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The Best Places To Go Camping In Arizona


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Kelcey Laughlin


Grand Canyon National Park

One of the most iconic and breathtaking natural wonders in the world, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination for camping enthusiasts. Located in northern Arizona, this UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts millions of visitors each year.


The Grand Canyon’s immense size and awe-inspiring beauty make it the perfect place for camping and exploring the great outdoors. There are several campgrounds within the park where visitors can experience the stunning views and serenity of the canyon.


One popular camping area is the Mather Campground, located on the South Rim. It offers a range of campsites suitable for tents and RVs, along with amenities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. Another option is the Desert View Campground, which provides a more rustic camping experience with fewer facilities but equally stunning vistas.


For those seeking a more secluded camping experience, the North Rim Campground is a great choice. This campground is only open during the warmer months and provides a quieter atmosphere with fewer crowds.


While camping at Grand Canyon National Park, there are endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking is a popular choice, with trails ranging from easy walks along the rim to challenging hikes down into the canyon. The park also offers mule rides, rafting trips along the Colorado River, and breathtaking helicopter tours.


When planning a camping trip to the Grand Canyon, it’s important to be prepared. The weather can be unpredictable, so packing layers is advisable. Additionally, bringing plenty of water, sunscreen, and sturdy footwear is essential for exploring the park’s trails. It’s also recommended to make campground reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons.


Camping at Grand Canyon National Park allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of one of the world’s most remarkable landscapes. Whether gazing at the sunset from the rim, hiking down into the canyon, or stargazing into the night sky, camping here is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.



Sedona, known for its stunning red rock formations and spiritual energy, is a picturesque destination that offers unique camping experiences in Arizona. Nestled amidst the Coconino National Forest, Sedona is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


There are numerous campgrounds and camping areas in and around Sedona that provide an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the surrounding nature. One popular camping spot is the Sedona Oak Creek Canyon, located just north of Sedona. It offers campsites bordered by lush vegetation, towering cliffs, and the serene Oak Creek. These campsites provide a peaceful retreat and easy access to hiking trails.


Another notable camping area is the Red Rock State Park, which offers breathtaking views of Sedona’s famous red rock formations. The campground within the park provides basic amenities such as restrooms and picnic tables, making for a comfortable camping experience.


For those seeking a more rustic camping adventure, the Coconino National Forest offers dispersed camping opportunities. With several designated dispersed camping areas, visitors can find a secluded spot to set up camp and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding wilderness.


While camping in Sedona, there are plenty of activities to engage in. Hiking is a popular choice, with trails like Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Devil’s Bridge offering spectacular views and unique rock formations. Additionally, there are opportunities for mountain biking, horseback riding, and jeep tours to explore the scenic landscapes.


Sedona is also known for its spiritual and wellness offerings. Visitors can partake in yoga retreats, meditation sessions, and energy vortex tours to experience the healing and rejuvenating powers believed to emanate from the surrounding red rocks.


When camping in Sedona, it is advisable to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent, as the desert environment can be harsh. It is also important to practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the fragile ecosystems in the area.


Camping in Sedona provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature, experience the spiritual energy of the red rocks, and witness the spectacular beauty of the region. Whether it’s gazing at the stars in the clear desert skies or hiking through the vibrant landscapes, camping in Sedona is an adventure that will create lasting memories.



Nestled in the Coconino National Forest at an elevation of 7,000 feet, Flagstaff is a charming city that offers a diverse range of camping opportunities in Arizona. With its unique combination of stunning natural beauty and outdoor adventures, Flagstaff attracts outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers year-round.


Flagstaff is home to several campgrounds that cater to different camping preferences. For those seeking a family-friendly camping experience, Flagstaff KOA offers a variety of amenities such as showers, laundry facilities, and a playground. This campground provides easy access to popular attractions like Walnut Canyon National Monument and the Lowell Observatory.


If you prefer a more rustic camping experience, consider exploring the Coconino National Forest. The Lockett Meadow Campground, located just outside Flagstaff, provides beautiful campsites amidst a meadow surrounded by dense forests. This area is known for its stunning wildflower displays during the summer months and its close proximity to walking trails that offer breathtaking views of the San Francisco Peaks.


Another not-to-be-missed camping destination near Flagstaff is the stunning Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The Bonito Campground in this area offers campsites nestled amongst the volcanic landscape, providing a unique and memorable camping experience.


When camping in Flagstaff, there are a plethora of outdoor activities to engage in. The city is located near the San Francisco Peaks, making it an ideal destination for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing in the winter months. The Arizona Snowbowl, located just outside Flagstaff, offers skiing and snowboarding opportunities during the winter season.


Flagstaff’s dark skies also make it a prime location for stargazing. Camping under the starry night sky and spotting constellations is a sublime experience in this area.


