15 Best Places to Camp in Arizona - Travel Happy RV

15 Best Places to Camp in Arizona

Dec 13, 2022 | Arizona RV Destinations, RV Destinations

Arizona has thousands of miles of backroads and an excess in public land, making it a great place to camp with lots of beautiful locations. 

Whether you’re a seasoned Arizona camper or looking to plan your next trip, we’ve got the best places to camp in the beautiful Arizona outdoors.

These camping grounds are located around the state and make for a great base for your vacation and excursions to big cities nearby. They are located near local landmarks so you can explore, relax or do both.

1. Lockett Meadow Campground – Coconino National Forest

Image from fs.usda.gov

If you like back to basics camping, Lockett Meadow Campground in Coconino National Forest is a good choice. The site offers amazing views of the San Francisco Peaks and you and your family can enjoy dry camping among the aspen trees that surround the forest.

In our opinion, this is one of the best places for fall camping and enjoying wildlife. Lucky campers have sighted porcupines, elks and even black bears around the area. The campsite also allows mountain biking and hiking the Inner Basin Trail. 

This is a good RV camping Arizona site but you can also opt to use tents. Pets and campfires are allowed and there are toilets within the campgrounds. There is no freshwater available so you will have to bring your own. 

Things to:

  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Nature watching
  • Fall photography/viewing
  • Off roading
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Boating

2. Mogollon Rim Campground

Canyons, vistas, creeks, waterfalls, mountain ranges and forests, the Mogollon Rim Campground has them all. Sitting around 2,000 feet above rugged ground, the campsite is a popular vacation spot especially during summer months mainly due to the cooler temperatures and fantastic views.

Campers will find themselves surrounded by Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Quaking aspen and Bigtooth maple. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer, black bear, coyote and other wildlife.

The Mogollon Campground has 26 sites with a campfire ring, grill and picnic table. Other amenities include: vault toilets, drinking water and trash service. Campers can opt to sleep in their tents, pop-up campers, trailers, and motorhomes.

Our pro tip: book early during the summer months as it is popular among families. 

Things to do:

  • Visit the Rim Lakes
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Mountain biking
  • Kayaking and paddleboarding

3. Williams, Arizona

There are a lot of beautiful campgrounds and RV camping Arizona spots in Williams, Arizona. For instance, Kaibab Lake Sites And Group Areas is a popular spot for fishing, picknics and motorhome campers. It is located near Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim and is one of the best spots in Arizona to view the summer night sky.

While you’re in Williams, make sure to visit Historic Route 66. There’s 6 blocks of shopping, dining, historic buildings and souvenirs.

Another spectacular campground is A Spark in the Dark campground. You and your family can enjoy 40 acres of desert, mountain and prairie views. The campground is described as “primitive plus” where you can experience boondock-style camping with extras like hiking, looking at the Milky Way and viewing wildlife.

The campsites are pet friendly and RV friendly. Book early during the summer month.

Things to do near or in Williams, AZ

  • Visit nearby Grand Canyon South Rim
  • Go to Cataract Lake and Kaibab Lake
  • Go fishing in Williams Lake
  • Visit Snow Bowl Ski Resort
  • Go hiking in Kaibab National Forest

4. Cottonwood, Arizona

Cottonwood is one of the best places to camp in Arizona. Like Williams, Cottonwood has a lot of amazing campgrounds. Take Rio Verde RV Park for example. The site is located 15 minutes away from Sedo. The site has numerous hiking trails and is a great option if you love to go ATVing. You can bring your own or you can rent one at the site.

Verde Valley RV & Camping Resort is located near downtown Cottonwood and is a large and well known RV camping Arizona spot. The campground has a large clubhouse and each site has mountain views.

Things to do in Cottonwood:

  • Tuzigoot National Monument
  • Old Town Cottonwood
  • ATV Rentals
  • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  • Prescott National Forest

5. Camp Verde, Arizona

Page Springs Vineyard, Camp Verde Arizona

Camp Verde is a great place to camp because there’s several RV parks and lots of attractions nearby. You can easily drive into Sedona for the day or go wine tasting. It’s also close to Old Town Cottonwood which has lots of eclectic shops, dining.  

One of the best campgrounds in the area is Classy Glamping Jackpot Ranch for those who prefer not to “rough” it out. You and your family can enjoy queen sized beds, air conditioning, electric heaters and mini propane pits.

Campers who want access to the Verde River will like staying at the Rancho Verde RV Park. Just 10 miles south of Cottonwood, the resort has a beautiful rose garden and you can go boating and swimming whenever you want.

