Arizona Camping Cheat Sheet

Arizona Camping Cheat Sheet

Arizona is one of our favorite states to camp in. While camping is fun, finding the camping spot is sometimes not so fun. We’ve compiled a list of our top camping spots in Arizona. Looking for the best free camping? We’ve got a list of those too!

Paid Camping

Don’t get us wrong! We love as many free camping spots as possible! But to be honest, sometimes it just makes more sense to pay for a night or two at a developed campground! These spots were all located within walking distance of cool downtown areas, hiking, and National Monuments! Each campground even has the GPS Coordinates, so save this for the next time you go to Arizona!

Mather Campground

There are two sides at The Grand Canyon – South Rim & North Rim. While the north rim is less crowded and beyond beautiful – the south rim has more of the “action”. Mather Campground was perfect for putting us right in the middle of it all. Even though there are a lot of sites, they are spread out enough that it feels like you have more privacy than not. There is a good chance you will also be greeted by the local Elk. The spots do not have water or electrical hook ups! When you first enter into the campground there is a building that has coin operated showers & laundry. Shower at your own risk, I did shower with a baby turd. Gotta do what ya gotta do.

Our favorite part of this campground was that we didn’t have to move the bus if we didn’t want to! There is a trail that runs through the campgrounds to the visitor center, the Grand Canyon & the Village. Bring your bikes or put on your walking shoes!

Price: $18/night

Closest Town: Williams, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 36.049922, -112.120389

Wahweap RV & Campground

This is a great campground if you are headed to see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. They have a few loops: tent only, rv spots with no hookups, & rv spots WITH hookups. The price varies greatly depending on which you decide to go with. The best part of this campground? You have a BEAUTIFUL view of Lake Powell.

They have a laundry facility, coin operated showers (much cleaner than the Grand Canyon) and a sink to do dishes in! They also have restrooms at each of the loops that are very clean. There is something about a clean bathroom that just really makes or breaks a place.

While the spot we stayed at didn’t have hookups, you CAN run a generator when it isn’t quiet hours!

Price: $30-$80/night

Closest Town: Page, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 36.996915, -111.499193

Side note: This is a more expensive spot, BUT we were not able to find any dispersed camping around the area. Once we left, there were a couple spots leaving the area that we felt we may have been able to boondock but don’t hold us to that! If you want to check it out, 36.938161, -111.496130.

Dead Horse Campground

Our favorite campground in Northern Arizona! This was a great spot just outside of Sedona (30 minute drive with no traffic) at the Dead Horse Ranch State Park. We absolutely loved staying here and stayed for two nights. They have spots that have hookups and some that don’t. We opted for the spot that didn’t to save some money, BUT you may not run generators here.

Everyone who was at the campground was extremely friendly, the area was quiet and peaceful. It felt like we were on vacation! The bathrooms were very clean and they had free hot showers! The campground also has access to trails that will take you to the Tuzigoot National Monument.

Price: $20-$30/night

Closest Town: Cottonwood, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 34.752595, -112.020626

Desert Tortoise Campground

A great stopping point in between Wickenburg and Phoenix. As you get closer to southern Arizona, you’ll begin noticing that camping possibilities start to get limited. This was the closest (non-rvpark) spot we can find as we neared Phoenix.

Between this campground and the Roadrunner Campground, they have 145 camping sites (developed, semi-developed and tent). Prices vary depending on site, but we would consider this a reasonably priced spot. We stayed on a semi-developed site which has no electrical or water, but does provide a canopy shade cover, picnic table, and generator use.

Keep an eye out for burros!! Wild donkeys are all around here, and if you take a walk on one of the nearby trails, you’re bound to see a whole handful of them!

While this campground is located around the edge of Lake Pleasant, the water has been low for years and you cannot see the water from the campground. We did hear that the water levels were rising!


Price: $22 per night

Closest Town: Peoria, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 33.860113, -112.302528

Tombstone Dry Campground

If you plan on visiting Tombstone, this is the place to be!! Very cheap, located right next to downtown, and very few other people!

We found this site online when we were looking for an inexpensive place to stay near Tombstone. The campground is essentially two dirt lots where you can park and stay just 1/4 mile from the action.

It’s important to note that there is no electrical or water hookups here. There is also no bathroom facility in the lot (closest one is 1/4 in town (7am-6pm))

Price: $10 a night

Closest Town: Tombstone, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 31.711131, -110.068981

Bonita Canyon Campground

Easily one of our favorite campgrounds!

