Top 38 Arizona Campgrounds

The Top 38 Arizona Campgrounds that made the list for our KEY Guide to Arizona’s Campground are detailed here for you. Try them out on your next ‘roughing-it’ getaway in AZ.

Arizona’s reputation for boundless desert terrain doesn’t exactly cultivate thoughts of most typical camping trips! After all, the collective camping ideal involves relaxing in the shade of sprawling pine trees in a mountainous setting, with squirrels scampering about, ample hiking trails, plenty of wildlife, and a peaceful lake or stream to fish amd swim nearby. Surprisingly, wandering this great state reveals that Arizona actually has ALL of that! Whether you have a sentiment for the saguaros in southern Arizona or a passion for ponderosa pines in the northern parts, Arizonans (and Arizona visitors from near and far) enjoy some of the most picturesque campgrounds in the country. The best part is… you can access them year-round! To ensure that your next Arizona campout is an amazing adventure, we’ve taken the time to list our favorites!

NORTHERN ARIZONA

Clear Creek Campground (CAMP VERDE)

Just outside the small, but entertaining town of Camp Verde, along the banks of serene Clear Creek, sits this cozy campground where campers can fish, wade, and watch wildlife under the generous shade of the cottonwood trees.  Pick your pleasures because there’s a lot to do in the nearby town of Camp Verde, including Cliff Castle Casino, Out of Africa Wildlife Park, or Montezuma’s Castle.  Tent and RV accessible. Open year-round, first come, first served, $18/night.  877-444-6777 or https://www.recreation.gov/camping/clear-creek

Dead Horse Ranch Campground (COTTONWOOD)

Pay the ominous name no mind.  This campground is known to be a tranquil state park along the meandering Verde Valley river.  The centerpiece of several lagoons, Dead Horse Ranch is a scenic area for nature enthusiasts.  Best known for bird watching, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and canoeing, this park has much to offer.  Family friendly, with swimming holes, creek walks, and a big playground, your kids are sure to make some fun memories at this one!  Centrally located to a variety of nearby attractions including: Sedona, Pink Jeep Tours, Tuzigoot National Monument, Jerome State Park, and Red Rock State Park.  Tent & RV camping with hook-ups available.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $20-$35/night, 928-634-5283 or  https://azstateparks.com/reserve/dead-horse/camping/

Lynx Lake (PRESCOTT)

A popular camping destination, Lynx Lake offers fishing, boating, hiking, wildlife observation, horseback riding, and mountain biking, all within the outskirts of the delightful little town of Prescott.  Close by; enjoy restaurants, shopping, arts, and crafts, and regular festivals that take place in town throughout the year.  Tent and RV spaces available.  Open April 1st – Oct. 31st.  Reservations required at $18/$36 night, 877-444-6777 or https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/prescott

Manzanita Campground (SEDONA)

If you were to ask, “Where’s the best campground in Arizona?” Manzanita would be at the top of the list!  Shaded creek-side camping, hiking, wading, fishing the trout-stocked creek, and day-tripping to a Slide Rock’s natural waterslide make this a “can’t-miss” family destination.  With its mixture of glistening ash and pine trees all near the majestic red rocks of Sedona, Manzanita also offers some of the most spine tingling scenery, especially when the fall leaves appear.  Visit nearby Sedona for shopping, restaurants, Red Rock Trolley tours and Sedona Air Tours  Tent sites only.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $22/night. 928-203-2900 or https://www.recreation.gov/camping/manzanita-az

Lockett Meadows Campground (FLAGSTAFF)

Sitting just below Flagstaff’s alluring San Francisco Peaks, cooler weather and gorgeous surroundings await you.  Bring your camera, this campground will not disappoint with a wealth of wildlife photo opportunities.  Lockett Meadows is for the bona fide free range camper who delights in the primitive, dry camping experience.  Hike to the heart of an ancient volcano, stumble across the occasional porcupine, and relax in fresh outdoor breezes.  Tent sites only. Opens in spring.  First come, first served at $16/night.  928-523-0866 or https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=55136

