The summer travel season is slowly coming to an end but don’t fret! In our state, you still have a couple more months to enjoy a night under the stars before you need to start adding snow chains to your tires. If you’ve been wanting to enjoy a night or more camping in our vast wilderness, here are a few suggestions for where to get started.
These sites not only are accessible and great for newbies, but they also offer some beautiful views. Actually, is there anywhere in Arizona you can’t find an incredible view?
1. Ashurst Lake Campground
A pretty view outside of Flagstaff, this spot is great for camping, fishing, and bird watching. The facilities here are basic with just toilets and drinking water but the sights make up for it. Camping starts at $16 per night. From Flagstaff, take Forest Highway 3 for 19 miles, then turn left onto Forest Road 82E.
2. Canyon Point Campground
Another great site for beginner campers, this place is located about 35 miles east of Payson via Highway 260. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, potable water, and plenty of spaces to cook your food over a fire. It’s a huge camping site and very popular, so we recommend making reservations to make sure you don’t have to turn around. Overnight camping starts at $18.
3. Fool Hollow Lake Campground
If the possibility of getting eaten by wild animals has prevented you from trying out camping--in addition to not having a shower for a few days--this may be a good place to start. You can enjoy the forest scenery of the White Mountains within a huge campsite that offers flush toilets, showers, potable water, grills, and other nearby amenities. This area is a popular site so the constant human presence may be enough to keep animals at a distance. Also, if the kids get bored, there are two playgrounds within the site as well. To get here from Show Low, drive westbound on Highway 260, then turn right onto Old Linden Road. From here, drive a little more than a half mile to Fool Hollow Lake Road to the entrance of the recreation area.
The lake is beautiful, even in the evenings.
4. Hannagan Meadow Campground
Located in eastern Arizona, a little more than 67 miles north of the mining town Morenci, this area is routinely referred to by campers and journalists as the prime recreation area in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. It sits a short distance from US-191 and doesn't require a camping fee, although they do accept donations. In this area, you’ll probably have a high chance of spotting wildlife and the trails are plentiful but arrive early! Campsites are first come, first served and the amenities are basic--they have toilets but water is limited.
5. Kaibab Lake Campground
You’ll find plenty of beautiful sights here and there’s the benefit of some recent renovations at this campground. Among the on-site amenities are drinkable water, toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables. You can reserve a spot and camping fees start at $20. To get here from the 40, exit north onto AZ-64 and drive about 1 mile to the campground entrance.
6. Lost Dutchman State Park
When the weather cools down a bit, this is a great location for desert camping. The park has 134 sites plus flush toilets, showers, and grills to help make your stay a little more comfortable. To get here from Phoenix, take the US-60 eastbound then exit at Idaho Road. Drive north then turn right onto Apache Trail.
7. Lynx Lake Campground
Just fifteen minutes from Prescott, this area is a beautiful escape from urban life. This place is popular though, so you will want to reserve your spot at $18 per night. There are toilets and drinking water available on-site, plus plenty of spots to cook up a fish or two for dinner. From Prescott, head east on US-69 then turn south onto Walker Road. The campground will be on your left.
8. North Rim Campground
If you’re looking for a good beginner experience to camping, this may be a good place to start. Not only are you staying on-site at the Grand Canyon but there are plenty of amenities, including flush toilets, showers, grills, and a general store. Reservations are required here and start at $18 per night. The drive is about four hours from Flagstaff; drive north on US-89 to US-89A, then exit left onto AZ-67. From here, you’ll drive south approximately 42 miles and the campgrounds will be to the right.
The store on-site has plenty of the basics in stock that you may need for a comfortable stay.
Where is your favorite place to camp in Arizona? Let us know in the comments.