Camping Arizona at X'mas - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-14-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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We're getting serious about hitching up and driving Calgary to Arizona at X'mas. We are the type to have a general plan in mind but neither my wife nor I really like to get our vacation down to the nitty-gritty detail. With that in mind we really don't know where we will be come evening. Don't really want to get caught out with no place to camp so hopiong some of you can help out. How difficult is it to get a camping spot on the spur of the moment in Arizona over the X'mas holidays?
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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I'm by no means an expert on Arizona camping but I think it depends on where you intend to stay. If you're looking for a commercial campground with hookups, etc. then reservations are recommended. Some will be full over the holidays and at times throughout the winter. That said, you'll always be able to find a spot in the desert like Quartzsite if you don't mind dry camping. Members of this group will host a rally there in mid-February if your stay will stretch that far. Check the Rallies, Get-Togethers ... section of the forum for more info. if interested.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
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I'm by no means an expert on Arizona camping but I think it depends on where you intend to stay. If you're looking for a commercial campground with hookups, etc. then reservations are recommended. Some will be full over the holidays and at times throughout the winter. That said, you'll always be able to find a spot in the desert like Quartzsite if you don't mind dry camping. Members of this group will host a rally there in mid-February if your stay will stretch that far. Check the Rallies, Get-Togethers ... section of the forum for more info. if interested.
Our trailer is set up to boondock, all we need is a place to get potable water and dump every few days. I don't understand camping in the desert. Is this like camping in the Forest Preserve in Alberta? You can just pull over almost anywhere and set up camp. How do I determine if I can camp someplace?

Unfortunately we will only be in Arizona from Dec 24 to Jan 2. If anyone else is in the area camping would love to hook-up.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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You asked, " Is this like camping in the Forest Preserve in Alberta? You can just pull over almost anywhere and set up camp. How do I determine if I can camp someplace?"

Basicly for BLM land, the answer would be yes, and if not there will be signs saying NO camping, etc. and sometimes it takes a permit to do so, or a small fee. Signs and pay box.

http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en.html

http://www.wildernet.com/pages/area.cfm?ar...BLM&CU_ID=1

http://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/quartzsite-blm.html

http://www.quartzsitebusinesschamber.com/camp.htm

http://www.roadcamping.com/rv/Arizona/Lake...ampgrounds.html

http://www.rv-camping.org/YumaAZ.html

In Yuma, not to camp, but to see: Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument by Ajo has camping but is out in the outback for sure. Never been there. OrganPipe Also in the area Why BLM Free Boondocking

Kortsen/West Pinal County Park Off I-8 Located on SR 84 about 1 mile east of I-8 exit 151. 15 miles from Ak-Chin Casino/Maricopa; 25 miles west of Casa Grande. Casino parking lot allows overnight parking in designated areas as well. Parking lot

Picacho Peak State Park Picacho

Tucson Mountain Park and Gilbert Ray Campground Camping and Catalina State Park sits at the base of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains. StatePark

Snider Hill - Free Boondocking and Free Campsites

The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum is really great (a zoo mainly without bars mostly) is over on the west side of Tucson by the Saguaro Nat'l Park and Old Tucson (the movie set/theme park). The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum is a must see for sure. DesertMuseum
OldTucson

Saguaro National Park near Tucson is great to see. Two sections seperated by Tucson. East and West. Nat'l Park

East Side one can camp at Colossal Cave.

These are some things I'd like to see DeGrazia Gallery & Tucson Museum of Art & Tucson Botanical Gardens & Sabino Canyon & Pima Canyon at End of Magee Road in Oro Valley; Pima Canyon rivals Sabino Canyon in grandeur, and it just never gets as crowded. From the parking lot at the end of Magee Road, the trail takes you into a pristine high-desert canyon that seems to be hundreds of miles from any urban area. You're likely to see most of the birds common to the Sonoran Desert such as cardinals, rock wrens and band verdins, but the real treat for any hiker is to watch the silhouette of a golden eagle soaring above the cliffs; if you're really lucky, you might even spot some Bighorn Sheep high on the rocks above you. You can turn around anytime, or decide to continue the strenuous hike all the way up to Mt. Lemmon. Also Colossal Cave.

And other Things to Do in Tucson.

East of Tucson by Willcox a free place to overnight Stout's Cider Mill & AZ Vistor Center

In the Bisbee/Tombstone Area, the town of Bisbee itself is neat to walk around in and we enjoyed the art galleries. The Queen Mine Tour was neat, we enjoyed it. Tombstone is a very tourist trap site, if you get my meaning. The old Court House was interesting. Tombstone was the site of a lot of wild west history, but is now very commercial. Neat Tour - Queen Mine
You could use Kartchner Caverns State Park - as base to see both Bisbee & Tombstone in a day trip. When we went to the area last, we stayed in a hotel off I-10 in Benson and did both as a day trip, then drove back to Las Cruces. It was my son-in-laws first time to see them.

Near Wilcox is The Amerind Foundation ( Amerind Art Gallery is Neat ) a ethnological, anthropological, archaeological museum and art gallery with paintings by 20th century Anglo and Native American artists. We enjoyed the art gallery and the museum. A neat out of the way, hidden site in the boulders of Texas Canyon. The Amerind is located in Cochise County, one mile south of Interstate 10, only about an hour east of Tucson, between Benson and Willcox. It is easy to find - just look for Dragoon Road exit, #318, and head south until you see mile marker 1 on one side of the road and the Amerind entrance on the other. Amerind.Org Cochise Strong Hold is in the same area, drove to it but did not camp, a nice setting. Cochise Stronghold

Chiricahua National Monument by Willcox is great, been there will go back. Chiricahua NPS but if rigs are too long for the Nat'l Mon Campground in the Coronado National Forest above it you can desperse camp for free.