Ashurst Lake (FLAGSTAFF)

Secluded in the back hills of Flagstaff sits a campground flecked with ponderosa and aspen pines.  Set back 18 miles off the main road, you’ll find fishing, seasonal hunting, bird and wildlife watching, and even windsurfing!  The road to Ashurst Lake also offers ample disbursed camping opportunities, extremely popular with off-roading adventurers.  Exploring the area, we stumbled upon a man-made off-roading track that draws ATV’ers and dirt bikers alike.  Right around the corner, get a good glimpse of the stars and planets at Lowell Observatory astronomical research center! Open season: Mid-May – Mid-Oct..  Free disbursed camping on the road to Ashurst during off-season provided roads are clear.  For the campground, tent & RV sites available, dry camping only.  First come, first served at $18/night. 928-527-3600 or https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=5494

Kaibab Lake Campground (WILLIAMS)

Among the pines and grass-lined shores, colored with wildflowers in the spring, lies Kaibab Lake.  This campground is popular for its successful fishing, significant hiking, and family picnicking.  Williams is an excellent “center point” destination between Flagstaff’s cultural and historic sites and Grand Canyon’s memorable views.  Take a walk on the wild side encountering live bears at Bearizona Wildlife Park or take a train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway!  Tent & RV sites available, dry camping only. Opens April 27th.   Reservations required starting at $24/night.  928-699-1239 or https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/kaibab/recarea/?recid=11659

Lee’s Ferry Campground (PAGE/LAKE POWELL)

Pitch a tent or park your RV at this hidden gem located on the banks of the Colorado River.  Relax under the stars with cool breezes and the sound of flowing water! This well-rounded campground offers fishing, swimming, hiking, climbing, kayaking, rafting, tubing, and boating.  Great location for a “home base” to surrounding historic and geologic attractions such as the extraordinary Horseshoe Bend.  No hookups.  Open year-round.  First come, first served at $20/night + park admission. 928-608-6200 or https://www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/camping.htm

Wahweap Campground (LAKE POWELL)

Located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation area near Lake Powell, Wahweap offers a variety of outdoor admirer pleasures.  With water toys, fishing, hiking, swimming, kayaking, or taking a boat tour of the aw-inspiring Antelope Canyon, you won’t be lacking for things to do!  Both tent and roomy full-hookup RV sites available.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $30 & up.  888-896-3829 or https://www.lakepowell.com/rv-camping/wahweap-rv-campground/

The View Campground/Goulding’s Campground (PAGE)

Along the Arizona-Utah border, immerse yourselves in the iconic Monument Valley’s impressive sandstone buttes. Considered THE “poster child” of western films, this area is one of the most photographed and filmed points in Arizona.  Tent and RV sites available, although, only Goulding’s offers full hookups.  Full restrooms with showers accompany both parks, convenient stores, and even a pool (Goulding’s only) accommodate guests.  View it by air with Arizona Scenic Tours.  Open year-round, Fees $30+, reservations required for both.   The View Campground, 435-727-5802, Goulding’s Campground or 435-727-3235

Mather Campground/Trailer Village/Kaibab Camper Village/ North Rim Campground/Havasupai Falls (GRAND CANYON)

If camping near one of the seven wonders of the world is on your bucket list, the Grand Canyon has you covered!  Pitching a tent in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon isn’t just a camping trip… it’s a life-time experience!  With so much to do, plan to stay for several days.  Shopping, restaurants, museums are ample in the small village.  Biking trails, hiking trails, and some of the best photo ops the world has to offer, are just a few other activities included.    So, which campground is the best to camp at while taking in the magnificent sites?  The area is so well kept it feels like the “Disneyland” of nature, so you really won’t go wrong with any pick.  However, depending on what you have in mind for camping, i.e. tent vs. RV is another story…We break it down for you here:

Mather Campground (SOUTH RIM)