Located near the visitors center of the Chirichua National Monument, this campground has 25 non hookup sites, restrooms, garbage, and fresh water locations spread throughout the campground.

For the price and location, we were very happy. The campground connects you to hiking trails that will take you to all the places in the monument area. There are over 17 miles of hiking trails so don’t forget your hiking shoes!

***Chirichua National Monument is a MUST SEE!!!

Closest Town: Wilcox, AZ

Price: $20 per night

GPS Coordinates: 32.011125, -109.355535

Free Camping

Flagstaff (NE) (Near 2 National Monuments)

This spot is located 7 miles North of Flagstaff and just minutes from two different National Monuments (Sunset Crater National Monument & Wupatki National Monument)! There are a handful of free camping spots near here, and if you drive a 4×4 vehicle there are even more.

There was a lot of privacy here with a lot of space to let your dogs run. The close proximity to the National Monuments as well as Flagstaff makes this a top notch free spot!

Closest Town: Flagstaff, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 35.364796, -111.583618

Flagstaff Dispersed (NW)

If you’re looking for a great spot near Flagstaff look no more! There are a ton of spots near this area. The first GPS coordinate is the spot we stayed at with no one around. The second GPS coordinate is within a mile of the other spot, but has LOTS & LOTS of people. Depending on what kind of camping experience you want, there’s two options.

* This area is protected and with that there are absolutely no fires allowed*

Closest Town: Flagstaff, AZ

GPS Coordinate (No people): 35.276284, -111.716081

GPS Coordinate (Lots of people): 35.267480, -111.704720

Rim Rock (Near Sedona)

About 20 minutes South of Sedona, this is a great spot (limited number of sites) spread out near the Bell Trail. We loved this spot because we could leave our bus and camp setup and walk to the trailhead and back.

Montezuma Well is near here too! Don’t skip it!

*Important to note that spots are limited (4×4 vehicle will give you more options)*

Closest Town: RimRock

GPS Coordinate: 34.664054, -111.727820

Sedona

Sedona is a HOT spot for everyone and their mother. There are some campgrounds on the other side of Sedona, but they are extremely popular and seasonal due to weather.

This is one of the few areas you will be able to camp for free and be somewhat near Sedona (22 min drive). There are a lot of spots, but spots tend to be fully locked down by 3 or 4 pm, so get their early!

Nice spot for the sunrise and sunset, but be ready to share your “area” with one or two other people trying to camp too!

Closest Town: Sedona

GPS Coordinate: 34.846071, -111.913810

Mingus Mountain Dispersed

We were looking to camp near Prescott for a couple nights and found this hidden gem. Coordinates take you up Mingus Mountain. This FS Road has about 10 camp spots to choose from. After about 1.5 miles the road gets pretty rough and you’ll stop seeing camping spots. Pack in & Pack out territory!

*If you don’t like windy roads, you might not want to go here!!*

Closest Town(s): Jerome (10 miles) and Prescott (29 miles)

GPS Coordinates: 34.695201, -112.143883

Desert Dispersed

Pretty solid camping right outside of Wickenburg! A dirt road will take you about 4 miles to an ATV area. South Rincon Road has a couple of spots right away, anything after the first 1/4 mile will most likely require a 4×4 (depends how gutsy you are!). We did see more camping going on up the road by people who were able to access them by truck.

The only con here was all the people riding around on their dirt bikes and quads. For the most part you won’t notice them, but at night when everyone is loading up their trailers it can get a bit noisy.

Closest Town: Wickenburg

GPS Coordinates: 34.038190, -112.743080

Massive Cactus Dispersed

The most cactus we’ve seen! This camp spot is in BLM area, where there are around 20 sites. The Road is good for the first section and then after about 10 camp sites you’ll get into the 4×4 area section of road.

Overall this was one of our favorite spots. There might even be more cactus here than at the Saguaro National Park (don’t tell anyone ;)).

Closest Town: Red Rock, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 32.610508, -111.214524

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

Home to a bird migration area unlike any other! This area gets visited from bird watchers all around the world, as 20,000 sandhill cranes make there way here for winter.

Located 100 yards from the Whitewater Draw Wildlife walking paths, you’ll find four free and awesome camp spots! There is traffic of people coming in and out, but if you get one of the three spots to the South of the bathrooms it’s not much of a biggie.

There is no running water or electrical hookup, but there are two bathrooms, garbage dumpster, and a picnic table. If all four spots are taken, there is overflow camping up the road.

Closest Town: McNeal, AZ

GPS Coordinates: 31.560623, -109.718819

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