Things to do in Verde Valley:

  • Wine tasting on the Verde Valley Wine Trail
  • Out of Africa Wildlife Park
  • Jerome Mining Town
  • Montezuma Castle National Monument

6. Sedona, Arizona

Renting an RV is one of the best ways to explore Arizona. It is also one of the best ways to experience the old west and the frontier. As a desert town, you would think that it is sweltering in Sedona. However, summers are actually mild compared to the rest of the state. Visitors also enjoy the beautiful rock formation and cliffs that surround the area.

If you’re looking for an RV camping Arizona site, Zane Grey RV Village is a beautiful campground to stop and relax. They offer gaming options and birding adventures. The site has laundry, restrooms and shower facilities as well as free WiFi. 

Sunrise Resorts of Arizona is a good option for families. Events hosted around the year include ice cream socials, arts & crafts activities, horseshoe tournaments, and potlucks. The site also has game rooms and playgrounds for kids to enjoy. You can opt to stay in your RV, tent or book a cabin, making it a good choice for non-campers too. 

Things to do:

  • Montezuma Castle National Monument
  • Fort Verde State Historic Park
  • Out of Africa Wildlife Park
  • Camp Verde’s Historic Downtown
  • Hiking
  • Pink Jeep Tours

7. Lake Powell 

Set up camp along the shores of Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The Lake is the second largest man-made reservoir and there are hundreds of miles of shoreline waiting for you to explore.

The best thing about Lake Powell? There is no camping fee and it’s open all-year round. RV campers and pets are welcome. Aside from exploring the shoreline, you and your family can enjoy scenic boat tours, go kayaking or paddleboarding or just sunbathe by the beach. 

Things to do:

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  • Glen Canyon Dam
  • Lees Ferry Historic Site
  • Lake Powell Tribal Park- Antelope Canyon
  • View the Horseshoe Bend

8. Lake Havasu State Park

Located on the shores of Lake Havasu is Lake Havasu State Park with its white sand beaches, panoramic views of the lake and mountains beyond. This is a good campground choice for boaters and boat lovers because they have boat ramps available to all watercraft users and courtesy boat docks at launch ramps. 

Campground amenities include 47 tent and RV sites including 50 amp electric hookups and drinking water available at all sites. Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, dump station and on-site boat ramp use are included in camping fees. 

The lake is not just for campers, there are also camping cabins with river views of the Colorado River. This is one of the best places to camp in Arizona for families especially those who do not want to bother with an RV or camping supplies.

Things to do in Lake Havasu:

  • London Bridge
  • Boating
  • Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair
  • Lake Havasu Boat Show
  • Bluegrass on the Beach

9. Benson, Arizona

Benson located 45 miles east-southeast of Tucson has a number of amazing camping grounds. One of the best places for RV camping Arizona is Butterfield RV Resort & Observatory. It has a clubhouse, fitness center, library, putting green and woodshop. Restroom and laundry facilities are also located on-site. Most importantly, the resort has a university grade telescope in their observatory, andis free to use for guests.

Valley Vista RV Resort is another good option. They have 145 sites and it is just minutes from the famous OK Corral in Tombstone where the historic 30-second shootout happened between Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the McLaurys and Clantons. The campground is also near Kartchner Caverns State Park to see the beautiful limestone caverns. 

Things to do in Benson:

  • The Kartchner Caverns
  • Close to Tucson
  • Pima Air & Space Museum
  • Visit local wineries of Sonoita & Elgin in the Santa Cruz Valley

10. Tombstone, Arizona

Tombstone is famous for its wild wild west history and camping sites like the Tombstone RV Park & Campground is just 1 mile from Boot Hill and the Historic district. The camping grounds has sites for RV and tents, laundry and bathroom facilities, dog park, heated pool, corrals for horses, propane and camping cabins and cowboy suites. 

If you want to be within walking distance of historic downtown Tombstone, Stampede RV Park offers full RV hook-ups for any size rig, tent camping and rustic cabins for non-campers. One of the best features of this resort is their breakfast. Everything on the  menu is not only affordable, they are homemade. Our favorites include their breakfast sandwich and homemade sausage, gravy and biscuits. 

Things to do in Tombstone:

  • Watch OK Corral Gunfight in The Streets of Tombstone Theater
  • Visit the 1880s museum of Arizona’s oldest newspaper that’s still publishing today
  • Big Nose Kate’s Saloon
  • Bird Cage Theater – take the Day Tour or Paranormal Tour
  • Rose Tree Museum

11. Strawberry, Arizona

One of the best places to camp in Arizona is in Strawberry. Bob Bear (formerly Fossil Springs) Trail-No. 18 is the entryway to the headwaters of the Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River and the Fossil Springs Wilderness on the Tonto and Coconino National Forests. It was closed last year due to a fire but has recently reopened. 

