Owl Creek Campground

Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area

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Black Hills Back Country Byway
Clifton, AZ 85533
Official Website

GPS: 32.9664, -109.3073

Last Price Paid: $5
Number of Sites: 7
Elevation: 3402 ft
Max Stay: 14
Tent Camping: Yes

1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Site Quality

Cell Phone Coverage

Verizon 4G/LTE
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Knoxville, TN 40' Grand Design Solitude Dodge RAM 3500
2 reviews
Nightly rate: $5
Days stayed: 2
Site Number: 7
“Great Peaceful Boondocking”

Reviewed Mar 17, 2019

Overall Rating

This is an excellent boondocking campground. The only amenity is a pit toilet. The standard fee per night is 5 dollars. However, if you are like us and have an additional vehicle (we pull a 5th wheel with a truck, but also have an SUV for exploring – the SUV counts as an additional vehicle), the extra vehicle is 2 dollars per night. If you have an Interagency Access Pass (Annual), then the price is half. This does not apply to groups. So, for us - a truck, 5th wheel, and an SUV was 7 dollars for 2 nights. There is no power, water, or dump station. Each site has a fire pit, a table with cover, and some have a grill.

We stayed two nights. Many people only stayed one night. One group was here for a vacation. They ran a generator during the day. The camp ground is directly off the Black Hills Back Country By-way. It is approximately 4 miles from HWY 191. The road is dirt, has some washboard, can be rough when towing a rig, and has some sections that might be considered slightly steep grade when towing, with some turns considered sharp with a large rig. There are three bridges along the dirt road. The first bridge is rated for 15 tons. The second bridge is rated for 5 tons (I drove my dually truck with a 15K lbs. 40’ 5th wheel across with no problems). The third bridge is rated for 15 tons. They are all single lane. The entrance and exit from the bridges can be tight, so be sure to pay attention to the entrance and exit angles so as to ensure not to catch your rig. I would not advise you to pull a heavy rig in or out of this campground if the road is muddy or the weather forecasts rain. There is a chance your rig could slide off the road, and some of the shoulders are very steep. You could loose your rig. If the road is dry you will have no problem. Simply take your time.

The campground is very peaceful – for the most part. I spoke to a local who works at the mine nearby. You can occasionally hear a boom – it is from the propane cannons the mine uses to keep birds off the water there – likely EPA compliance. The mine is several miles away so this is hardly noticeable if you’re not attuned to small noises - though clearly visible from the campground.

Within the campground there is a loop to turn around at the very back. I was able to accomplish this with my 40’ 5th wheel. It was very tight, but I was able to do it. There are 4 pull thru sites – though I would only consider 3 to be true pull thru sites. They are tight for a 40’ 5th wheel, but can be navigated. There are 3 back-in sites. 2 of these sites can handle a larger rig. Site 1 might be really tight for a larger rig.

We had constant cell service at this campground using Verizon (LTE). 2 bars continuously. 3 bars on occasion. We were easily able to browse the web and watch videos if we chose to. If you have a cell booster you will easily be able to get a great signal – at least for Verizon.
Additional pictures have been uploaded of the sites. We were here during a bloom. I was advised that it was the first bloom in 8 years. In addition, the entire area was the greenest it had been in 20 years. This is according to a local who lives and works here and has for their entire life (60+ years).

The town of Clifton has very little to offer. It is a “mining town”. You can get gas and diesel. It is 20 minutes from the campground. The “town” of Three Way has a gas station and nothing more. You should plan to purchase food and beverages and propane prior to arriving here. There are options in Clifton but I would recommend that you come better prepared.

The river was up high when we were here. It is a very unique and special place. There are only 2 designated Riparian areas within the United States (as of this writing). Look those up. They are unique and rare. We plan to return when our children are older to do some canoeing down the river. Many of the great sites can only be accessed and viewed by going down the river (canoe, kayak, etc.).

Site Quality
Verizon 4G/LTE

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com

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  • dry camping
  • fishing
  • recreation trail
  • water access
Site Amenities:
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • ADA Accessible
  • restrooms: vault
  • trash
  • pets


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