The largest, most popular, “keeps you in the mix” campground on the South Rim is Mather campground.  THE only campground offering shuttle stops to and from the magnificent Grand Canyon and area’s amenities, keeping you fully immerged in the experience.  Tent and RV sites available. Open year-round.  Reservations required from Mar. 1st – Nov. 30th.  First come, first served during non-peak season.  Fee depends on type of site starting at $18 & up/night.  928-638-7888 or https://www.recreation.gov/camping/map_of_Mather_Campground

Trailer Village (SOUTH RIM)

Is camping completely “plugged in” the only way to camp in your book?  Then this is the place park it!  Trailer Village is the ONLY campground that offers full hookups on the South Rim!  Electric, cable TV, and water & sewage hookups available.  Open year-round.  Reservations required from Mar. 1st – Nov. 30th.  First come, first served during non-peak season.  Fee depends on type of site starting at $36 & up/night.  877-404-4611 or https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/trailer-village-rv-park

North Rim Campground (NORTH RIM)

If you like to visit attractions minus all the crowds, the North Rim is the answer to your prayers! Still boasting its vast beauty among the ponderosa pines and aspens disbursed throughout, you get the best of both worlds with this park.  Hiking, biking, and snowshoeing are popular activities.  Tent and RV’s welcome.  Reservations required from May 15th – Oct. 31st.  Weather permitting, first come, first served during non-peak season.  Fees $18-$25/night.  877- 444-6777 or  https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cg-nr.htm

Kaibab Camper Village (NORTH RIM)

Camping with comfort… this park is the ONLY North Rim park offering full RV hookups!  Tent sites and cabin rentals available in the Kaibab National Forest adjacent to Jacob Lake surrounded by beautiful meadows.    A lodge with restaurant, lounge, and gift shop on also the premises.  Reservations required from May 14th – Oct. 15th.  Weather permitting, first come, first served during non-peak season.  Fees $18-$25/night.  928-635-5251 or https://kaibabcampervillage.com/

Havasupai Falls (SUPAI VILLAGE – GRAND CANYON)

If your physical capabilities permit, Havasupai Falls is an essential!  This camping expedition is for the experienced “pack it in/pack it out” camper because you will be hiking to your camping destination!  An 8-mile hike to Supai Village and another 2 miles to your destination will land you at the foot of one of the most stunning backdrops you could ever imagine!  Set up camp along the aqua blue banks of Havasu Creek and take a swim in the crystal-clear waters, while under the stars.  You’ll be left feeling as though you were a part of something supernatural!  Area also accessible by mule & helicopter for extra charge.  Reservations required.  Fees starting at $57/person/night. 928-448-2141 or https://www.havasupaireservations.com/

SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Catalina State Park (TUCSON)

Catalina State Park earns its popularity due to its flourishing desert gardens, canyons, streams, and striking display of the Santa Catalina Mountains located in the Coronado National Forrest.  The park is loaded with 5,000 saguaros and desert plants that invite wildlife from near and far.  With over 150 species of birds, birding is a favorite activity at this park.  If time permits, plan a visit to a world record setting, artificial ecological system experiment known as Biosphere 2.  Although the project was not as successful as desired, the remaining compound is truly something to behold.  Tent and RV sites with full hookups available.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $30/night.  877-697-2757 or https://azstateparks.com/catalina

Gilbert Gray Campground (TUCSON)

Located in Tucson Mountain Park, this campground is a popular area due to its proximity to Tucson.  Offering many activities from hiking to biking, archery, hunting, shooting range, equestrian access, and wildlife viewing, boredom is an impossibility.  Be sure to allow time for the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum during your stay.  Tent and RV sites with full hookups available.  Open year-round.   First come, first served at $10-tent/night $20-RV/night.  520-724-5000 or http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=1327

Rose Canyon (MT. LEMMON)

The Catalina Mountains are home to many 4.5 star and higher campgrounds.  Rose Canyon takes the cake, not for its overwhelmingly peaceful, beautiful surroundings, but because they really hold the idea of, “customers first!”  The camp hosts are some of the most accommodating people you will ever come across, which is nice to know you’ll be well cared for.  Rose Creek meanders through the area, settling in Rose Canyon Lake where ample fishing awaits.  A canopy of tall ponderosa pines and lush green Gamble oaks shelter the area making it a great way to beat the heat of the valley below.  Tent and RV sites without hookups available.  Open mid-Apr. to late-Oct.  First come, first served at $22/night.  520-576-1477 or https://azstateparks.com/reserve/patagonia-lake