There are campgrounds within the Tonto and Coconino National Forests but you need to contact them for timing and reservation. Because of the fire, access to areas of the park and Bob Bear are prohibited and some of them are for day-use only. The only facility is the toilet at the trail head so be prepared to rough it out.

Campers and hikers are advised to review the park’s Spring-Summer Guide as well as the Fall-Winter Guide for more information. 

Things to do:

  • See Waterfalls at the Fossil Creek
  • Visit The Strawberry Schoolhouse: “Arizona’s “oldest existing schoolhouse”
  • Buy a Drink at Windmill Coffee
  • Visit the Pine-Strawberry Museum

12. Payson, Arizona

Payson is best known for their rodeo. It is a laid-back mountain town and is one of the best places for RV Camping Arizona. One of their most popular campsites is the Payson Campground and RV Resort. They have 95 sites with full hookup, WiFi, game room, shower, restroom and laundry facilities. 

Another great option is the Ponderosa Campground. It is named after the ponderosa pine trees that release a pleasant vanilla like scent in the air. The campsite is near Woods Canyon Lake, a popular recreational lake especially with boaters. They have 48 single campsites as well as group campsites that can accommodate up to 25 people each. 

Things to do:

  • Wildlife sightings
  • Fossil collecting
  • Horseback and mule riding
  • Tonto Fish Hatchery
  • Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
  • Boating and watersports
  • Rodeos

13. Black Canyon City

Located just 22 miles outside Phoenix metropolitan is Black Canyon City. It used to be a stage stop and supply center for prospectors in the Bradshaw Mountains. This quaint mining town has several good campgrounds in the area like Black Canyon Ranch RV Resort. This pet-friendly camping ground has amenities to make your stay more comfortable. Guests can enjoy their pool, fitness area, gas grills, on-site coffee and eatery, dog park and cozy fire pits.

Black Canyon Campground is another popular choice. They accommodate campers with big rigs or one-man tents. Amenities include a convenience store, propane sales, dump station, pool, playground, dog park and a spacious 10 acre property. They also have air conditioned cabins that can serve as your home away from home.

Things to do:

  • Bumblebee Ranch Adventure
  • Red Rock Springs Farmers Market
  • Aqua Fria National Monument

14. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is home to the Grand Canyon and is one of the best places to camp in Arizona. The park has a lot of camping sites which can cater to RVs, tents and other forms of camping. Due to its popularity, all campers are requested to book at least 6 months in advance. Not all campgrounds are open all-year round which is another reason to check the National Park Service Campgrounds website.

The South Rim is located on the Arizona side.  It is very busy during the summer season and campgrounds are usually booked solid. Luckily for RV camping Arizona lovers, the Trailer Village in the South Rim is open all-year round and offers full hookups. The Mather Campground also in the South Rim is a large campsite perfect for tent camping. They don’t have hookups there but laundry and shower facilities are available. 

There are also hotels and lodges located within the park for non-campers to enjoy.

Things to do:

  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Mather Point
  • Trail of Time
  • Kolb Studio and Hopi House
  • Bright Angel Trail
  • Grand View Point
  • Moran Point
  • Desert View Watchtower
  • Hermit’s Rest
  • South Kaibab Trail

15. Flagstaff

Just minutes away from downtown Flagstaff is Flagstaff KOA Holiday. It’s a great spot to enjoy views of the mountains and ponderosa pine trees. The campsite has a 55′ Max Length limit for motorhomes, dog park, propane and WiFi. Aside from RVs, they have tent and group sites as well as lodgings available. 

Freidlein Prairie Dispersed Camping has 14 designated campsites along the Freidlein Prairie road for dispersed camping. All campsites have  a place to park, fire ring, a place for a tent and no fees. However, most of the sites cannot accommodate an RV, the sites are also small and can only hold 2 vehicles. 

  • Hiking trails
  • Wildlife sightings
  • Bike rentals
  • Playground
  • Pine Tree Cafe (Flagstaff KOA Holiday)
  • Aquaplex

Always Respect the Places You Camp 

Travel Happy RV recommends great places to camp and endorses the camping lifestyle. And in order to keep all camping sites beautiful, we have to practice Leave no Trace Ethics during our adventures by following the local laws, cleaning up after yourself (don’t litter!), and keeping nature natural.

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