Arizona is one of the most scenic states in the US. From the epic Grand Canyon, through to stunning red rock formations, turquoise waterfalls, lush forests and rugged terrain, there’s so much to see and do. The best way to experience Arizona’s showcase of mighty mother nature is to go camping, where you can really feel like you’re in the heart of it. We’ve rounded up the best spots for camping in Arizona, so get ready to pitch your tent:
1. Manzanita Campground, Sedona
Manzanita is a great camping spot in the Sedona area, which is known for its beautiful red rocks, and spiritual, healing energy. The town of Sedona oozes a mystical, hippy vibe and it’s said to be home to the Sedona spiritual vortexes, which many believe are powerful and transformational energy centers. Manzanita is a great campground to stay in as it’s a small, tent-only campground that’s close to great hiking, swimming, and fishing opportunities in the nearby Oak Creek. The campsite comes complete with fire rings, grills, picnic tables, toilets and you’ll find coin-operated showers just up the road.
2. Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon
Havasu Falls is one of the most stunning destinations in Arizona, if not in the US. The falls are located on the Havasupai Reservation inside the Grand Canyon. The waterfalls are an incredible turquoise color, set against the canyon’s red rock, making it one of the most picturesque places in the country. There’s a campground at the Havasupai Reservation, which is home to the Havasupai Indians who have lived there comfortably isolated from the modern world for centuries.
To get to the waterfall, it’s a ten-mile hike each way to the falls, so you’ll definitely need to camp. To stay at the campground you’ll need to book with plenty of time in advance. There are strict rules about booking, for example, campground reservations for all of 2018 (which runs from February 1 to November 30) opened on February 1, 2018, and it’s on a first-come-first-serve basis. There’s a maximum of four days/three nights per reservation, but you can make multiple back-to-back reservations to extend your stay (if the dates are available). It’s so popular that 2018 is completely sold out at time of writing, so make plans in advance for 2019.
3. Meteor Crater RV Park
You won’t believe your eyes! Approximately 50,000 years ago an asteroid that was traveling at 26,000 miles-per-hour hit planet earth and Meteor Crater in Arizona is where you can see the result of the collision. It’s the most well-preserved impact site on earth, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see it. There’s an on-site campground, which offers RV camping, just off Interstate 40 exit 233. It’s a large parking lot where you can set up camp and check out the crater. Kick back and enjoy the crystal clear starry sky, and imagine all the asteroids that must be up there.
4. Bright Angel Campground, Grand Canyon
The most popular campground in the Grand Canyon is the Bright Angel site. Bright Angel is located at the bottom of the canyon, beside Bright Angel Creek. The only way to get there is by hiking down the canyon, at a 10-mile hike from the South Rim or a 14-mile hike from the North Rim. At the campground, you’ll find emergency and pay phones, a ranger station and toilets. It’s surrounded by much-needed shade after your hot hike down the canyon. The walk down the canyon is truly spectacular and you’ll see plenty of wildlife along the way. Don’t forget, a backcountry permit is required for camping anywhere in the Inner Canyon including Bright Angel.
5. Saguaro Lake
Saguaro Lake it’s a beautiful spot that’s surrounded by its namesake cactus. There are great camping options surrounding the lake, with boat access to reach the site. The best place to camp is Bagley Flat, where you can find camping-comforts such as grills and tables.