11 Free Camping in Arizona Spots You’ll Love
If you’re looking for free camping in Arizona – you’ve picked the right state. There are SO many spots to go boondocking in the Grand Canyon State. With that said, a lot of those free campsites are pretty lame!
Fear not camper – we’re sharing only the best today.
Each featured campsite will include specific location info, amenities and nearby activities. Additionally, we’ll rank each site with a unique “Camping in Arizona Vibes” score to give you a general overview.
Let’s dive in!
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: Lake Havasu is the perfect place to escape the winter blues. The town has it all – hiking, biking, good weather, water sports and, best of all, free camping.
We recommend setting up camp at Craggy Wash. Not only does this site have great access to nearby activities, it also has a wonderful community of campers. We made new friends and connected with old friends during our stay at Craggy Wash.
Yes, the site can be busy…but, there’s still plenty of room to spread out.
What’s the Word: Bobbi on Campendium says, “We had a great time boondocking in Craggy Wash. Highly recommend it, but to get the benefits of this area travel in a bit further than the first few campsite areas. We got a spot around the 3.5 mile marker. It seems that anything past 3 miles is nice.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 7.1/10 Love the town – hiking right from campsite
The Main Drag 525
Location: Sedona, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: Sedona is awesome…but, also expensive. The Main Drag 525 gives you easy access to the area and is kind to your wallet.
Forest Road 525 is long, bumpy and busy. We recommend camping within the first two miles. Even though you’ll be packed in tightly, the campsite usually has respectful neighbors with the same intention – exploring Sedona.
We loved the camping experience at 525. Downtown Sedona is about 7 miles away and the epic hikes are even closer. In the evening we shared campfires with our RV buddies!
What’s the Word: TheBiggieBus on Campendium says, “This seems to be a popular place – but there are sporadic places to camp all down the road – scout out. The road is a little rough at spots but well maintained for a dirt road. The first few areas were full – but within 2 miles there were several nice spots.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 8.4/10 Sedona is awesome!
Location: Patagonia, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: Patagonia is a wonderful small town near the border of Mexico. Yes, you’ll see lots of Border Patrol trucks at this spot…but, we never felt unsafe. In fact, the constant presence of the BP made us feel quite safe.
The town of Patagonia is 4 miles from the Coronado National Forest. There is an organic grocery store and a less expensive “mom & pop” grocer. The town also has one gas station, a post office, multiple restaurants, and gift shops.
The best hiking is located on the Arizona Trail, just a mile from camp.
What’s the Word: 188sqft on Campendium says, “The boondocking sites are moderately private and Harshaw Road is mostly trafficked by border patrol. You’ll see a lot of them while you’re here. Keep an eye out the hillsides at dusk too. We saw Mule Deer and heard a few coyotes.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 7.5/10 Among the best hiking in Arizona & and an awesome small town!
Location: Quartzsite, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: If you need to get your Quartzsite fix – Plomosa Road is the place to camp. You’ll be surrounded by thousands of fellow campers, but (believe it or not) there’s enough room for everyone to spread out.
We like this site because it’s on the north end of town. This means you’ll have better cell connectivity and better access to a larger town (Parker, AZ) with big grocery stores.
The biggest of rigs can access this site. Its flat desert land with few obstructions.
What’s the Word: OurEndeavor on Campendium says, “If you’re headed to quartzite, capable of boondocking and have no clue where to stay once you get here look no further. Plomosa Rd is so big, easy to use for any rig, camping with friends or just want your own private slice of the desert you will find it here. It’s a little drive into town but not bad. Best part is its free.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 6.9/10 You gotta try Quartzsite once…and this is the place to camp!
Naval Observatory Road
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: Naval Observatory Road acts as the perfect basecamp to explore Flagstaff. Located on the west side of town, downtown is a straight shot, 7 mile drive.
There is a lot to do in Flagstaff. We enjoyed hiking through the mountains. Downtown offers numerous bars & restaurants. Since its a college town, live music is also easy to find!
The campsite provides shade and privacy. We also had blazing fast cellular internet at this spot. Big rigs can fit, but we recommend scouting it out in advance.
What’s the Word: WelchesOnWheels on Campendium says, “My husband + I stayed here for two weeks, we just couldn’t leave. It’s so close to flagstaff and the forest was just beautiful! TIP: if you’re staying longer term and you want more privacy keep driving back. The road is washed out but dry, we didn’t have a problem with our 31 foot TT. Just take it slow!!!!”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 8.5/10 Insider Tip: We filled up with water at the Conoco in Flagstaff – that gas station also has a FREE dump station.
Location: Tucson, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: We’ve gotta be brutally honest – you’ll love this site because it’s free and very close to the center of Tucson. The actual campsite can be, at times, a little sketchy.
With that said, we’ve camped at Snyder Hill multiple times and would consider camping here again in the future. Just know – you’re camping at this spot for its location, not for it’s “camp vibes.”
