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The Best Places for Camping in Arizona

You’ll find a little bit of everything when camping in Arizona. From lakeside camping to cactus dotted desert views to the majesty of the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon State has a whole lot to offer tent campers and RV campers alike.

So, pack up your tent or dust off your RV, here are the best places to camp in Arizona on your next trip.

camping in Arizona

Best Places for Lake Camping in Arizona

Camping lakeside is one of our favorite ways to cool down from that hot sun. With a variety of both small and large lakes, you’ll find the perfect setting for your Arizona camping vacation.

a boat enters a narrow channel in Lake Mead in Arizona
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area: A must-visit for camping in Arizona with activities like Hoover Dam tours and hiking trails. Campgrounds offer single/group sites with amenities like restrooms, picnic tables, grills, and RV sites with full hookups.
  • Jacob Lake National Recreation Area: Located near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, offering hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Campsites feature grills, picnic shelters, restrooms, and fire rings.
  • Apache Lake: In Tonto National Forest, offering boating, fishing, and hiking. Campgrounds include picnic tables, restrooms, water hydrants, and a boat dock, but no electric hookups.
  • Saguaro Lake: Surrounded by cacti, offering boat access camping with amenities like grills and tables. Other campgrounds offer car camping for tents and RVs.
  • Canyon Lake: A desert oasis with swimming, water sports, and camping for tents and RVs. Each site has picnic tables, grills, and fire rings, and pets are welcome.
  • Fool Hollow Lake Campground: Off-the-beaten-path campground with boating, hiking, swimming, and fishing. Amenities include concrete pads, fire rings, and picnic tables, along with restrooms and showers.
  • Lynx Lake Campground: Nestled in a pine grove, offering boating, camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring, but no RV sites or hookups.
  • Patagonia Lake State Park: Serene lake for wildlife viewing and boating, with campsites featuring picnic tables, fire grills, and parking. Some sites can accommodate any size RV, and there are 12 secluded boat-accessible campsites.
  • Squaw Lake: Near the Colorado River, offering hiking, swimming, fishing, and boating. Campground amenities include restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and grills.
  • Lake Havasu State Park: Beachfront campsites with showers and restrooms. Each site has a 50 amp hookup, picnic table, shade armada, and fire ring, with attractions like the historic London Bridge nearby.

Best Places for Free Camping in Arizona

Although free campsites don’t have many bells and whistles (most are completely primitive), they are prefect for those that prefer quiet wilderness solitude. Luckily, free camping in Arizona isn’t at all had to find.

Beautiful canyon views in Arizona
  • Airplane Flat Campground: Located in Tonto National Forest, offers some of the best free camping in Arizona among Ponderosa pines with access to Canyon Creek. Vault toilets available, no other amenities.
  • Alderwood Campground: Family-friendly spot with swimming holes and shade along Haigler Creek. Vault toilets, no water or other amenities.
  • Blue Crossing Campground: In Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, offers hiking in Blue Range Primitive Area and wildlife viewing. Two sites have Adirondack shelters, with toilets and picnic tables.
  • Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area: Ideal for RV boondocking, with hiking and birdwatching. Pit toilets and picnic tables available, bring your own water.
  • Herb Martyr Campground: In Coronado National Forest, offers quick access to hiking, waterfalls, and Cave Creek Canyon. Toilets available, bring your own water, short walk from parking area.
  • Loy Butte Road: In Coconino National Forest near Sedona, offers beautiful views and dispersed camping. No amenities, be prepared for rough camping.
  • Granville Campground: In Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests off the Coronado Trail, well-maintained with drinking water, toilets, picnic tables, grills, and trash cans. Shaded by cypress, aspens, and oak trees.
  • Lower Juan Miller Campground: Another shaded site in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests with picnic tables, grills, trash cans, and toilets.
  • Pinal & Upper Pinal Campgrounds: In Tonto National Forest, offer free camping with access to hiking trails and shade from pine and fir tree stands. Toilets available, bring your own water.
  • Box Wash Campground: Near Wickenburg, Arizona, offers space for large RVs, hiking trails, and easy access to town. No amenities, but beautiful desert views.

Best Places for Tent Camping in Arizona

My personal favorite way to camp in Arizona is a tent. Not only can a tent help you stay cool on hot summer days, but it also provides amazing views of the stars at night. Luckily, there are a lot of great places to go tent camping in Arizona.

