Guide to Camping in Arizona

Camping in Arizona

Camping in Arizona

The state of Arizona is home to a wide range of natural beauties just waiting to be explored. From vast canyons to pine forests and mountains, Arizona has a little of something for every camper. But before you start packing your bags and booking flights to Phoenix, this guide will help you prepare for your wonderful trip to the great wilderness of Arizona.

What is there to do in Arizona?

There are a lot of things to do in Arizona for those looking to enjoy the outdoors. The Colorado Plateau north of Arizona is ideal for hiking with your friends or family. If you’re packing your fishing rod with you, lakes and rivers are in abundance in the state, even in the southern desert.

Arizona is home to many parks and forests filled with beautiful red rock canyons. Plus you’ll find tall alpine woods that stretch as far as the eye can see. Deserts and rocky badlands in the south are just waiting to be experienced and explored by those willing to brave the Arizona heat.

In short, there is a lot to do in Arizona.

Camping in Arizona

What to do in Southern Arizona?

Camping in Arizona
Camping in Arizona

When most people think of Arizona, they think of vast deserts and arid badlands. While there is some truth in this assumption, there are still areas in Arizona that are relatively cool.

If you’re a hardcore explorer itching to travel across harsh terrain or just someone looking for a little heat in their travels, the south of Arizona is home to large numbers of campsites that cater to that.

If you intend to go camping in Southern Arizona, you have to prepare some essentials. Be sure to bring lots of water and a first aid kit. Since much of southern Arizona is a hot desert, research heatstroke prevention, and first aid. It helps to come prepared.

Camping in Arizona

The Sonoran Desert Near the Southern Border of Arizona

It hosts a lot of campsites dedicated to desert activities such as hiking, rock climbing. 

Suppose you’re the type to be interested in camping it out in the desert. In that case, the Organ Pipe National Monument in the Sonoran Desert is worth a visit.

The National Monument is a 517 square kilometer wilderness area that houses the Organ Pipe cactus. This unique cactus looks like an organ-pipe instrument.

The National Monument is a mostly arid desert with some pockets of heavy vegetation and rocky outcrops. Desert hike routes in the park are open to campers who’d wish to hike in the desert and see its unique flora.

If mountaineering is more your thing, the mountains surrounding Tucson are ripe for climbing. The Rincon Mountains is a mountain range relatively close to Tucson and offers a good hiking experience to both beginners and experts. The range is open to campers and hikers all year round. It is home to many beautiful forests, canyons, and rock formations.

The mountain range’s summit, Rincon Peak, is isolated and hosts a challenging hike. The hike to the peak is sure to offer a challenge to the experienced mountaineer.

Bring a fishing pole with you? Southern Arizona has a surprising amount of places to fish despite it being mostly desert. The Gila River near Phoenix has an abundance of places to fish.

Patagonia Lake, located at the very south of Arizona, is also a popular place to catch some fish and cool off in the desert heat. 

Camping in Arizona

What to do in Northern Arizona?

Camping in Arizona
Camping in Arizona

While the southern half of Arizona is home to deserts, its northern half is more diverse. 

Northern Arizona is dominated by high plateaus and canyons. The high altitude of northern Arizona makes the climate there milder than its southern counterpart. However, it can still be a little hot and arid in some areas.

The Grand Canyon, one of America’s most well known natural wonders, is located in Northern Arizona. The Canyon is visited by thousands of tourists yearly for its stunning beauty that stretches for as far as the eye can see.

If you ever find yourself in Arizona, you absolutely must visit the Canyon, it truly is a sight to see.
Camping in Arizona

East to the Grand Canyon the Horseshoe Bend

The Canyon’s red rock bends along the Colorado River in a symmetrical “U” shape similar to a horseshoe. Many hikers and campers make the trek through U.S Route 89 just to witness geological marvels.

Northern Arizona has an abundance of forests and mountains you can camp and explore. Humphrey Peak, just north of Flagstaff, is one of the highest points in all of the United States and is an extremely popular climb for experienced hikers.

The climate on the mountain and the surrounding wilderness is cold enough to snow. If you’re looking to enjoy some snowy fun, there are several ski resorts around Humphrey Peak.

If you’re looking to camp it out among the trees, Coconino National Forest south of Flagstaff is an excellent destination. The National Forest is home to not just a forest. Lakes, deserts, grasslands, and cold tundras can be found within the Forests’ borders.

Camping in Arizona

There’s a little of something for everyone in the National Forest. Hunters can hunt for elk, boar, and other big game in the wilds. Hikers and campers have a diverse set of landscapes to choose from for their camping adventures.

Those looking for a place to fish can go to the many lakes of the National Forest like Mormon lake or Long Lake.

The Coconino National Forest is home to the largest ponderosa pine forest in North America. The pine tree can reach a height of up to 235 feet and blankets the forest canopy with a dizzying array of branches. 


Ralph M

Writing articles about camping for your pleasure.

Camping in Arizona