10 Best Places to Camp & Fish in Arizona

Aspen Campground

 

This is a small, but beautiful campground on the East Fork of the Black River.  You will be shaded by Ponderosa pines and hardwood trees.  The campsites are located away from the stream to protect the riparian zone. You can still easily access the river where you can fish for Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Apache Trout.  You can even catch crawdads in this creek- this is an activity that we do with the youth we have in camp and they love it!  All you need is a stick, string, and bacon.

There are 6 sites that can accommodates tents, and only a few large motor homes or travel trailers, based on first come first serve basis (no reservations) and has a 14 day stay limit

Amenities: Picnic tables, drinking water, fire rings, vault toilets, and you can have pets on a leash. The cost per Camp Unit per night is $14.00 & Interagency/Senior Discount is $7.

Contact:  Alpine Ranger District- 928-339-5000 or visit the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest site.

Bear Canyon Lake

 

At an elevation of 7,560 feet, Bear Canyon Lake is accessible by foot only from the Campsite.  This lake is one of several that have been built by AZ Game and Fish Department.  Regardless of the lake being several miles down the road and having only a vault toilet, it is fairly popular.   About six times a year, the lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout.

The campground is surrounded by mixed conifer, oak and aspen and is on first come first serve basis.  You can set up a tent or bring a trailer and there is no fee to camp.  This is a rustic campsite- with the toilets being the only amenities.   The best season is fall and the busiest time of year is the summer.

Contact:  Black Mesa Ranger District- (928) 535-7300 or visit the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest website.

 

Chevelon Lake Campground

Photo courtesy of AZ Highways

 

  Chevelon Lake is tucked back into the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. Road 169 is a  dirt road that takes you to some fantastic fishing and solitude.  Here you will have amazing views and enjoy camping among the ponderosa pine, juniper and pinyon pine.  There is a ¾ steep hike to the lake where you have the opportunity to catch Rainbow and Brown Trout.   On the north end of the lake is a small boat dock for boats that have a motor of 8 HP or less.

This no fee campground is also on a first come first serve basis; you can set up a tent or pull in a camping trailer.   There is no water , but has picnic tables, fire rings and a vault toilet.

Contact:  Black Mesa Ranger District (928) 535-7300 or visit Apache Sitgreaves National Forest website.

Cutthroat

 

This campground is located 26 miles southwest of Springerville in the White Mountains at Big Lake.   Ponderosa pine, spruce, douglas fir and aspen trees surround the campsite providing ample shade and a peaceful setting.  Big Lake is well known for their Trout fishing- including Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brook, and Apache.

Campground: 18 sites in which you can only set up a tent and sits on the shoreline of Big Lake.  There is a fee of $16 per vehicle, per night and interagency/Senior discount is $8 per vehicle, per night.  The best season to camp at Big Lake is Mid-May through September.

Amenities: boat ramp, picnic tables, flush toilets, shower (nearby), and drinking water.   Also available at Big Lake for $50 is the EZ Camping service.  Just grab your sleeping bags and go!

Contact: Make a reservation at Recreation.gov.

 

Fool Hollow Lake

 

Fool Hollow Lake comprises  150 acres and is nestled among the pines and junipers.  This is a  popular place among anglers due to the  amenities available and access from Show Low.  If you have a large group and you all are staying in RV’s, then this may be one of top places to camp.  With fish cleaning stations, you can easily clean and prepare  your bass, walleye, pike or trout the same day you catch it.

Operated by the AZ State Parks Department, Fool Hollow Lakes offers more developed campsites compared to many of the others.  It is open year round and has 125 tent and RV Sites, 72 Electric, and 52 full hook ups located in loops that wind around in the park.

Amenities:  include an interpretative sites, accessible boat ramp, picnic tables, flushing toilets, showers, and drinking water.