Flagstaff is also centrally located to several notable attractions, making it a great base for day trips. The Grand Canyon, Sedona, and the famous Meteor Crater are all within a few hours’ drive from Flagstaff, offering even more possibilities for outdoor adventures.


When camping in Flagstaff, it’s essential to be prepared for varying weather conditions. The higher elevation can result in cooler temperatures, even in the summer months. Layers of clothing, sun protection, and proper gear are recommended for a comfortable camping experience.


With its breathtaking landscapes, outdoor activities, and convenient location, camping in Flagstaff provides a remarkable opportunity to connect with nature and create unforgettable memories.


Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls, located within the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon, is a hidden gem that offers a truly unique and enchanting camping experience in Arizona. Known for its vivid turquoise waters cascading over the dramatic red cliffs, Havasu Falls is a breathtaking sight that captivates visitors.


Camping at Havasu Falls requires a permit, as access to the area is limited to protect the fragile ecosystem and preserve its natural beauty. To secure a permit, it is recommended to plan well in advance, as they can be difficult to obtain due to high demand. However, the effort is well worth it, as camping at Havasu Falls provides an unforgettable experience.


Once you’ve obtained your permit, you’ll embark on a challenging but rewarding hike down into the canyon. The journey takes you through a scenic desert landscape and exposes you to stunning views along the way. The final descent brings you to the Havasupai village, where you can check-in, set up camp, and begin exploring the area.


The campgrounds at Havasu Falls are nestled near the blue-green waters of Havasu Creek, creating a tranquil oasis in the midst of the rugged desert. There are several camping areas to choose from, each offering its own unique charm. Some sites are situated near the falls, allowing you to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of rushing water, while others provide a more secluded experience further downstream.


Swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Havasu Creek is a highlight of camping here. You can relax and cool off in the natural pools and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding cliffs. The main attraction, Havasu Falls, is a majestic 100-foot waterfall that cascades into a stunning turquoise pool, creating a stunning backdrop for photos and moments of pure awe.


Exploring the area around Havasu Falls is also a must. Mooney Falls, located about a mile downstream, offers a more adventurous hiking experience with its steep descent via a series of ladders and chains. The effort is rewarded with views of an impressive 200-foot waterfall and a secluded swimming hole.


While camping at Havasu Falls, it’s important to be respectful of the natural environment. Follow Leave No Trace principles, pack out all trash, and do not disturb the delicate flora and fauna that make this place so special.


Camping at Havasu Falls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to connect with nature in a truly extraordinary setting. The vivid blue waters, the towering red cliffs, and the peacefulness of the surroundings create a sense of wonder and tranquility that will leave a lasting impression.


Lake Powell

Lake Powell, located in northern Arizona and southern Utah, is a sprawling reservoir that offers a unique and expansive camping experience. With its crystal-clear waters, dramatic rock formations, and sandy beaches, Lake Powell attracts outdoor enthusiasts and water lovers from all over.


Camping at Lake Powell provides the opportunity to explore the vast shoreline and enjoy a wide range of water-based activities. There are numerous campgrounds scattered along the lake’s edge, offering stunning views and easy access to the water.


One popular camping destination is Wahweap Campground, which is located near the Wahweap Marina. This campground offers both RV and tent sites, along with amenities such as showers, picnic tables, and fire pits. From here, visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and even take guided tours to nearby attractions such as Rainbow Bridge National Monument.


Another notable camping area is Lone Rock Beach, known for its incredible sandy beach and beautiful sandstone formations. Here, you can camp right on the shoreline, enjoying the sound of gentle waves and breathtaking sunsets. Campers can also engage in activities like jet-skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and exploring hidden coves.


For those seeking a more remote and secluded camping experience, backcountry camping is available in designated areas along the lake. This allows for a true wilderness experience, where you can set up camp in a quiet cove and have a truly immersive nature experience.


When camping at Lake Powell, it’s important to plan for the desert climate. Make sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and protective clothing to shield against the sun’s rays. Additionally, respecting the Leave No Trace principles is crucial to preserving the natural beauty of the area.


Aside from camping, Lake Powell offers a variety of recreational activities. Visitors can rent boats or kayaks to explore the vast lake, fish for bass or trout, or embark on scenic hikes in nearby areas such as Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend.


Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway, an adventurous water sports experience, or a peaceful escape into nature, camping at Lake Powell provides endless opportunities to create lasting memories in a stunning and unique desert oasis.


Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park, located in northeastern Arizona, is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into ancient history and showcases spectacular natural wonders. Renowned for its vibrant petrified wood, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, this national park is a must-visit for camping enthusiasts.