Kartchner Caverns State Park (BENSON)

Indulge your curiosities of the mysteries of stalagmites and stalactites with this unique camping experience.  Kartchner Caverns is the world’s longest living cave, hosting 2.4 miles of passages!  Especially popular with families, this campground offers tent and RV sites with full hookups.  Do some cave exploration, hit the Discovery Center and dine at the Bat Cave Café for an afternoon of fun!  Reservations required at $30/night. 520-586-4100 or https://azstateparks.com/reserve/kartchner/camping/

Patagonia State Park (NOGALES)

Photos of this park do not do it justice!  Nestled in the hills of Southern Arizona lies an enchanting lake with an enticing sandy beach.   Boat, kayak, or canoe under the charming bridge enjoying the greenery that engulfs the area. Take an afternoon stroll along the babbling Sonoita Creek, swim, hike, or bike to your heart’s content.  Reservations required.  Fees starting at $27/night.  520-287-6965 or    https://azstateparks.com/reserve/patagonia-lake

WESTERN ARIZONA

Lake Havasu State Park (LAKE HAVASU)

Kick back and enjoy some fun in the sun.  Beach access, swimming, fishing, boating, grassy areas, playgrounds, lighthouses, and a direct path to the London Bridge keeps campers coming back to this park!  Tent and RV sites available with full-hookups.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $40+/night.  877-697-2757 or https://azstateparks.com/reserve/lake-havasu/camping/

Cattail Cove State Park (LAKE HAVASU)

Tucked away among the hills, resting along the shores is one of the prettiest campgrounds Lake Havasu has to offer.  Relax on the beach, take a swim, go for a hike, fish, rent a boat, jet skis, or jeep; the sky is the limit, so plan to have a great time!  Open year-round.  Tent & full hookup RV sites available.  Reservations required at $30/night.  928-855-1223 or https://azstateparks.com/cattail-cove

Havasu Landing Resort & Casino Campground (LAKE HAVASU)

Just want to have a down-right good time in a laid-back atmosphere?  Fish by day and play all night; with social events including movie nights, restaurant and deli, ferry rides, and a casino onsite, Havasu Landing is all about that! Open year-round.  Reservations required at $20+/night for tent and $35+/night for full-hookup RV sites.  760-858-4592 ext. 242 or http://www.havasulanding.com/campground.html

River Island State Park (PARKER – COLORADO RIVER)

Just off the Colorado River, sitting below the scenic mountains, is a little cove known for its fun water sports including swimming, boating, kayaking, and fishing.  Bask in the sun while taking in the gorgeous scenery in this well maintained and exceptionally spacious campground offering both tent and RV sites with full hookups.  Bathrooms & showers available.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $30/night.  328-667-3386 or https://azstateparks.com/reserve/river-island/camping/

Squaw Lake Campground (YUMA – COLORADO RIVER)

Escape the desert heat and spend the day in the comfortable, cool waters of the Colorado River.  Offering direct access to the river, Squaw Lake is known for its water recreational activities including: boating, fishing, jet skiing, swimming, and hiking.  RV and tent sites available.  Open year round.  No reservations required at $15/night.  928-317-3200 or https://www.blm.gov/visit/squaw-lake

CENTRAL ARIZONA

Lost Dutchman State Park (APACHE JUNCTION)

The first “desert” campground we fell in love with!  Just below the towering Superstition Mountains is this meticulously kept campground with sprawling campsites, a ton of hiking trails, and quail families galore that are quite entertaining to watch.  Legend has it, still to remain, is a mine full of gold.  The story kept our kids on the lookout the entire time we were there!  Within a mile, you will find plenty to do with the kids at Goldfield Mine Ghost Town and Superstition Mountains Museum.  Take a scenic drive just 10 minutes up the road to take a swim or fish at Canyon Lake. Tent and RV sites available with full hookups.  Showers onsite.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $20+/night.  480-982-4485 or https://azstateparks.com/reserve/lost-dutchman/camping/

