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9 Best Places for Camping Arizona – Nature Lovers Paradise

I love to hike and camp out in the AZ desert. The scenery is legendary.



I always bring my MTB.

As an avid traveler and nature enthusiast, I can honestly say that stumbling upon Sedona, Arizona during a road trip through the desert was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life. After driving for miles through a seemingly endless expanse of brown dirt and cacti, I was suddenly greeted by the sight of towering red rock formations and deep canyons that seemed to appear out of nowhere.

The Sedona Red Rock Cliffs are a truly awe-inspiring sight to behold. These massive geological structures rise up from the desert floor like ancient sentinels, their flat tops and deep red hues creating a stunning contrast against the bright blue sky. The cliffs are surrounded by swift-moving rivers and dotted with gnarled bristlecone pines, adding to the otherworldly beauty of the landscape.

As I explored the area, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of reverence for the land and its history. The local culture is heavily influenced by the Native American tribes who once lived and worshipped in this sacred place, and evidence of their presence can be found in the countless dreamcatchers and pieces of turquoise jewelry sold in the shops along the main strip. While the commercialization of the area can be a bit overwhelming at times, I found that by venturing off the beaten path, I was able to find plenty of opportunities to camp and explore the natural wonders of Sedona in peace.

One of the highlights of my visit was a trip to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Catholic church built directly into the red rock buttes of Sedona. The architecture of the chapel is truly unique, with its stark white walls and angular lines seeming to merge seamlessly with the natural rock formations surrounding it. As I sat inside the chapel and gazed out at the stunning vista before me, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the beauty of creation.

Another unforgettable experience was a hike along the Airport Mesa trail, which offered some of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. The trail winds its way up to the top of an isolated butte, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding red rock formations and canyons. As I stood at the summit and took in the sweeping views, I felt a sense of peace and connection to the natural world that I have rarely experienced elsewhere.




Monument Valley

Well. What can we say about the most iconic American scenery? From countless wild western legends to countless wild western films, the majestic stone obelisks and artfully carved structures of Monument Valley are burned into our collective psyche.

The natives that lived here worshipped them long before the first stagecoach ever paused in awe at seeing their ethereal beauty. The site of the most famous monuments is protected, and while you can drive by them or view them from a near point, the surrounding desert for thousands of miles is strewn with similar shapes and humbling objects that you can see, touch and camp under. I do not think you are going to beat a campfire next to a sandstone butte.



The Grand Canyon

  • North Rim.
  • Tuweep.
  • Grand Canyon national park.
  • Jacob Lake.

The options for camping, climbing, hiking, kayaking and horseback riding on the nations most prized natural wonder are endless. We can’t possibly cover them all here, but even a cursory search of the 277-mile-long, 18-mile-wide canyon will show you an unbelievable opportunity to explore and bask in this Wonder of the Natural World. It’s a destination sought by many, and achieved by hundreds of thousands annually. The infrastructure of Arizona is built specifically around the Canyon, so you won’t have any trouble reaching this most inestimable of natural treasures.

Over the course of my three days in the wilderness, I hiked through rugged canyons, explored hidden waterfalls, and even spotted a few elusive desert creatures. And while there were certainly moments of challenge and discomfort (like when I woke up to find a scorpion in my tent!), the overall experience was one of incredible beauty and wonder.

For sleeping, I brought a high-quality sleeping bag and a comfortable sleeping pad to ensure a good night’s rest. I also packed a sturdy tent and a camping stove for cooking meals.

In addition to these essentials, I made sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep me fueled during my hikes.

At night, I sat around the campfire with some other campers and shared stories. We roasted marshmallows and talked about our adventures. The sky was clear, and we could see millions of stars. It was a magical experience. I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself.

The South Rim is open all year, while the North Rim is open occasionally from June thru September. Grand Canyon west is open all year.

To camp in the recreation center in an area other than a created campsite on the Rim you should get a grant from the Backcountry Information Center. This incorporates Bright Angel Campground at Phantom Ranch.

All campgrounds in the Inner Canyon require a backwoods license. Applying admirably ahead of time is suggested although few grants are some of the time accessible for the equivalent day.

Outdoors in the Grand Canyon requires preparing for Backcountry Permits. As in all US national parks, there is an extra charge. The current expense is $40 per vehicle on the North and South Rims. The West Rim isn’t a piece of the National Park Service; various charges apply.