Contact AZ State Parks- (928) 537-3680 or online http://azstateparks.com/Parks/FOHO/

 

Hannagan/Aker Lake

 

 

Aker Lake is a secluded pristine Lake in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest.  Ideal for a weekend getaway, often times you will have the entire place to yourself.  This small lake has Apache Trout and Articl Grayling- catch and release and only artificial lures and flies can be used.

Aker Lake has dispersed camping (no fee and zero amenities) or there is Hannagan Campground 3.5 miles from Aker Lake.  The services are limited here as well and there is no water available.  If you enjoy camping in a meadow, then this rustic, no fee campground located near the Blue Range Primitive Area should suit your needs well.

Contact: Alpine Ranger District- 928-339-5000 or visit the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest website.

 

 

Luna Lake

 

Lovely  Luna Lake is located on the San Francisco River, 6 miles east of Alpine in the White Mountains.  This campsite offers beautiful scenic views of the mountains, lush wildflower meadows, groves of ponderosa pine.  With a well stocked lake full of Rainbow trout, you will be sure to have an excellent fishing experience as well.    In addition, the Luna Lake Wildlife area is a riparian habitat providing homes for bats, weasels, bald eagles, tree frogs, and Elk. From my experience, this is one of  the most varied habitats I’ve ever heard of.

The Campground consists of  50 single unit sites, tents and RV’s up to 32 feet. There is a $16 per vehicle per night fee, and interagency/senior discount $8 per vehicle, per night fee.

Amenities include a boat ramp, picnic tables, vault toilets, drinking water, There are no hookups, trash dumpsters (Memorial & Labor Day).

Contact: Alpine Ranger District- 928-339-5000 or visit the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest site

 

Sinkhole

 

Popular with boaters and anglers, Sinkhole campground is 150 acres located near Willow Springs Lake approximately 21 miles southwest of Heber, AZ.

Willow Springs Lake is located about 1 mile from the campground and here you can fish or take your boat out.  The fish you can catch here include Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass.

Surrounded by Ponderosa Pine trees, there are 26 sites (14-26 can be reserved), and sites 1-13 are on a first come first serve basis.  Set up a Tent or park your RV (up to 32 feet).  Single sites are $20 per night, and there is a $10 extra vehicle charge.

Amenities include a camp host, Picnic tables, fire rings, trash service, vault toilet, drinking water.

Contact:  To make reservations, visit: Recreation.gov.

 

Spillway

 

Spillway Campground sits at 7,510 feet and is 1 of 4 main campgrounds at Woods Canyon Lake.  Woods Canyon Lake is 1 of 7 in the Rim Lakes Recreation area and is among the most popular. This lake offers 55 surface acres and a max depth of 40 feet.  Due to it’s closeness to the lake, it does fill up quickly.  Enjoy fishing for Rainbow Trout in a beautiful serene forest full of pine, fir, oak and aspen.  Wildlife in the area include birds, squirrels, deer, and skunks.

The campground has 26 tent and RV sites (up to 16 feet), and no hook ups.   See fee schedule  here.  The amenities include picnic areas, vault toilets, boat ramp, and drinking water.

Contact:  To make reservations, visit Recreation.gov.

 

Winn Campground

 

This beautiful campground  is near the Mt. Baldy trailhead and the East and West forks of the Little Colorado River.  This site is an excellent choice for those who like to fish for trout or hike.  Often times, you can see Elk during the Twilight hours in the meadow that borders the campground.

Conifer and aspen trees await you at one of the 63 tent and RV Sites (up to 40 feet). There are no hook ups, but a paved road will bring you in.  A fee is charged of $14 per vehicle, per night and an additional camp unit is $14.  Group sites are available for $125.00.

Amenities: Camp host, garbage collection, picnic tables, fire rings, Potable water, and vault toilet.

Contact: Springerville Ranger District
(928) 333-6200

 

Summary

There are so many beautiful places to fish and camp in Arizona.  The choices can be overwhelming sometimes. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, I hope you have found these suggestions helpful!  Have other favorite spots that weren’t included?  Please leave a comment below.

 

Happy Camping!

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