8 Best Places to Go Camping in Arizona

One of the great things about camping in Arizona is that it’s not limited by the changing seasons. Although not all campgrounds in the state are open year-round, the climate here means you don’t have to put away your camping gear when winter arrives. In fact, in some parts of the state, fall and winter are the best times of the year to camp.

Although Arizona is perhaps best known for its deserts and incredible rock formations, this is also a land of pine forests, trout streams, and peaceful lakes. If you’re looking for a sun-splashed adventure, here are the best places to go camping in Arizona:

Grand Canyon National Park (Mather Campground)

Arizona is home to one of the country’s most incredible natural wonders: the legendary Grand Canyon. The park tends to be very busy (especially during summer) so expect to make camping reservations far in advance. There are several camping options within the national park—including dispersed camping and RV-friendly sites—but one of the most popular campgrounds is the South Rim’s Mather Campground. The sites here welcome both tents and RVs, but there are no water or electric hookups.

Where: Grand Canyon, AZ (South Rim)

Sites: 319 (tent and RV) plus several group sites

Amenities: Fire rings, drinking water, toilets, showers, dump station, camp store, laundry

Reservations accepted? Yes. (Strongly recommended.)

Grand Canyon National Park (Trailer Village RV Park)

If you want to explore Grand Canyon National Park but want a campsite with full RV hookups, consider Trailer Village RV Park. This privately run campground is the only full-service RV campground located within the park. (It’s also conveniently close to the popular South Rim.) The paved, pull-through sites can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long and offer 30 amp and 50 amp services. Unlike some other Grand Canyon campgrounds, it’s also open year-round so you can book a trip in the quieter (less crowded) seasons.

Where: Grand Canyon, AZ

Sites: 123 (tent and RV)

Amenities: Picnic tables, water and electric hookups, and toilets plus all the amenities found at Mather Campground

Reservations accepted? Yes

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

When the Ireys family moved from Minnesota to Arizona in the 1940s, they considered several ranches before settling on one that, unfortunately, had a dead horse laying in the road. In 1973, the Ireys’ ranch became a state park and while the name is unusual, the scenery is stunning. Located along the Verde River, the park has 10 miles of hiking trails and a large campground. It’s also just a 20-mile drive to the iconic red rocks of nearby Sedona. Once you’ve explored Dead Horse Ranch, you can also hike, bike, or go horseback riding on the 15-mile Lime Kiln Trail that connects the park to Red Rock State Park.

Where: Cottonwood, AZ

Sites: 123 (tent and RV) plus camping cabins

Amenities: Restrooms, showers, water and electric hookups

Reservations accepted? Yes, recommended.

Cave Springs Campground

Coconino National Forest (Cave Springs Campground)

Although Coconino National Forest includes a lot of pine trees, there’s more diverse scenery here than the name suggests. That’s because this incredible national forest covers more than 1.8 million acres—and includes red rocks, desert, alpine tundra, lakes, and streams. One of Coconino’s most popular campgrounds is Cave Springs, just 12 miles from Sedona. Tucked in a forested canyon, this campground offers plenty of scenery and shade along with access to the cool (trout-filled!) waters of Oak Creek.

Where: Sedona, AZ

Sites: 84 (tent and RV)

Amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, toilets, showers, drinking water

Reservations accepted? Yes

Catalina State Park

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far off the beaten path to experience wilderness. Catalina State Park is just minutes away from Tucson but offers plenty of ways to connect with nature and disconnect from daily life. Using the park’s campground as your jumping off point, explore the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the neighboring Coronado National Forest. There’s a lot of desert flora and fauna to see here (including more than 5,000 saguaros!) plus hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

Where: Tucson, AZ

Sites: 120 (tent and RV)

Amenities: Picnic tables, grills, water and electric hookups, restrooms, showers, dump station

Reservations accepted? Yes

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument // Credit: National Park Service

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

The Arizona Office of Tourism calls Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument one of its “under the radar” parks. In other words, if solitude and scenery are what you’re after, this could be the park for you. This spot on the U.S./Mexico border is the only place where the otherworldly organ pipe cactus grows. Twin Peaks Campground (the larger of the park’s two campgrounds) offers sweeping views of the surrounding desert and volcanic mountains. (For a more rugged camping adventure, Alamo Campground offers four tent-only sites that are first-come, first-serve, and there are nine backcountry camping zones.) There are hundreds of miles of scenic drives in the park as well as hiking trails and pristine stargazing opportunities.

Where: Ajo, AZ

Sites: 208 (tent and RV)

Amenities: Toilets, solar showers, drinking water, dump station

Reservations accepted? Yes (But April–December, sites are first-come, first-serve.)

Lake Havasu State Park

In southern Arizona, the mighty Colorado River widens into Lake Havasu, one of the most popular recreation destinations in the state. If your ideal getaway involves boating, fishing, swimming, or relaxing on the beach, you’ll find plenty to do at Lake Havasu State Park. Three boat ramps allow easy access to the lake and a sandy swimming beach is perfect for kids. The campground also has some beachside campsites. If you’d prefer more comfortable overnight accommodations, the park also has 13 cabins that can sleep up to 4 adults or a 6-person group with children.

Where: Lake Havasu City, AZ

Sites: 47 (tent and RV) plus 13 cabins

Amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, water and electric hookups, shade shelters, restrooms, showers, dump station

Reservations accepted? Yes

Chiricahua National Monument (Bonita Canyon Campground)

Chiricahua National Monument is described as “a wonderland of rocks” because of its remarkable stone pinnacles that rise up from the canyon floor and its array of shallow caves and ancient lava flows. There’s even a volcanic caldera—a 12-mile crater—south of the park that was created by a volcano millions of years ago. The park’s campground, Bonita Canyon, has just 25 sites, so reservations are recommended. (It’s also worth noting that no RVs/campers over 29 feet are allowed.)

Where: Willcox, AZ

Sites: 25 (tent and RV)

Amenities: Picnic tables, drinking water, restrooms, bear-proof food lockers

Reservations accepted? Yes