One of the highlights of camping in Petrified Forest National Park is the opportunity to witness the unique beauty of the petrified wood. The park is home to countless petrified logs, which date back millions of years and have been transformed into sparkling, colorful stones. Gazing at these ancient remnants is like stepping back in time to an era when dinosaurs roamed the land.


The park features two developed campgrounds: the Painted Desert Visitor Center Campground and the Holbrook / Petrified Forest KOA. The Painted Desert Visitor Center Campground offers basic amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings. Its location within the park provides easy access to hiking trails and scenic overlooks. The Holbrook / Petrified Forest KOA, while located outside the park, offers a range of facilities including showers, a swimming pool, and even an on-site museum dedicated to the petrified wood.


When camping in Petrified Forest National Park, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. The park offers a variety of picturesque hiking trails that wind through the colorful badlands and lead to breathtaking overlooks. The Blue Mesa Trail, in particular, provides a unique experience as it takes you down into a vibrant, otherworldly landscape of petrified wood and clay formations.


Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the park’s cultural heritage as well. The park is home to significant archaeological sites, including ancient Native American petroglyphs and ruins. Visitors can explore these sites and gain insight into the rich history of the area.


While camping in Petrified Forest National Park, it’s important to be respectful of the delicate environment. Stay on designated trails, avoid touching or collecting the petrified wood, and adhere to park regulations to help preserve this unique ecosystem for future generations.


With its mesmerizing petrified wood, stunning landscapes, and cultural treasures, camping in Petrified Forest National Park offers a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re captivated by the ancient history, mesmerized by the vibrant colors of the rocks, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat in nature, camping here will leave you with lasting memories of this prehistoric wonderland.


Mogollon Rim

Rising over 2,000 feet above the surrounding desert, the Mogollon Rim is a stunning geological feature that stretches across central Arizona. This rugged escarpment provides a scenic backdrop for camping and outdoor recreation, offering a respite from the heat of the lowlands and a gateway to breathtaking natural beauty.


Camping along the Mogollon Rim allows visitors to immerse themselves in the peaceful serenity of towering pine forests, deep canyons, and panoramic vistas. The region offers several campgrounds, both developed and dispersed, where you can set up camp and enjoy the fresh mountain air.


One popular camping area along the Mogollon Rim is the Christopher Creek Campground. Situated near the town of Christopher Creek, this campground provides easy access to fishing in the nearby creek, as well as opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting. Amenities at the campground include picnic tables, fire rings, and restroom facilities.


For those seeking a more remote camping experience, dispersed camping is permitted in designated areas throughout the Coconino and Tonto National Forests. This allows campers to find secluded spots along the rim, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and the peaceful sounds of nature.


While camping along the Mogollon Rim, there are countless outdoor activities to enjoy. Hiking trails abound, offering opportunities to explore the surrounding forests, canyons, and scenic overlooks. The Rim Lakes Recreation Area provides fishing and boating opportunities in tranquil mountain lakes, while the nearby Woods Canyon Lake is a popular spot for camping, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.


Photographers and nature enthusiasts will delight in capturing the stunning sunsets and panoramic views from various lookout points along the rim. The changing colors of the landscape, from vibrant greens to golden hues, make for a photographer’s dream.


As with any camping trip, it’s important to come prepared. Bring appropriate gear, including warm clothing for cooler nights, sturdy footwear for hiking, and insect repellent. Be mindful of campfire regulations and practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve the beauty of the area.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a connection with nature, camping along the Mogollon Rim offers a rewarding experience. The majestic landscapes, peaceful surroundings, and abundance of outdoor activities make it an ideal destination for campers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with the natural world.


Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park, located in southern Arizona, is a desert paradise that showcases the iconic Saguaro cactus, an enduring symbol of the American West. With its stunning landscapes, unique flora and fauna, and endless opportunities for outdoor exploration, camping in Saguaro National Park is an experience like no other.


The park is divided into two districts: the Tucson Mountain District (west) and the Rincon Mountain District (east). Both districts offer camping opportunities that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.


The Tucson Mountain District features the popular Signal Hill Campground, which provides a scenic setting surrounded by majestic saguaro cacti. The campground offers basic amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings. From here, campers can explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the desert, taking in the breathtaking desert vistas and encountering a variety of desert wildlife.


The Rincon Mountain District offers the popular Rincon Campground, which is located at a higher elevation and offers a cooler and more mountainous environment. The campground provides tent sites and basic amenities, allowing visitors to enjoy the tranquility of the desert landscape with the Rincon Mountains as a backdrop.


Camping in Saguaro National Park provides the opportunity to witness the unique desert ecosystem up close. Beyond the iconic saguaro cactus, the park is home to a rich array of plant and animal species, including desert wildflowers, javelinas, and various bird species. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the chance to observe and photograph these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.