Canyon Lake Campground (APACHE JUNCTION)

One drive into this campground and you’ll feel like you’ve just encountered the best family reunion ever!  Patrons are incredibly friendly and seem like they’ve been going there for years.  Sites are situated along the grass-lined shores of the emerald waters with beautiful mountains displayed behind.  Definitely make some time to take a ride aboard The Dolly Steamboat for a grand tour of the lake where you’ll encounter layers of cliffs and canyons, with thriving plant and animal life.  Both tent and RV sites available with hook-ups. Open year-round.  Reservations required at $35 – $65/night. 480-288-9233 or http://www.canyonlakemarina.com/campground/index.htm

White Tanks Regional Park (WADDELL)

With 30,000 acres of rugged mountain terrain, the White Tanks, hands down, win the prize for most hiking!  If you hit the park at the right time of year, you’ll witness a waterfall in the middle of the desert!  Bring the kids because the geological finds and the natural desert flora surrounding this area are an fun to explore!  They offer quite a few events and activities that take place throughout the week at their wonderful library and nature center on the premises.  Just fifteen minutes east, experience Arizona’s largest exhibit of wild animals at the Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium Safari Park.  Campsites are spacious and inviting.  Both tent and RV sites with hook-ups available.  Bathroom and showers onsite as well.  Open year-round.  Reservations required at $32/night. 623-935-2505 or https://maricopacountyparks.org/white-tank

Lake Pleasant Regional Park (MORRISTOWN)

A frequent favorite, Lake Pleasant is a great “staycation” escape during both the summer and winter months here in Arizona.  Rolling mountains, clear water, lots of hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, or just floating, you’ll feel relaxed and refreshed the entire day.  Be prepared to see their local families of mules that routinely grace the campsites with their presence.  Tent and RV sites with full- hookups available. Open year-round.  Reservations required at $22+/night. 602-506-2930 or https://maricopacountyparks.org/lake-pleasant

Estrella Mountain Regional Park (GOODYEAR)

This history-rich campground sits at the base of the Estrella Mountains located just thirty minutes out of Phoenix.  Acquired through the Gadsen Purchase, this area became the first U.S. Government established Indian Reservation prior to the Civil War. Estrella Mtn. Regional Park is located near the meeting point of the Gila and Agua Fria rivers, which includes a wetland area with plenty of bird watching.  Traveling just a mile east, enjoy a day of catch and release fishing of bass, tilapia, carp, and catfish.  Other activities include mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, golfing at Tres Rios Golf Course, which offers 18 holes of traditional championship golf, or catching a baseball game at the Goodyear Ballpark!  Tent or RV on developed sites.  Water & electric hook-ups available.  Open year-round, reservations required.  Tent – $8/night + Park Entrance Fee, RV full hook-ups – $32/night.  623-932-3811 or https://maricopacountyparks.org/estrella

EASTERN ARIZONA

Just outside of Payson is the ever-so-popular Mongollon Rim.  From the Phoenix area, this is by far the most desired area to escape to a mountain retreat with cooler weather.  The rim is a 200-mile long cliff that ranges between 5,000 -7,000 ft. in elevation that creates a distinctive divide between cool, high country and hot, dry desert.  Intermixed with meadows and wooded areas, the area is home to seven campgrounds that surround the noteworthy Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes.  With lakes full of trout and the occasional large-mouth bass, multitudes of pines and aspens, abundant hiking, and cooler temperatures, it’s no wonder this place is always busy!  Luckily, it’s replete with campsites, many of which are first come, first served disbursed sites, that suit just about everyone’s needs!