Rims of Grand Canyon

Isolating the Rims is simply the real ravine; from the North Rim toward the South Rim, there are 266 miles of cut gully dividers. The normal separation over the ravine is just 9 miles, however it will take three to four hours to drive from the North Rim toward the South Rim.

Since the Grand Canyon is monstrous, it’s generally handled by visiting one explicit Rim. There are three fundamental Rims — the North, South and west — just as the internal safe house of Havasu Falls. The following are a portion of the exceptional attractions in every region

The South Rim is the most mainstream region in the national park, with 88% of all tourists arriving in this Rim. Most families decide to remain and camp here. It’s open all year, and has campsites, cabins, cafés and historical centers, just as common attractions and climbing trails.

You can arrive at the South Rim by means of Highway 64. Regardless of substantial clog from tourists the late pop season, the South Rim is as yet home to plentiful natural life. Climbs into the gulch offer a relief from the groups; there are a lot of choices. In case you need to appreciate the comforts of the South Rim yet could manage without the crowds of tourists, take a stab at coming in the fall, winter or pop, during the offseason.

Destinations are settled in the obscure pinewood timberland, with fragrant Ponderosa pine, Pinyon and Juniper trees isolating tent locales for security in a generally bustling campsite. Elk and deer are visit tourists. There are 332 campgrounds, and despite the fact that RVs are welcome, there are no hookups.

Reservations are booked a half year ahead of time; you’ll need ensure you prepare. Reservations are not booked and the campsite regularly fills by early afternoon for the afternoon. The season for Desert View fluctuates, yet is generally from mid-April to mid-October.

The North Rim is a more far off zone of the recreation center and is available by means of Highway 66. It’s just open from June to September. With less tourists, there is less effect on the surroundings, so untamed life seeing is viewed as unrivaled here.

Basically, sees on the North Rim are exceptional. From most focuses along the South Rim, it’s difficult to see the Colorado River that made this work of art in any case. Inside the North Rim, you’ll have a more full perspective on the ravine beneath, including the waterway. There are a lot of awesome day climb alternatives in the North Rim. There is one cabin, The Grand Canyon Lodge, just as a campsite, North Rim Campground inside the North Rim. There are 90 campgrounds tucked among the pine trees and aspens, and squirrel, elk and deer visit the grounds.

The hotel and campsite both book well ahead of time, so it’s strongly prescribed to book at any rate a half year out. The West Rim isn’t a piece of the national park; it’s overseen by the Hualapai Indian clan. The most famous fascination here is the Skywalk, a horseshoe-formed glass walkway that cantilevers over the canyon.

Grand Canyon attractions

In excess of 88 distinct well evolved creatures call this park home, including elk, bighorn sheep, buffalo and donkey. Mountain lions additionally stow away inside the ravine dividers, and they are the biggest predators of this zone.

Reptiles, flying creatures, snakes, scorpions, creepy crawlies and creatures of land and water additionally occupy this uncommon land. Buffalo and elk are the two creatures I saw the most during my stays at the Grand Canyon.

There are a couple of extraordinary bicycle ways on the South Rim: Hermit Road is an eight-mile beautiful street shut down to private vehicles from March to Nov. The Canyon Rim Trail is an exceptionally available path, with its greater part cleared.

In case your family has more mature kids, you can consider taking a paramount donkey ride into or around the gully, however you have to make a booking ahead of time. On the South Rim, kids must be old enough for the various rides.

Overnight rides to Phantom Ranch from the South Rim have very close accessibility (enter a lottery 15 months ahead of time). On the North Rim, donkey rides are occasional and riders can do a one-hour ride around the Rim (7 and up) or a half-road trip into the canyon.

Instagram has made Havasu Falls a mainstream stop for nature the travel industry in case you’re willing to climb 10 miles into the ravine to get your ideal get-away photograph. This is one spot that completely satisfies the expectations of web-based social networking. Havasu Falls is one of the most celebrated cascades on the planet, and in light of current circumstances: its turquoise waters are hair-raising against the red-orange background of the canyon dividers.

Get familiar with how to design your outing, here. This isn’t a road trip and won’t be open for some families as outdoors bookings for the year are regularly sold out on the main day and the main approaches to get to the falls are: climb, donkey or helicopter.