Rainbow at Lost Dutchman State Park 
  • Lost Dutchman State Park: Nestled in the Superstition Mountains, this park offers scenic hiking trails and campsites equipped with picnic tables, grills, and fire pits for both tents and RVs.
  • Havasupai Campground: Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, this popular site near the Grand Canyon features stunning waterfalls and requires advanced permits due to its high demand.
  • Aspen Campground: Situated in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, this campground offers wooded and meadow sites near Woods Canyon Lake, with amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and water.
  • Mogollon Rim Campground: Shaded by ponderosa pines, this campground offers views of the Mogollon Rim and is near Woods Canyon Lake, with amenities like water, trash pickup, toilets, grills, and picnic tables.
  • Cave Springs Campground: Located in the Coconino National Forest, this campground offers access to Slide Rock State Park near Sedona, with views of the canyon and access to Oak Creek.
  • Monument Valley, The View Campground: Offering RV and tent sites with stunning views, this campground also provides a camp store, restrooms, and showers, with guided tours of Monument Valley.
  • Hospital Flat Campground: In the Coronado National Forest, this campground offers wildflowers and desert views, ideal for tent camping at a low nightly fee.
  • Lee’s Ferry Campground: Minutes from the Grand Canyon with access to the Colorado River, this campground offers RV and tent sites, flush toilets, and boat access along the river.
  • Manzanita Campground: Bordering Oak Creek near Sedona, this small campground offers fishing, swimming, and hiking trails, with amenities like fire rings, grills, picnic tables, and pit toilets.

Best Places for RV Camping in Arizona

An RV camping trip is one of the best way to see the entire state of Arizona without breaking the bank. Here are 10 of our favorite RV parks and campgrounds to find your perfect home away from home.

RV near cactuses in Arizona
  • Meteor Crater RV Park: Stay at the Meteor Crater RV Park to explore the well-preserved impact site, nearly 1 mile across, and other northern Arizona sites.
  • Islander RV Resort: Located on Lake Havasu, offering beaches, boat docks, pools, and golf nearby, with options for all rig sizes and mountain or lake views.
  • Butterfield RV Resort: Base camp for exploring Tombstone, Kartchner Caverns, and Tucson, with amenities like a pool, spa, and observatory.
  • Kaibab Camper Village: On the north rim of the Grand Canyon, offering shaded campsites in a pine grove, full hookups, and access to hiking and horseback riding.
  • Rancho Sedona RV Park: Close to Sedona, with shaded campsites by Oak Creek, offering electric, water, sewer, WiFi, and recreational activities.
  • Catalina State Park: Offers hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing, with RV sites providing water, electric, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and showers.
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Temple Bar Marina RV Park: Home to Hoover Dam, offering fishing, boating, and hiking, with full RV hookups, restrooms, showers, and a camp store.
  • Kartchner Caverns State Park: Tour caves and visit Tombstone, with RV campsites offering electric hookups, water, picnic tables, trash receptacles, restrooms, and showers.
  • Wahweap RV and Campground: Off Lake Powell, offering boating, fishing, and resort town exploration, with full hook-up sites for RVs up to 70 feet long.
  • Tombstone Territories RV Resort: Offers hiking, riding, ATV, and biking trails, plus pools, exercise facilities, and scenic views.

Time to Go Camping in Arizona!

Arizona offers a diverse range of camping experiences, from the stunning vistas of the Grand Canyon to the tranquil waters of Lake Havasu. Whether you’re looking for a rustic retreat or a luxurious glamping experience, Arizona has something for every camping enthusiast. Explore the rugged beauty of the desert landscape, hike through majestic forests, or relax by a picturesque lake—the choice is yours.

So pack your gear, hit the road, and discover the natural wonders that await you in the great outdoors of Arizona. For all your camping needs, be sure to check out our camping archive!

Les Rayford

Friday 28th of August 2020

I would like to hammock camp...where should i go?


Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Looking to take a trip in January. Want to do some hiking, tent camping but nothing too extreme. Would love to be on/near a lake. We do not have an RV. Preferably spend 2-3 nights. Which area do you think would be the best for the weather in January?


Thursday 28th of September 2017

Hey Ryan, Patagonia Lake State Park is a good option. The temps are pretty mild still there even in January. When you go, let us know where you end up and how it turns out! We'd love to see some pics too.


Tuesday 25th of April 2017

I would also recommend Big Lake's campgrounds. Located in the Apache-Sitgreavers National Forests, you have Apache Trout CG with hookups along with Grayling, Brookchar and Cutthroat CGs. All surround the big beautiful Big Lake.


Tuesday 25th of April 2017

Thanks for the suggestion Suzi! Sounds like there's plenty of room there, I'll have to check it out.