaurants, a small grocery store, and gas stations. Be sure to check the Alibates Flint National Monument, just 10 miles south of town. It is worth a stop!

Quiet, Inexpensive, & Warm in December!

This very popular state park, on the edge of the Elephant Butte reservoir, is a great wintertime get away. We spent the winter solstice here and woke up at sunrise to see the moon setting in the west and the sun rising in the east. Spectacular!

The campground offers many reservable spots, as well as first-come, first-served sites. Each site has water, electric, picnic table (with sunshade) and a fire ring. The bathrooms are either vault toilets or full service with showers. There are no trees for privacy, but the sites are nicely spaced apart so you don't feel like you are on top of your neighbors.

Now, we don’t normally get critical of other reviews on this site. But some were very negative about the bathrooms, and we simply cannot understand why. The bathrooms were heated, the toilets were clean, as were the showers. The water was warm! Yes, these showers are the push-button type which only gives you a minute or so of water before you push it again. However, the showers were free with the campsite, which only costs $14 (2018) and is in the desert! Water is a precious resource here, so you can’t get your nose out of joint over decisions made by management to limit water consumption when you’re only paying this little.

During the summer months when the reservoir is up to recreational levels, boating and fishing are the most popular activities. Judging by the size of the boat-launch parking lot, you’re going to have to get up early in the morning to grab a spot. There is a great hiking and mountain biking trail right out of the campground which winds between all the other park roads, picnic areas and amenities on the western side of the lake. The trail is relatively new and in most areas is graveled. However, rainstorms have washed a lot of sand across the trail in areas and it can be pretty soft. Further south along the trail we encountered many more arroyos which upped the challenge. The nice thing is that you can always hop back on the pavement to return to the campground.

The town of Elephant Butte is nearby which offers a few restaurants, a general store, and gas. But just 15 miles south is the larger town of Truth or Consequences (interesting story about the name). This town has everything you might need, grocery, gas, food and other lodging….and hot springs! Check out our blog for more details about the latter.

Aptly Named Campground, Truly Beautiful!

This adorable little campground just 3 miles south of the village of Jemez Springs, NM is situated in the in a wide canyon with expansive views of the mesas to the east and west. Some of the sites have a full shelter over the fire ring and picnic table. Many of the sites can accommodate larger RVs or motorhomes, but do not have water or electricity hook-ups. Potable water is available as well. The vault toilets were very clean, and well maintained. This campground had the best recycling and trash containers we’ve seen in months. We were able to recycle just about everything!

This area is perfect for anyone who loves to do any of the following: hike, bike, climb, snowshoe, ski, view wildlife, fly fish, soak in hot springs, gallery shop, or just hang out at your beautiful campsite. The town is within 30 minutes of Valles Caldera National Preserve and just a few more miles to Bandelier National Monument and Los Alamos Skiing area. The town of Jemez Springs has just a few restaurants, be sure to try Olga's Famous Chile Rellenos at Los Ojos, the quirky and quaint little bar that looks like it came from a movie set.

The campground is open all year round and typically has a camp host. The sites are non-reservable, and are very inexpensive for the beautiful views you get!

Note: Despite how beautiful this place was and how much we enjoyed it, we had a scary incident happen that we reported to both the county sheriff and forest service office. If you want to know more, visit our blog. They told us that they had never had a report like this before, so this could have been a random incident, as we were there when there was no camp host. So, stay alert, especially if you are the only camper in the campground.

Great place to stay for the night near Bosque del Apache

Finding this little park on the banks of the Rio Grande just outside of town in the dark would have been unlikely without the very specific directions given to us at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center. “From the blinking light go east for 0.7 miles and turn left on the dirt road between the canal and the river.” Sure enough, there it is.

This small campground has about 5 sites, with picnic tables, but offers no other services—no water, fire rings or even toilets. But as the directions say, it’s close to town and it’s FREE. So, on a day where we spent most of the afternoon and watched the sunset while in the National Wildlife Refuge, this campsite served us well. We even planned to get up before sunrise to watch the birds take to the sky from their night-time roosting areas, so we weren’t there long. 

The wildlife refuge is a birder’s paradise during the late fall and winter. Species of Sand Hill Cranes, Snow Geese, Canada Geese, and a multitude of ducks winter here feeding on grain grown in nearby fields and roosting overnight in the shallow wetlands. The numbers of birds are overwhelming, and awe-inspiring. But when we learned that the Sand Hill Cranes have been making this journey for nearly 10 million years, we were simply blown away. 

There are plenty of opportunities for other recreation in the area, road cycling, mountain biking, hiking and motor-sports. As we pulled out of the campground, we noticed a beach buggy cruising by which looked as cool as it was retro – total ‘70s style. There are other free, “dry camps” in the area, BLM land, etc. as well as a few other RV parks offering shorter or longer stays.