The desert in Tucson is full of vegetation. Snyder Hill has trees, bushes, and cacti. A steep climb will take you to the top of the hill where you’ll get a 360 degree view of the area.
What’s the Word: TheTravelingTaubs on Campendium says, “It is incredibly convenient if you need to be close in to Tucson. I am grateful to have a free place to camp so close by. There is a lot of road noise. There were some random and sketchy people there off and on as well as normal campers. There is a lot of trash and broken bottles around.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 6.1/10 Location, location, location!
Indian Bread Rocks
Location: Bowie, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: There’s not much in Bowie, Arizona. From the interstate (I-10), it looks like just another deserted small town. Don’t let that fool you!
Indian Bread Rocks is amazingly unique because of the surrounding geography. The bizarre rock formations are awesome to explore for both kids and adults! Hiking & climbing the rocks was our favorite activity here. The night sky is beautiful, as well.
The campsite offers a vault toilet, trash cans, picnic tables and large grills. There is no water available onsite, but the gas station in Bowie has convenient (and free) water access.
What’s the Word: Brian on Campendium says, “Dispersed camping up against a beautiful rock formation on BLM land. Easy drive in via a 2.5 mile dirt road. The 3-4 spots near the picnic tables are easy to access with large rigs. Smaller RV are rewarded with the best 5+ sites farther up the road against the side of the hill with beautiful rocks next to your site and spectacular views north into the desert. ”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 9.5/10 Unique, peaceful and fairly easy to access.
Location: McNeal, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: Are there any bird watchers in the house? If so, you probably know of this site already. Otherwise, let us fill you in.
This is an amazing sanctuary for cranes. Every year from October to February, thousands of cranes migrate here. The birds are loud, but not unpleasant.
The cranes are amazing. They fly in organized “V” formations and gather in a nearby pond. Watching them at dusk was the highlight of our time here.
This free campsite also positions you close to Bisbee, AZ. Its a mining town turned art community. Although you still have a 30 minute drive into Bisbee, it’s the closest free campsite you’ll find.
What’s the Word: Jen on Campendium says, “What an amazing area with all of the cranes and other bird life. Busy with day use vehicles in the morning and afternoon but quiet at night. Not sure if generators are allowed but no one had one on and the other RVs had solar like me, so all was great.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 8.6/10 Very unique experience!
Darby Well Road
Location: Ajo, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: Way down in southern Arizona on the border of Mexico is Organ Pipe National Monument. This lesser-know park is an amazing natural wonder.
If you want to explore the area, Darby Well Road is the best free campsite to set up your basecamp. The campsite offers no amenities. It’s true dry-camping, so make sure you bring water, food, and power!
If camping near the border intimidates you, the constant presence of Border Patrol should give you some comfort.
What’s the Word: WatsonsWander on Campendium says, “This was our second time camping on Darby Well Rd. and we loved it just as much the second time around. There are tons of spots for RVs of all sizes and the amazing views filled with mountains and saguaros can’t be beat. We especially loved the endless network of 4×4 roads for hiking and biking.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 7.3/10 It’s way out in the boonies…but, pretty awesome!
Coconino Rim Road
Location: Grand Canyon, AZ
Why You’ll Love It: We can’t talk about free camping in Arizona without mentioning the Grand Canyon! Located in the Kaibab National Forest, Coconino Rim Road is a great free campsite with Grand Canyon access.
It’s located near the south rim, which is the more populated side of the Canyon. This is where you’ll find the main welcome center and tourist activities.
What’s the Word: Hannah on Campendium says, “You’re minutes from the Grand Canyon. And it’s free. What more can I say? We watched the sunset at Moran Point and watched the sunrise at Grandview. Perfection. We rolled in after the sunset and only saw a few vehicles.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 9.2/10 Grand Canyon + Peaceful Experience = Killer Free Campsite
American Girl Mine
Location: Winterhaven, CA
Why You’ll Love It: Okay, so this free campsite is technically in California…but, it’s right across the Arizona border. We included this spot because it’s our favorite place to camp near Yuma, Arizona.
The campsite offers no amenities. It’s true dry-camping, so make sure you bring water, food, and power! There is fresh water and dumpster access at an interstate rest stop 3 miles west on I-8.
This is spaced-out desert boondocking at its best. It was almost completely quiet, with the exception of an occasional train in the far-off distance.
What’s the Word: The Flying Unicorn on Campendium says, ” We pulled into the area in a 38ft Moho dirt road going in was very smooth no problems. There is plenty of level Land to park away from everyone else. Close to the 8 fwy and 25 minutes to Yuma AZ. Not a lot here but serene and quiet.”
Camping in Arizona Vibes: 6.8/10 It gets docked a few point for being in California…but it feels like Arizona camping!
The Best FREE Camping in the USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.
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