An outdoors excursion to the Grand Canyon is a superb method to see and experience this uncommon territory. Investing energy with your youngsters in the outside offers them the chance to begin to look all starry eyed at our regular world. In the event that outdoors appears to be far off for your family at the present time, you can in any case visit the Grand Canyon.

Mather Campground is by a wide margin the most well-known campsite in Grand Canyon National Park. While there are no electrical, water, or sewer snare ups, a considerable lot of 219 locales are RV-accommodating and generator use is permitted during indicated hours.

With develop trees and a decent design, the campsite doesn’t feel swarmed, in spite of the enormous number of clients. Transports to and from different survey territories and trails happen all the time during summer.

A few campers prescribe simply carrying bicycles to visit the South Rim. Hope to see natural life like elk and exceptionally curious ravens all around the campsite. It’s critical to keep a spotless camp and adhere to presented rules and suggestions on protect you and the untamed life.

There is no better way to feel right ‘on the Rim’ of the South Rim than by getting yourself a spot in Desert View Grand Canyon Campground. Entering the recreation center from the East will put campers on the Desert View Street, which gives probably the most far reaching sees. Behind this Grand gulch campsite, directly on a shaky projection is the celebrated Desert View watchtower worked in 1932 by incredibly famous draftsman Mary Jane Coulter.

In case you’re visiting in the mid -year, you’re in karma. Campers can discover different contributions of shade for its tent-just spots, just as water, latrines, a store and general pleasantries. No reservations are accessible, Desert View can be seen if you are an early bird.

The North Rim is a five-hour drive from the South Rim — in spite of the fact that it’s just 8 miles straight from one point to the other in certain spots. It will in general be the way more uncommon, pulling in only 10% of park campers. Try not to let that fool you however, the perspectives are wonderful.

Cottonwood Camp, situated on the North Kaibab Trail, can be found between the Colorado River and the North Rim. The North Rim is considerably less dynamic than the South, just getting about 10% of the appearance. Subsequently, this Grand Canyon campsite additionally gets less tourists.

It is additionally conveys a chronicled feel that can’t be coordinated by its South Rim neighboring Grand Canyon campsites. For the most part, individuals who journey out to Cottonwood will be solid and steady hikers as there is as yet a protracted trip down. There are 13 gathering locales which can oblige somewhere in the range of 3 individuals.

What’s more, there is an extremely handy huge gathering site which is fit for holding up to 11 campers. All campgrounds are found north or upstream of the officer station. There is running water here, just as a progression of fertilizing the soil latrines found close by for the comfort of excellent ravine campers remaining here.



Wahweap and Wahweap bay boast some of the best fishing and boating on the famous Lake Powell. Lake Powell and the surrounding rivers and tributaries are home to Horseshoe Bend and the Glen Canyon Dam, two aquatic wonders well worth your time.

The surrounding area includes the mesmerizing Antelope Canyon, a twisting multi-coloured maze of water worn rock that you will never forget. In the rainy seasons, Antelope Canyon is prone to flash floods. It would be terribly embarrassing to drown in a sandstone canyon in the desert.


Havasupai Falls

Havasu Falls is one of the undeniable crowning jewels of any Arizona adventure. Not only is it heavily restricted (yes, you have to get a permit, and they run out fast), not only is it hard to get to (an eight mile hike to the closest village and a further five miles to the farthest falls), not only is it beautiful beyond your wildest dreams (an azure blue waterfall in the middle of the harshest desert) but it is…SACRED.

That’s right- this waterfall and its surrounding rivers have been worshipped by the Havasu people for almost 1,000 years, and the indigenous peoples of the area believe that the water flows into their very souls. It’s a sight that many have seen, but very few get to feel the true weight of. A truly, undeniably, wondrous sight.


Picacho Peak

At 1,500 feet, Picacho Peak is a force to be reckoned with. It was first noted as a landmark in the 1700’s and continued being a guiding sight for travellers until present times. The largest Civil War battle that took place in Arizona took place on the Picacho Pass.

Every spring, Picacho peak is known to bloom with thousands of Mexican Gold Poppies. This sight brings thousands of travellers annually. Whether you choose to see the spring bloom or you visit Picacho in the off season, you are guaranteed to feel humbled not only by its immense size, but the bristling history around you.