Exploring the hiking trails is a must when camping in Saguaro National Park. The park offers trails ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, allowing visitors of all skill levels to experience the desert’s beauty. The Valley View Overlook Trail and the Cactus Forest Trail are popular options, offering stunning vistas and encounters with diverse desert flora.


While camping in Saguaro National Park, it’s important to come prepared for the desert environment. Pack sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water to stay hydrated in the dry heat. Also, be mindful of wildlife and respect the park’s regulations to preserve the delicate ecosystem.


Camping in Saguaro National Park offers an immersive desert experience, allowing visitors to connect with the raw beauty and serenity of the Sonoran Desert. Whether it’s watching the sunset over a sea of saguaros, hiking through the picturesque landscapes, or simply basking in the tranquility of the desert, camping here promises a memorable and rejuvenating adventure.


Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, located in southern Arizona near the Mexican border, is a hidden gem that showcases the beauty and diversity of the Sonoran Desert. With its unique collection of cacti, picturesque landscapes, and a rich cultural history, camping in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument offers an unforgettable outdoor experience.


The park gets its name from the unique organ pipe cactus, which grows abundantly in the area. These towering cacti, with their multiple stems and vibrant blossoms, create a striking and surreal desert landscape. Camping in this national monument allows you to witness these magnificent cacti up close and marvel at their resilience and beauty.


There are two campgrounds available within the park: Twin Peaks Campground and Alamo Campground. Twin Peaks Campground offers a more developed camping experience with amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings. Alamo Campground provides a more rustic experience, with limited amenities but ample serenity and natural beauty.


While camping at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, there are numerous activities to enjoy. Hiking is a popular choice, with trails like the Desert View Trail and the Estes Canyon Trail allowing visitors to explore the unique desert landscapes, encounter a variety of cacti, and observe wildlife such as javelinas and desert bighorn sheep.


One of the highlights of camping in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is attending one of the ranger-led programs. These programs offer valuable insights into the park’s natural and cultural history, providing a deeper appreciation for the area’s significance and the challenges it faces in preserving its fragile ecosystem.


For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the historic Quitobaquito Springs is a must. This natural oasis has served as a watering hole and gathering place for Indigenous communities for centuries, and it offers a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.


When camping in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, it’s important to come prepared for the desert environment. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and protective clothing to shield against the sun’s rays. Respect the fragile desert ecosystem by practicing Leave No Trace principles and refraining from disturbing the flora and fauna.


Camping in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument allows visitors to connect with the serene desert landscape, witness the resilience of the organ pipe cacti, and gain a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between nature and culture. Whether it’s exploring the hiking trails, attending ranger programs, or simply soaking in the tranquility of the desert, camping here promises an enriching and memorable experience.


Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument, located in southeastern Arizona, is a hidden gem that offers a unique camping experience amidst breathtaking rock formations and diverse ecosystems. Known as the “Wonderland of Rocks,” this national monument is a haven for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking to escape into a mesmerizing natural wonderland.


Camping at Chiricahua National Monument allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the unique rock formations, known as hoodoos, towering pinnacles, and natural sculptures. The Bonita Canyon Campground provides a serene setting for campers, nestled amongst towering pine trees and surrounded by the astounding rock formations. With its basic amenities, including restrooms, picnic tables, and fire grates, this campground offers a peaceful retreat after a day of exploration.


One of the highlights of camping in Chiricahua National Monument is hiking the scenic trails that wind through the rock formations. The Echo Canyon Trail, Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, and Heart of Rocks Loop offer captivating views of the hoodoos, unique geological features, and diverse plant and animal life. The park is renowned for its birdwatching opportunities, with over 170 species of birds that can be spotted throughout the year.


As you hike through the monument, you’ll have the chance to encounter wildlife such as mule deer, coatimundis, and javelinas. The park is also home to diverse plant life, including several species of rare and endemic plants that thrive in the rugged terrain.


For a different perspective of the monument, consider taking the scenic drive along Bonita Canyon Drive. This 8-mile paved road offers stunning vistas, overlooks, and interpretive signs that provide insight into the park’s geological and cultural history.


Photographers will be in awe of the park’s unique landscapes, as the changing light throughout the day creates a dynamic interplay of shadows and colors on the rock formations. Sunrise and sunset are particularly magical times to capture the beauty of Chiricahua National Monument.


When camping at Chiricahua National Monument, it’s important to be prepared for the desert environment. Pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and sturdy footwear for hiking. Be mindful of wildlife, especially when camping overnight, and follow park regulations to ensure the preservation of this natural wonder.


With its enchanting rock formations, diverse ecosystems, and opportunities for outdoor exploration, camping in Chiricahua National Monument is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Whether hiking through the hoodoos, marveling at the unique geology, or simply taking in the tranquility of the surroundings, camping here promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Arizona’s natural wonders.