By Sara Sheehy
Arizona is one of the most popular places for RV campers in the United States. From the Four Corners to the Mexican border, there is free, dispersed camping throughout Arizona, providing an accessible and inexpensive way to explore this diverse state.
Love the desert? Head to the wide-open spaces around Ajo and Quartzsite. Looking for a touch of the iconic? It’s either the Grand Canyon or Sedona for you. Like the comfort of pine forests and clear lakes? Prescott is calling your name.
No matter where you go, you can be sure there’ll be free camping nearby.
The Best Free Camping Near Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most well-known destination. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or looking for a quiet spot to shrug off the cares of the world, you’ll find it near this iconic landmark.
On the popular South Rim of the canyon, Forest Road 302 is the closest boondocking spot to the national park entrance. A little bit further away, Forest Road 688 is another favorite of the Campendium community. For spectacular views and a whole of solitude, trek to the canyon’s North Rim (accessible only in summer)—a true adventurer’s playground. Forest Road 611 East Rim is a great choice.
For free camping closer to Flagstaff, check out Cinder Hills OHV area for easily accessible boondocking.
The Best Free Camping in Southern Arizona
The Arizona desert comes to life each winter with campers traveling from near and far, seeking the area’s consistently warm winter temperatures. There’s another good reason that it’s so popular—the BLM camping in Arizona is some of the best that the country has to offer. Add in plenty of sun to charge your solar panels, and you have a recipe for happiness.
A popular destination for snowbirds is the plentiful boondocking available around the winter haven of Quartzsite. Located near the California border, favorites in this area include Palm Canyon, Plomosa Road, and Dome Rock Mountain.
Venturing to the southeastern part of the state, you’ll find yourself in grassy foothills, mountainous Coronado National Forest, and the otherworldly hoodoos of Chiricahua National Monument. Check out Harshaw Road near Patagonia for great birdwatching and gravel bike riding, Forest Road 687 near Tombstone for hiking and rock climbing, and Indian Bread Rocks to be within a quick day trip of Chiricahua and the Cochise Stronghold.
The Best Free Camping near Tucson and Phoenix
Tucson and Phoenix are Arizona's main metropolitan areas, and both are worth a visit. Though you won’t find much in the way of free camping right in town, there are plenty of spots to choose from that are only a quick ride into the city proper.
In Tucson, Snyder Hill BLM is the perennial favorite, though Redington Pass also deserves a second look. Near Phoenix, Hackamore Road is a popular spot that boasts stunning views of the Superstition Mountains. Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino offers complimentary one-night parking in their lot just south of the city if you're passing through.
No trip to Arizona would be complete without a journey to the red rock mecca of Sedona, just two hours north of Phoenix. The free camping in Sedona is popular, so don’t expect solitude, but do expect some otherworldly beauty.
Are you overwhelmed yet? We’ve only scratched the surface of the boondocking available in Arizona! Explore it all on Campendium.