Coconino National Forest

Cocino National Forest is over 1.8 million acres, one of the largest national forests in the country, and for good reason. It encompasses Pine forests, Tundra, Desert, Flatlands, Mesas and even volcanic ridges and hot springs. It’s noted as one of the most diverse examples of topographical beauty in the natural catalog, and it’s fully open for camping and hiking. No hunting though!

The Cocino is strictly for observation and recreational enjoyment, and anyone caught poaching is guilty of a federal offense. Beware, though- the national forest is so vast that it simple can’t be monitored as closely as some privately owned property and they will not be held responsible for any animal presence.

Big Lake

The name says it all about this hidden retreat in the White Mountains. At an elevation of 9000 feet and an area of 450 acres, Big Lake lives up to it’s name and then some. It boasts some of the best fishing in Arizona, as well as some of the most accessible camping! Big lake is surrounded by well-maintained camp sites with amenities, while not skimping on the natural beauty.


Cochise Stronghold

This massive woodland is festooned with massive granite domes and sheer rock cliffs. It was the last camp of the Apache leader Cochise and his famous rebels.

The verdant natural beauty is held in stark contrast with the grim history of the area, and legends still speak of the sounds of Cochise last battle echoing through the canyons at night. A beautiful setting for a ghostly tale that should entice only the bravest of travellers.


The best month to go camping is September due to cooler nights, warm water, less bugs, good fishing, less crowds, and lower prices.



A word of caution before you set out

When traveling to Arizona, it’s very important to remember that a vast portion of the state is dedicated to both well maintained public land and untouched wild preserves. Both are protected by some of the most stringent laws in the country, and for good reason: In a state that reaches over 120 degrees in the summer, the difference between a memorable vacation and a deadly accident can be as simple as staying on the path.

Combine that with some of the deadliest creatures on Earth and it might be in your best interest to follow safe procedure.

The most important areas to consider before you set off are:


Registering with the forest service

Fortunately for the casual weekend getaway or day on the lake it’s not necessary to register with the National Forest Service. If you’re planning on camping at a privately owned site or a state park, as long as you pay the camping permit fee, you’re good to go. If you’re planning on doing any fishing or hunting as an out of state visitor you can buy a combined license for around $170, and that will also restrict you to privately maintained areas.

However, if you’re planning on going off the beaten path for activities like rock climbing, spelunking, off trail skiing or boating on designated “Wild and Scenic rivers”, you have to obtain a specific recreation permit. It’s for your own good though obtaining a permit also registers your route and the timetable for your adventure, so if you get lost or injured the Forest Service will send someone to help you when you don’t check in.


Arizona park guidelines

State Parks are a tremendous resource for camping in Arizona, and a large portion of your options will fall into their jurisdiction. Arizona has notoriously stringent laws for camping at the parks, and the rangers will have no qualms kicking you out of the park.

For a complete list of what you can and can not do in the State Parks, go to Believe me, it’s worth a look if you’re planning on visiting one and you definitely want to visit one. Or ten.


Camping in the Dark

It’s a no brainer that when you travel to Arizona, you should bring sunscreen. Slightly less well known, though, is what you should bring for when the sun goes down. As beautiful as nature is, the Arizona climate is particularly harsh and, as a result, so are the flora and fauna that live there. In the northern region of the state you don’t have to worry as much, though there is still the possibility of running into the odd mountain lion or bear. In the southern desert, however, not only could walking off the trail in the dark land you in a cactus patch you could come face to face with rattlesnakes, gila monsters, tarantulas, coyote, javelina and jaguar. Yes: Jaguar.

So, when camping, especially someplace isolated, take these measures.

  • A powerful flashlight.
  • Flares.
  • Bear spray.
  • Bug spray.
  • An emergency radio with a loud alarm (this can scare away larger predators and allow you to call for assistance if you’re bitten by a venomous animal).

If you start a campfire, make sure that you have enough fuel to keep it burning through the night and if you’re carrying food always store it somewhere far from your tent when you go to sleep. It sounds scary, yes, but it’s a very unlikely scenario that anything will bother you. It’s always good to be prepared.