Christopher Creek (MONGOLLON RIM)

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Arizona anymore.”  Just below the red rocks of Mongollon Rim lies a campground along the banks of the cool, crisp, Christopher Creek that begs the question whether you’ve left the state!  Perhaps it’s because it drops down into a “valley” among the pines, junipers, and oaks, this wonderful area seems like the skies are bluer and the trees are greener.   Stocked trout fishing, hiking, horseback riding, wading, or swimming in one of the facilities three swimming holes will have you occupied your entire visit.  Open May 7th – Sept. 27th.  No reservations required $20/night.   928-468-7135 or https://www.recreation.gov/camping/christopher-creek

Blue Ridge Campground (MONGOLLON RIM)

A fishing lover’s dream, the Blue Ridge Reservoir boasts Rainbow, Brown, and Brook trout!  That’s not all this campground has to offer.  There is plenty to do for just about anyone.  For adventurers, there is hiking and mountain biking.  If you just want to relax, the sightseeing is phenomenal!  From elk, bear, deer, eagles, and your basic ground squirrels, this place is ideal.  Tent or RV access available.  Open May 7th – Sept. 27th.  No reservations required, $8/night.  928-477- 2255 or https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=54896

 Aspen Campground at Woods Canyon Lake (MONGOLLON RIM)

Elk, chipmunk, and bald eagle approved, Aspen Campground is richly packed with wildlife!  On any given morning, wake up to see deer grazing in your spacious site, which is always a plus in our book!  Great kid’s programs, paved trails to the lake if you choose to bike, fishing, hiking, and boat rentals too! Tent or RV access available.  Open May 7th – Sept. 27th.  Both reservations and 27 first come, first served sites available.  928-333-4301 or https://www.recreation.gov/camping/aspen-az

Sinkhole Campground at Willow Springs Lake (MONGOLLON RIM)

Given its precarious name, one would question whether if it was worth the effort, but we assure you, it most definitely is!  Sinkhole is another campground located in the beautiful Mongollon Rim area with vibrant views and cooler temperatures.  The entire area is home to a considerable amount of wildlife and many hiking trails.  Tent or RV access available.  Open May 7th – Sept. 27th. Both reservations and first come, first served sites available.  928-535-7300 or https://www.recreation.gov/camping/sinkhole-campground 

Shush Be Tou & Shush Be Zahze (Little Bear & Big Bear) Lake (WHITE MOUNTAINS)

Our absolute favorite, the quintessential campground.  With their large campsites, shaded by enormous ponderosa pines right on the water, there is nothing more gratifying!  Excellent fishing, super hiking, amazing area for exploring near the charming towns of Pinetop/Lakeside and Greer; offering that “mountain-town” feel.  Satisfy your “big city” cravings with Hon-dah Resort and Casino nearby.  Tent and RV dry camping available. Open May 15th – Sept. 15th. First come, first served.  Camping Permit required from local vendors at $9/night. 928-338-4346 or http://www.camparizona.com/campsites/whitemtnscampsites

Hawley Lake Campground (WHITE MOUNTAINS)

Considered the “Jewel of the White Mountain Apache Indian Tribe,” travelers come from all over to camp at this campground!  This 300-acre lake is trout fishing heaven, stocked with rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat.  Surrounded by mountain peaks and wooded forests, campers enjoy mountain temperatures and a slower pace.  Tent and RV dry camping available.  Open year-round.  First come, first served.  Camping Permit required from local vendors at $9/night. 928-338-4346 or http://www.camparizona.com/campsites/whitemtnscampsites/Hawley

Fool Hollow Lake (SHOW LOW)

This well-loved campground is situated in the heart of Show Low, but you would never know it by its peaceful, amazing surroundings!  Its paved “easy in and easy out” spaces are ideal for both tent and RV campers.  Plenty of camping spots to choose from among the tall ponderosa pines, all within walking distance to the lake.  Fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are some favorite activities to do here.  Catch some amazing photos of the deer that feed on the mountain flora by the lake in the early morning hours. Full hookups onsite.  Restrooms with showers available.  Open year-round. Reservations required at $20-$35/night. 928-537-3680, https://azstateparks.com/reserve/fool-hollow/camping/

by Kirstin Conlon, Arizona KEY Magazine’s creative contributor and camping afficionado