“The Grand Canyon State” is an exceptional place to camp. It’s full of beauty in all regions of the state and incredible natural landmarks. Add in the range of climates and year-round warm weather in select locations, and Arizona attracts campers from all over the United States. RVs, travel trailers, camper vans, tents, and everything in between will find a site they love here.
The Best Camping near Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is a four-season destination for the most ardent of adventurers. The elevation isn’t for the faint of heart, but you’ll always be rewarded for your efforts when hiking and camping near the “City of Seven Wonders”. Surrounded by national forests and a short drive from Grand Canyon National Park, it’s hard to argue there’s …
Top Arizona Campgrounds by City
All types of campgrounds can be found in “The Copper State”. Whether you’re looking for a backcountry tent site tucked into the wilderness or a glamorous RV resort, you can find it in Arizona. Locations like Flagstaff offer elevation and cooler temperatures to escape the summertime temperatures, while Phoenix and Tuscon provide winter sanctuaries for snowbirds.
Where To Go Camping in Arizona
The Grand Canyon State is a lot more than one national park. While this giant, glorious hole draws millions of visitors a year, Arizona has a wealth of camping offerings. From wide-open desert spaces to luxurious RV parks, this state caters to all things outdoors.
Best Times to Camp All Year in Arizona
You can camp year-round in Arizona if you’re in the right spots. While the southern part of the state sees scorching temperatures well north of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the northern part tends to be much more moderate. If you camp during the late spring through early fall, Flagstaff and similar elevations are your best choice.
For mid-fall to mid-spring, you can migrate further south. Phoenix and the surrounding metro area tend to be a basecamp for fair-weather campers (snowbirds) heading into the state. Tucson is also popular for camping over the winter.
If you want to head to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you’re better off waiting for cooler weather. While the average July temperature is in the mid-80s, the bottom of the canyon is significantly warmer than the overlooks.
Whenever you visit, just remember that the Arizona desert is a land of extremes. You can find triple digits in the summer, but winter temperatures can drop well below freezing in higher elevations.
National Park Service Sites
There are 22 total National Park Service sites in Arizona, but not all of them offer camping. 10 of them have established campgrounds in some form. However, some parks, like Saguaro National Park, only offer primitive backcountry camping, so always confirm accommodations.
While some of the NPS sites don’t offer camping, they may be near national forests or BLM land, where you’ll find conveniently located outdoor accommodations. That does not hold true for all of these sites, nor for every day of the year, so be sure to double-check.
- Chiricahua National Monument
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
- Hubbell Trading Post
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area
- Navajo National Monument
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Saguaro National Park
Arizona is in the top 10 for states with the most national forests at six, tied with Mississippi and Utah. These national forests tend to have established campsites, though only some are open year-round. However, since they’re national forests, you can disperse camp any time of year, in areas that allow it.
- Coconino National Forest
- Tonto National Forest
- Kaibab National Forest
- Prescott National Forest
- Coronado National Forest
- Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Best Free Camping
Arizona has more federal land than 42 of the 50 US states. In fact, just under 39% of the state is federal land. For campers, this means that BLM land (and other free camping on public lands) is plentiful.
While you can park your rig just about anywhere on BLM, USFS, and other public lands, there are a handful of spots that should make the top of your list.
In the Coconino National Forest, Edge of the World and Schnebly Hill Road are two of the more popular free sites. If you want to avoid the most popular spots, find a place in the Superstition Wilderness or head to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.
State and Public Parks
Arizona has a wealth of not only state parks but also county and city parks. There are 33 total state parks, with some designated as state historic parks. While they all offer something unique, note that only 16 of them offer any camping or other lodging.
- Alamo Lake State Park
- Buckskin Mountain State Park
- Catalina State Park
- Dead Horse Ranch State Park
- Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area
- Homolovi State Park
- Kartchner Caverns
- Lake Havasu State Park
- Lost Dutchman State Park
- Lyman Lake State Park
- Patagonia Lake State Park
- Picacho Peak State Park
- Red Rock State Park
- River Island State Park
- Roper Lake State Park
- Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
RV Resorts and Unique Stays
Arizona caters to seasonal travelers with plenty of luxurious RV resorts and unique camping (as well as glamping) opportunities. While it would take quite a few trips to see all the hotspots for private camping and RV stops, there are a few that should be on the top of your list:
- Kaibab Camper Village
- Verde Ranch RV Resort
- Rio Verde RV Park
- Ride Out Ranch
- Sheep Wagon Glamping (book on Airbnb or VRBO)
- Cane Beds Corral Glamping
No matter what season you choose to visit Arizona, the state has something special to offer you. Whether you spend the night in an RV resort or a tent in the backcountry, there’s nothing quite like a desert sunrise.