Arizona alcohol restrictions

If you’re not a dedicated naturalist, and you just want to enjoy a couple days and nights hanging out with friends enjoying the scenery, alcohol is a fairly unregulated item in Arizona. As long as you’re 21 or older, you’re free to imbibe. Some regulations that you should pay attention to, however, are the very strict rules against glass containers near any beaches or waterways. Also, state-wide, it should be noted that drinking alcohol between 2 and 6 AM is strictly illegal. So, don’t drink too late around the campfire, and certainly don’t do so near any park rangers.


Make Arizona Your Next Adventure!

Arizona is an unbelievable slice of natural wonder, and it’s readily accessible to anyone that tries. Not taking a stab at experiencing the rich world of the Grand Canyon State would be a mistake you’ll always regret, while traveling to this enigmatic and beautiful world would be an adventure you’ll never forget!


Places to Visit in Arizona

In the heart of Southwest America, Arizona is loaded up with natural miracles, vibrant cities, and charming small towns. The Grand Canyon attracts numerous tourists from around the world. However, adventure seekers can find unique spots and fascinating sights if they go deep inside Arizona. While the cities like Phoenix ad Sedona are preferred for vacations, the countryside is known for its Native American dwellings and ancient treasures. Let’s look at some of the mo

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is the most iconic example of engineering. This enormous structure covers the Colorado River, connecting Arizona and Nevada. The construction of this dam was rested in 1935. This Dam is about 726ft in height and 1,244 in length.

Below the Hoover Dam lies the biggest fake lake in American History. Yes, Lake Meat is situated right below the Hoover Dam and is stretched across 110 miles in length. The amount of water present in this lake is considered to hold water for more than 1000 families.

Some Interesting Facts about Arizona


If you want to visit a hot place, Arizona will not disappoint you. The city of Phoenix holds a record for the hottest summer with a temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius. However, in the upper mountains, the weather is totally opposite. Those places are known for its cold climate and can be icy with a temperature of -2 degrees Celsius, enough to shiver if you are walking in a park at night.

Cutting a Cactus is Crime

You must be thinking, what is so big in cutting a cactus plant? We are not talking about a typical cactus plant; we are talking about the Saguaro cactus plant, a native plant in the Sonoran desert. These cacti are among the tallest cactus breeds and are said to raise upto 12 m and live up to 150 years. If you are seen cutting these plants, you can be behind bars for committing a class 4 felony. 

These cactus breeds are among the rarest and protected cactus breeds for the native people of Arizona. This cactus is used as the primary source of vitamin and various other kinds of essential nutrients by the people.


Arizona is the most significant state in America and has one of the most prosperous American history and culture. Many cultures invaded Arizona, and they altogether helped Arizona to civilize themselves. The European troops that settled in Arizona helped the Native Americans to adopt Christianity. Arizona has been one of the most preferred places for directors to shoot their movies.




List of campgrounds

  1. Mather Campground – Grand Canyon National Park
  2. North Rim Campground – Grand Canyon National Park
  3. Desert View Campground – Grand Canyon National Park
  4. Cave Springs Campground – Coconino National Forest (Sedona)
  5. Manzanita Campground – Coconino National Forest (Sedona)
  6. Pine Flat Campground – Coconino National Forest (Sedona)
  7. Holbrook/Petrified Forest KOA – Near Petrified Forest National Park
  8. Havasupai Campground – Havasu Falls (permit required)
  9. Rose Canyon Campground – Coronado National Forest (Mount Lemmon)
  10. Spencer Canyon Campground – Coronado National Forest (Mount Lemmon)
  11. Whitetail Campground – Coronado National Forest (Mount Lemmon)
  12. Lost Dutchman State Park Campground – Apache Junction
  13. Patagonia Lake State Park Campground – Patagonia
  14. Catalina State Park Campground – Tucson
  15. Dead Horse Ranch State Park Campground – Cottonwood
  16. Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area – Show Low
  17. Lyman Lake State Park Campground – St. Johns
  18. Alamo Lake State Park Campground – Wenden
  19. Kartchner Caverns State Park Campground – Benson
  20. Bonita Canyon Campground – Chiricahua National Monument
  21. Houston Mesa Campground – Tonto National Forest (Payson)
  22. Christopher Creek Campground – Tonto National Forest (Payson)
  23. Ponderosa Campground – Tonto National Forest (Payson)
  24. Point of Rocks RV Campground – Prescott
  25. White Spar Campground – Prescott National Forest

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