Close by Chiricahua Nat'l Mon there is the neat ruins of a fort, some hiking to get to it. Fort Bowie National Historic Site is worth the 3 mile round-trip walk for the best experience of Fort Bowie National Historic Site. If you physically can not walk the trail, please contact the visitor center staff at 520-847-2500 for directions to the alternate access. Fort

Have some extra water storage for camping out in the desert. http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseacti...56.cfm#23450056

http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/ind...howtopic=13434

This site has proven helpful to me: http://www.freecampgrounds.com/

Not Arizona but desert camping: http://www.desertdutch.org/slabcity.htm

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/americana/slab-city

Good Luck!
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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Tamid, we "go west" instead of our usual Florida spots every few years. Last time out two years ago we decided not to book any campsites and just ramble. we had no trouble ...we got off the road about mid-afternoon and never got "shut out".
We came in from west Texas and through New Mexico to Arizona. Highlights: Kartchner Caverns SP...new, clean, spacious; Patagonia Lake SP...birding, fishing, and day trips to Mexico; Picacho Peak SP...vistas, hikes, and Rooster Cogburn's Ostrich ranch; Dead Horse Ranch SP...clean, spacious, near Jerome, Sedona, and a day trip to the Grand Canyon. Apache Junction is fun too.
Happy Trails & Happy Holidays........ Alistair
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:26 PM   #6
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Tamid,

You will have no issue in Arizona really, some parks are closed some open, the open ones are in the desert areas, you can p.m. me and I can send you my number. The resort areas in the Apache junction area are popular to the Canadian crowd for fees as is the Yuma area (Senator Wash area) on the boarder with Imperial Valley California.

Tuscon has lovely areas all year cheap and there are hot-springs, hot springs are also in the Camp Verde area too with cheap camping, Tonopah hot springs is small and I prefer it over Quartzite...

Casa Grande has spots as well cheap, some Arizona [b]winter spots were featured in [b]"camping and camp out reports" on this site this spring, so you can look up there some good spots.

Xmas is usually open to all...The camp grounds at Cherry went to no fee...

Anything below Williams or below Flagstaff, or below Payson are free of the cold snow...basicly below 5500 feet in elevation.

Wolf Creek (Prescott) is open and in the pines out of the snow, Goldwater lake area, Thumb butte area as well. I went thru that area yesterday, 2 campers out of the 30 spots, one host.

Along the Colorado from Kingman south are nice desert spots with solar showers, search by county name for the parks.

Need to know what you require too?

Today is Sunny and 58F.

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.
Harry (Prescott Arizona area)


Quote:
We're getting serious about hitching up and driving Calgary to Arizona at X'mas. We are the type to have a general plan in mind but neither my wife nor I really like to get our vacation down to the nitty-gritty detail. With that in mind we really don't know where we will be come evening. Don't really want to get caught out with no place to camp so hopiong some of you can help out. How difficult is it to get a camping spot on the spur of the moment in Arizona over the X'mas holidays?
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the links. One site I stumbled upon is by Marianne Edwards who writes books about shunpiking and boondocking and specifically has a e-book on Arizona. Not trying to put a plug in for her but I did purchase the Arizona e-book and would suggest anyone who desires to travel/camp this way might want to check her site out.

Now what I need is an itinerary of where to go and what to see. I would prefer to stay out of the cold as much as possible so I think we will be spending most of the time in south Arizona. Perhaps a day trip to Mexico.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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I think we will be spending most of the time in south Arizona. Perhaps a day trip to Mexico.
I highly recommend Bisbee, AZ.
I loved shopping the antique stores. There is a former bank whose basement vault houses used books. I think I spent 3 hours browsing there one Saturday afternoon. Do NOT miss the Bisbee Breakfast Club, a fabulous restaurant in the Lowell neighborhood.

When I was in Bisbee, I stayed at The Shady Dell.
They have one row of about 8 full hook-up campsites in addition to the permanent trailers they rent.

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There is another campground in town as well.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:37 PM   #9
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this place looks like a museum!
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:53 PM   #10
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We've spent several Christmases at Alamo Lake State Park. Full hookups. Mild desert winter climate. Fishing. Boating. A store with a pet burro that sticks his head thru the dutch door to see what you are buying. It's quiet. Out of the main stream but great Arizona winter camping. not crowded this time of year. Downside? It's not close to any towns. If you want to get a way for awhile, that's the place.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:58 PM   #11
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the dutch door
Thats a Mr. Ed door!

a Burro?

I am kinda near there, I should pop in for a look.
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:57 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the links. One site I stumbled upon is by Marianne Edwards who writes books about shunpiking and boondocking and specifically has a e-book on Arizona. Not trying to put a plug in for her but I did purchase the Arizona e-book and would suggest anyone who desires to travel/camp this way might want to check her site out.

Now what I need is an itinerary of where to go and what to see. I would prefer to stay out of the cold as much as possible so I think we will be spending most of the time in south Arizona. [b]Perhaps a day trip to Mexico.
Tamid:

You might want to check out http://www.mexpro.com/ if you are planning to go to Mexico.

Brian
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