Arizona State Park Campgrounds – Best in the US

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The  Arizona State Park Campgrounds are ideal for family vacations or a solo getaway. These State Park Campgrounds are spread throughout Arizona and are one of the the best ways to experience the diversity and recreation of this beautiful state.  I was very excited to write this article because of how much I genuinely believe these State Parks are some of the best in the US.

Alamo Lake State Park

Alamo Lake is located on the Bill Williams River which was created by the completion of the Alamo Dam in 1968. There are a wide variety of activities you can enjoy at this lake. These include: Bass Fishing, ATV, biking and viewing the Abundant Wildlife, If you visit during the Spring, you will be wowed by the wildflowers. Fishing tournaments are also common at this lake- you can catch bluegill, bass, channel catfish, and black crappie.

  • Location:Wenden, AZ
  • Amenities/Features:
    • Visitor Center: open from 8am – 5pm daily
    • Bait/Park Store: Carries fishing and camping equipment, fishing licenses, etc.
    • Exhibits: An interpretive exhibit is located inside the park office
    • Day Use Area: Has one 60×20 foot Ramada with a BBQ grill. $10 Reservation Fee to use this.
    • Showers: Located in camps A,C, and main campground
    • Boat Ramp
  • Group Campsites: At each campsite there is a 60×20 foot ramada with a BBQ Grill. Vault toilets (located in the group area), $25 per day reservation fee for this area- and $10 per vehicle per night camping fee.
  • Family/Indvidual Campsites: Campgrounds D&E, Picnic Table and Fire Ring. $10 a night per vehicle. Vault and chemical toilets are throughout the campgrounds
  • RV Sites: 19 Full hook up sites-50 Amp electric, water and sewer which is located in the Main Camping area. Picnic table, fire ring. No limit on the length of the RV.
  • Reservations: Call the park at (928) 669-2088

Buckskin Mountain State Park

This is a beautiful park that was est. in 1967 and is located along the Parker strip- which is 18 miles between the Parker Dam and Headgage Dam. Lining the river are Mountains on the AZ and CA sides. There are numerous recreational activities to enjoy here which include the beach, hiking, jet skiiing, swimming, and camping. This is a perfect getaway year round for those who are looking for a variety in activities and culture. East of Parker is the Colorado River Indian Reservation which has archeological sites up and down AZ’s “West Coast”.

Location: Parker, AZ

Amenities/Features:

  • Pull- thru sites
  • Big Ring Access
  • Tent Camping
  • Kid/Family Friendly- Beach, Hiking Trails, basketball and volleyball courts, playground
  • Restrooms/Showers
  • Restaurant/Market:
  • Visitor Center: exhibits, video, library, book exchange and info on the surrounding area.

Group: Day Use/Camping Sites: Both are located -one mile North of the park at River Island.

Link: River Island

Campsites:

  • 68 Camping spots, ranges from $23-$30 per night depending on the site. 14 day limit
  • 21 Cabin sites- Overlook the Colorado River. Tents can be pitched b/the River and Cabana
  • BBQ Grills
  • Picnic Tables

RV Sites:

  • Water
  • 30 Amp electric
  • 15 of the sites have Sewer Connection
  • BBQ grills
  • Picnic Tables

Reservations: Call the park directly at (928) 667-3231, seven days a week from 9am- 4pm MST.

Catalina State Park

Located in the Coronado National Forest, this park has great views of the scenic Santa Catalina Mountains and is haven for wildlife and plants. There are close to 5,000 Saguaros spread throughout the 5,500 acres of foothills, streams and canyons.There are more than 150 species of birds that live in the park as well. No excuses for not staying busy while camping; acitivities include hiking, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, or viewing the wildlife. This is a great park if you enjoy hiking as well- there are eight trails which vary in length and difficulty. If you enjoy archeology- then be sure to check out The Romero Ruin Trail which winds it’s way through the Prehistoric Hohokam Ruins that are over a thousand years old!

Location: Tucson, AZ

Amenities/Features:

  • Visitor Center: Open 8am-5pm daily. Get your entrance and camping permits here.
  • Open Year Round
  • Gift Shop
  • Exhibits
  • Amphitheater
  • Picnic areas/shelters
  • Showers: Located in the restroom buildings at campgrounds and group areas.
  • Equestrian Friendly: Staging and camping area available to those with horses- first come, first serve basis.

Group: Day use Areas and Camping Sites

  • Six reservable group areas (four of these can be reserved for day use or overnight camping)
  • Facility use fee: $15 due at the time of reservation
  • $15 per night, per vehicle and day use- $7 per vehicle

Campgrounds:

  • 120 Sites (95 with water and electric hookups)
  • Picnic Tables
  • BBQ Grills

RV Sites:

  • Site surface- paved
  • Fire ring/Picnic Table
  • Pull through
  • 20, 30, 50 Amp Hook Up

Reservations: To make reservations, call (520) 628-5798.

*It has been noted several times on reviews that the numbers corresponding to the loops are confusing.

CatTail Cove State Park

Cattail Cove State Park is located on Arizona State Route 95 in far southern Mohave County, about 19 miles from Lake Havasu City.  Since 1970, the AZ State Parks has operated this 2,000 acre park that sits along the shore of Lake Havasu. With so much blue water- there are numerous activities you can participate in at this campground. You can enjoy a nice quiet afternoon sailing, go water or jet skiing out on the open lake, or spend the day fishing for bass, catfish, or bluegill.

Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ

Amenities/Features:

  • Open 24 hours, year round
  • Visitor Center/park store: 8am – 5pm Daily
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Fire Rings
  • Firewood (available from Camp Host)
  • Picnic areas/shelters (located on a Sandy Beach Front)
  • Boat Ramp

RV/Campsites:

  • 61 Camping & RV Sites (First come, first serve basis)
  • 57 Sites -30 Amp Service
  • 4 Sites- 50 Amp Service
  • 28 Campsites along the water’s edge (boat needed for these)
  • Maximum RV Length: 60 Feet
  • Water/Electric Hook up
  • Dump Station

Reservations: Can be made online or by calling 1-877-MY-PARKS (697-2757) or visit: azstateparks.com/reserve/cattail-cove/camping)

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

This park is close to Cottonwood, but still has the “Get away from it all” type of Feeling to it. This State park is one of my favorites – despite the unusual name. The story goes that a family from Minnesote were visiting different ranches to buy. At one of these ranches, they ran across a dead horse on the property. A few days later after looking at numerous properties, the parents asked their kids which Ranch they liked best. One of them stated, “The one with the Dead Horse, Dad”. This is the name they chose and then when AZ State Parks acquired the ranch, the name was one of the conditions of the sale. There is a great little playground at this park which has recently been remodeled. It’s the only park I’ve seen with a mini zip Line (which is fun for adults too)! You can go fishing for trout, catfish or bass, Horseback riding or even hiking. There is a Horseback Riding Company located within the park so you don’t even need to bring your own horses. Oh- and they are alive!

Location: Cottonwood, AZ

Park/Facility general info:

  • Open year round, 8am-10pm daily
  • Visitor Center/Park Store: 8am – 4:30 pm daily
  • Entrance fee: per vehicle: $7, Individual/biclycle: $3

Amenities/Features:

  • Restrooms/Showers
  • Grills
  • Picnic Tables
  • Firewood (from camp host)
  • Firerings

RV/Campsites:

  • More than 100 Large RV sites available.
  • Blackhawk Loop: 17 non electric camsites- reserved specifically for tents. Adjacent to hot water/showers.
  • Pull through sites- 40 foot motor homes /Truck and trailer rigs- 65 feet
  • Potable Water
  • 30 & 50 Amp
  • $30-$35 per night for sites with electticity/ $20 – No electricity

Reservations: To make reservations, call (928) 634-5283 or visit: azstatparks.com/reserve/dead-horse/camping/

Fool Hollow Lake State Park

Looking for a quiet, quaint, and cozy place to camp?  You’re not a fool to Camp at Fool Hollow Lake.Situated on 150 acres, there is an a lot to do. There are Kayak and Bike Rentals right next to the lake; 10 hp boat restrictions keep out the larger and noisier boats and jet skis. For those anglers, you can catch rainbow and brown trout, black crappie, walleye, catfish, and bass to name a few.  Boats can also be rented in Lakeside and they will deliver it to the lake for you.

For the family, there is a nice hiking trail that winds around the lake and through the park. I have camped here with my kids as well and we really enjoy this park.  For one of our camps, we participated in the AZ Family Camp Out Program and one of our service projects was to pick up trash, and fishing line from the shores.  Hopefully, if you visit you won’t see too much garbage lying around.  It does happen though- and the State parks do their best to keep up with it.

Location: Show Low, AZ

Amenities/Features:

  • Pets allowed
  • Big Rig Access
  • Tent Camping
  • Kid Friendly
  • Restrooms/Showers
  • Two Playgrounds
  • Firewood (from Camp Host)

Park/Facility General Info:

  • Open year round
  • Day use:  8am – 8pm daily
  • Visitor Center/Park Store: 8am – 4:30 pm daily
  • Park Entrance Fee: $7 per vehicle, Individual/Bycycle-$3

Campsites/Group Areas:

  • 123 Campsites (91 have electric hookups for RV’s)
  • Picnic Tables
  • Firerings
  • Restrooms

RV Sites:

  • Full Hookup
  • Electric (30 & 50 AMP)
  • Dump Station
  • Water
  • Paved and Level

Reservations:  Call 1-877-MY-PARKS (697-2757) or visit: https://azstateparks.com/reserve/fool-hollow/camping/

Note:  Some reviews stated that it was difficult to back in- and that their 5th Wheel was too big for the space.  There are some spaces where their are double spaces so you may have a neighbor.

 

Homolovi State Park

Interested in the history of the Native world? “Homolovi”  means Hopi for “Place of the Little Hills”.

The Hopi lived here from the 1200s to the late 1300s. Arizona State Parks gives visitors the opportunity to see the sites and use the park facilities which includes a visitor center, museum, various trails and a campground. You can learn about their history and see the land and artifacts up close with the Guided hikes that are provided at this 4,000 square foot park.

Location: Winslow, AZ

Park/General Information: 

  • Open year round
  • Day use:  8am – 5pm daily
  • Visitor Center/Park Store: 8am – 5 pm daily
  • Park Entrance Fee: $7 per vehicle, Individual/Bicycle-$3

Campsite Amenities/Features:

  • Can accommodate RV’s, Tents, and Trailers
  • 53 Campsites
  • Electric Hook up and Water (Sites #7, 14, 16, 40, 41, 42, 44, & 46 are non-electric.)
  • Water is available at Dump Station
  • Back in and Pull through Sites
  • 30 & 50 AMP Hook Ups
  • Year round campsite with showers

 

Reservations:Call 1-877-MY-PARKS (697-2757) or by visiting: https://azstateparks.com/reserve/homolovi/camping/

 

In Summary

As you can see, their are numerous choices when it comes to deciding which Arizona State Park Campground to visit.  Your choice ultimately depends on the interests and tastes of you and/or your family.  I do hope that once you visit, you’ll enjoy these State Parks as much as I do.

Have experience with staying at one of the AZ State Parks?  Would love to hear what you think!  Please leave your comment below.

Happy Camping!

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